Jayapura, Jubi – Dozens of people from the Papuan Youth, Student and People Movement (GempaR) held a protest in several universities in Jayapura demanding the Indonesian government change its policies.
GempaR Secretary General Samuel Womsiwor explained the Alliance of Indonesian Students simultaneously organized people and workers for demonstration to call President Joko Widodo to respond to current conditions in Indonesia.
“This protest is intended to ask Jokowi to be responsible for some policies he made within seven months of his government, because it made people in Indonesia to feel restless and helpless,” Womsiwor told Jubi on Wednesday (20/5/2015) in Jayapura.
He said Jokowi was originally known as humble man and considered by Indonesian people to bring the better change for Indonesia, but for the last six months, his policies have harmed the Indonesian people in Papua. “Such as the policies on transmigration program (October), human right violation (Enarotali-Paniai, 8 December 2014), West Papua Police Headquarter (19 December 2014), West Papua Regional Military Command, foreign investor (President’s Speech in APEC), Mobile Brigade Headquarters in Jayawijaya, shooting incident in Yahukimo,” he said. And also the policies on such cases of illegal mining company in Degeuwo, oil palm plantation in Nabire, criminalization on human right activists Areki Wanimbo and Gustaf Kawer, violence toward Papuan journalists in Nabire and Biak, random shooting and arrest towards hundreds of protesters on 1 May 2015. “Therefore we asked Jokowi to immediately resolve the occurred incidents under his administrative. These polices greatly weakens the position and chance of Papuans on their own land,” Wamsiwor told Jubi through email on Sunday (17/5/2015).
Meanwhile, GempaR activist Philipus Rohaba said on this occasion GempaR Papua asked the Government of Indonesia to open the democratic space, provide access to the foreign journalists and international human right workers to come to Papua. “We request and invite the foreign journalists coming to Papua to cover and monitor the current situation in Papua. We also asked the government to stop silencing the democratic space in Papua, to discontinue the criminalization on human right activists and indigenous Papuans,” said Robaha.
From Jubi’s observation on Wednesday (20/5/2015), the students started the rally in several points, namely in front of Cendrawasih University (Uncen) in Abepura and Waena, Jayapura Science and Technology University (USTJ) in Padangbulan and STIH Umel Mandiri in Kota Raja.
At around 09:30 Papua time, dozens of students led by Samuel Womsiwor were pushed back by the police in Waena, meanwhile the police disperse dozens of students in Kota Raja at 09:00 Papua time. Other students organized by Nelius Wenda and Malvin Yobe successfully conducted demonstration in the USTJ campus arena from 10:00 – 12:00 due to prior permit from the campus authority. At around 12:00 Papua time, Philipus Robaha and GempaR Secretary General joined them and led forty students to walk across Merpati but they were blocked by the police and prohibited to go to the Papua Parliament Office.
Womsiwor admitted being upset for the police’s act because GempaR has sent a letter to the Abepura Police on 5 May for permission to voice people’s aspiration to the Papua’s Parliament. “We are very upset with the police. We have sent a letter to the police since 5 May but the police didn’t want to issue the permit without giving any reason and today come to ban our protest. So we can not walk to the Parliament Office to voice our aspiration,” he said. (Arnold Belau/rom)
Goliat Tabuni asks independent team to investigate the church burning in Tembagapura
Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) challenge the Government of Indonesia to provide access for an independent investigation team investigating perpetrators behind the burning of a church in Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika Regency, Papua in a press released by TPNPB. The statement of the Supreme Commander of TPNTP General Goliat Tabuni received by Jubi on Wednesday (18/3/2020).
On Thursday (12/3/2020), the Indonesian Gospel Tent (GKII) Church of Sinai Congregation in Opitawak Village of Tembagapura Sub-district reportedly burned out. The Indonesian security forces pointed finger to TPNPB as perpetrators. However, General Goliat Tabuni denied all allegations in his press release.
In turn, he believes this incident was part of the game playing by the Indonesian security forces to discredit the image of TPNPB in which they have always done for a long time. “This is not new, but [it has happened] since 1960 to the present. The Indonesian Military and Police have done it for a long time,” said Tabuni in his press release.
Furthermore, Tabuni said TPNTP was not surprised by many reports accused them as the perpetrator behind the church burning. Therefore, he challenges the Indonesian Government to provide access to an independent investigation team to investigate.
Meanwhile, TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambon confirms the statement released on behalf of Goliat Tabuni as valid. Further, he says the independent investigation team preferred by TPNPB is a joint investigation team of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council and the National Human Rights Commission of Papua Office.
“If they want to find who is behind the church burning, the Indonesian Government must allow the independent team to investigate. [The independent team is] the Human Rights Council [United Nations] and the National Human Rights Commission of Papua Office,” Sambom told Jubi on Wednesday (18/3/2020).
Furthermore, he said the Indonesian Government should be able to prove their accusation through a fair and impartial legal process, not only pointing fingers to TPNPB. “The Indonesian Military and Police should not just accuse TPNPB, and the Indonesian media should not unilaterally publish the one-side story,” said Sambom.
Meanwhile, Antara News Agency launched the statement of Tembagapura Police Chief Adjunct Commissionaire Hermanto saying the insurgent group led by Lekagak Telenggen and Joni Botak burned down the GKII Sinai Congregation Church in Opitawak Village.
“The church was initially crowded by Opitawak villagers for worshipping and other church activities. However, in several recent weeks, the armed group came to spread terror in this village. People finally have to give in to this situation,” said Hermanto to Antara. (*)
Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Secondary students hold anti-racism protest at school in Sentani
Sentani, Jubi – Students of Santo Antonious Padua Secondary School held a protest on Monday (9/3/2020) at their schoolyard in Sentani of Jayapura Regency following racism taunts by a teacher on Saturday (6/3/2020) during the scout camp. Students demand school authority to dismiss the teacher.
A student Viktor S Kiya tells Jubi on Monday (9/3/2020) that the incident occurred on Saturday when students got ready for the flag ceremony.
“At that time, only one teacher was ready in the courtyard while the other four teachers were in the hut. They told students to start and lead the ceremony,” says Kiya.
However, students declined the order because they thought it was not their tasks but the teachers. Therefore, some students just sat down when seeing the flag ceremony had not started yet.
Knowing that the flag ceremony would not start very soon, a teacher with an initial MGU was angry. She then blurted out racism taunts and said students have no brain.
“Then, she said [students] have no brain. I witnessed and heard it by myself. I suddenly become so emotional and be offended because of that,” says Kiya.
He then encouraged his friends to leave the courtyard and return to the dormitory. “We stay at the dormitory. The principal [finally came, called us to come down from the dormitory] attended the closing ceremony of the scout camp event,” says Kiya.
Meanwhile, the principal of Santo Antonious Padua Secondary School Fransina Hikinda admitted that she did not know about the dispute because she was at her office at the time of the incident. According to her, the teacher MGU had declared her regret for the occurrence before her and some students.
“The teacher already apologised and admitted that she had made a mistake. She regretted saying those words because she could not control her emotion at that time. She did not mean to say it,” says Hikinda.
Furthermore, Hikinda says this incident would become school evaluation, and she hopes it would not trigger any new issues. Also, she confirms students’ demand to dismiss MGU from the school. However, she could not prompt this demand.
“Their aspiration is difficult to materialise. We lack teachers in this school,” she says.
Jayapura Regent warns racism taunts to happen
Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw reminds all residents in Jayapura Regency to not carry some activities led to racism taunts or hate speech.
His statement relates to the alleged racism incident by a teacher that occurred in Santo Antonious Padua Secondary College in Sentani on Saturday (7/3/2020).
“Concerning racism, the government is strictly concerned that this issue should never happen again,” says the regent in Sentani on Monday (9/3/2020).
Furthermore, he says both government and community agreed to fight and eliminate any forms of racism in this country, including in Jayapura Regency that currently become the Harmonious Integrity Zone.
“We will investigate this case. It cannot be tolerable if it has truly happened here,” says the regent.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Fitowin, the Chairman of PGRI (Indonesian Teachers Association) in Jayapura, says the technical institution, in this case, the Education Office, must take a prompt response to the teacher who did racism taunts towards her students at school.
“I just found out about this incident. If it is true, the relevant office and police should take a concrete step towards the teacher,” he says.
It understood that the students of Santo Antonius held a peaceful demonstration at their schoolyard. They urged the school authority to take actions on racism taunts by a teacher. So far, the school authority had apologised to both junior and senior high school students for this incident. Currently, the case is under the police’s investigation. (*)
Reporter: Yance Wenda
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Humanitarian Special Committee visit Nduga refugees in Jayawijaya
Wamena, Jubi – The Humanitarian Special Committee of Papua House of Representatives visit Nduga refugees on Monday (9/3/2020) in the churchyard of Kingmi Church in Elekma, Jayawijaya Regency. During their recess time, the parliament members want to confirm the information declaring no more Nduga residents refuge to other districts within the Central Highland Mountainous region.
Veriana Wakerkwa, the chairwoman of Humanitarian Special Committee of Papuan House of Representatives, says together with two committee members, she immediately comes to Wamena when heard information about Nduga refugees. Their visit aims to observe as well as to update the public about the current situation of refugees. It finds that refugees urgently need education and health services.
“As people’s representative in the parliament, we do not only want to see but also take this experience to the parliament to discuss with the rest of the committee members and relevant stakeholders to complete the data of refugees,” she says.
Meanwhile, the committee vice-chairman Namantus Gwijangge says the parliament would not intervene the state’s statement declaring there are no refugees from Nduga, notably settled in Jayawijaya.
The most important is, he further says, the committee only wants to confirm the fact that Nduga refugees ever existed despite now they are staying with their relatives in some locations in Jayawijaya.
“Especially for refugees’ data in Jayawijaya, we found that they are more than five thousand. We have their detail information, including the name of family head and members, current address and regional origin,” he says.
Furthermore, he says in terms of education, the problem is students cannot go to school. “We have talked with Nduga Regional Government, in particular, the Regional Education Office about the possibility to bring the students back to their old school. It needs careful planning to do so.”
Therefore, he suggests both provincial and regional governments pay attention to refugees to avoid the impression that the government has neglected them, especially school-aged children.
“This humanitarian committee was established to build peace in this land. Our purpose is to create peacebuilding among such complicated existing issues. Therefore, it needs collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including military and police, to consult with the community or any parties, to discuss with provincial and regional governments about the future of refugees,” he says. (*)
Reporter: Islami Adisubrata
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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