Jakarta, Jubi – Legislator Tantowi Yahya reminded the Indonesian Government to not underestimate the Papua issue and it has always been a burning topic among the Pacific countries under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
“They (Pacific countries) have a desire to redo the referendum,” said Tantowi, a member of House of Representatives Commission I, during a discussion held Wednesday (27/1/2016) by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences titled “Following Up on President Jokowi’s Policy for Papua as Land of Peace”.
“They even formed a fact-finding team on human rights violation in Papua. The relation between Indonesia with the MSG countries such as Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu is good, but there’s movement that cannot be underestimated. That is the movement to support the Freedom Papua,” said Tantowi.
Major General Yoedhi Swastono, another speaker at the seminar, said the MSG is more likely to discuss social problems and Melanesian culture, including Papua.
“ULMWP is the Indonesian-Melanesian representative abroad. Internally it was declared on 6 October 2015 in Ambon. The Indonesian-Melanesian brotherhood has been established by five governors of Papua, Papua Barat, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara,” he said in this forum.
He said the Indonesian-Melanesian Brotherhood is the cultural organization under supervision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. “So, it is not right if talking about Papua diaspora abroad only representing the Papuan community group,” he said,
But Tantowi disagreed, saying MSG is not the cultural forum but political forum. In every agendas set by the Pacific countries, it always put the human rights violations issue in Papua as topic of discussion.
According to him, the internationalized of Papua issues is very frightened. Now the result is started to see that more countries now give support to Papua to split from the Republic of Indonesia.
Within the last three years, he continued, he visited to Pacific countries for several times and conduct several secret meetings with Free Papua activists abroad.
“We see there is a change in desire. Previous they wanted the Indonesian Government to solve the problems of poverty, undeveloped and injustice. But now they finally found out that those issues are not marketable to be sold to the international community. Like or dislike it got the result, including the support from many countries who want Papua to be separated from Indonesia,” he said.
He also said the political riot that recently occurred in Indonesia has become an opportunity for Free Papua activists to conduct diplomatic movement. He said do not think the Free Papua activists to not pay attention on the Indonesian political riot. Now the Papua issue in the international community cannot be blocked.
“The Papua’s issue could not be solved only by the government, the coordination between ministries and government’s institutions is also weak. Besides both government and legislative council have different opinion on Papua problems. The government considered the problems are still about poverty, social gap, underdeveloped and injustice. While we see there is a shift of struggle sounded by Free Papua activists,” he added.
Meanwhile Latifah Anum Siregar said if the Indonesian Government wants to create a dialogue, it should integrate the stakeholders’ point of view. There shouldn’t be a different point of view. “Many parties also should be involved and those appointed by the president to manage Papua should be clear. Do not let one ministry come up with its agenda overlap with other ministries’ agenda,” said Siregar.
In the same place, Victor Mambor added that the question is now whether indigenous Papuans is really a concern of the Indonesian Government in Papua. Which one the most important, indigenous Papuans or the land of Papua with all natural resources included?
During the time when the indigenous Papuans were being shot, killed, or so on, Indonesia was very slow in give response; even it seems careless.
“But when it happened in other places, its response was fast and every parties cared. For instance, the Paniai case, the incident was occurred in the midday, witnessed by hundreds of people, there is evidence of bullet chasing, but the perpetrators have not yet revealed until now. It might be not the people, indigenous Papuans that it wants, but our land and natural resources,” said Mambor.
Regarding to discussion raised by MSG countries members on Papua, he said, since 2010-2015 he had the opportunities to cover a number of MSG meeting. Papua issue did not appear from somewhere. He even considered that the issue discussed by MSG in 2015 was beyond compare to 2013.
“In that year it was clear that MSG stated it recognized the self-determination of West Papua and there were human rights violations. This issue would be raised all the time,” he said. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)
Docking their yachts at Jayapura Seaport, foreigners scrutinised by local immigration office
Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura Immigration, Seaport Health Quarantine Office, Maritime and Port Authority secured and interrogated four foreign citizens on Wednesday (18/3/2020) following their act sailing to Jayapura sea and docking private yachts at Jayapura Seaport.
The Head of Jayapura Immigration Gatut Setiawan states the four foreigners arrived in Jayapura by two different yachts. The Singaporean Wong Tet Chong took Ximula-3 Langkawi, while Bruno Coolmet of France came to Jayapura with his wife and future son-in-law by Krypton.
“The four sailed from Sorong, West Papua Province and got clearance from Sorong Immigration. But, as soon they arrived in Jayapura, they were going to the downtown without reporting their arriving to the quarantine office and seaport authority,” said Gatut in Jayapura on Wednesday (18/3/2020).
In his statement, Gatut said Wong Tet Chong initially wanted to sail his yacht to Papua New Guinea but change the destination to Jayapura due to bad weather and engine problem. Besides, the authority of Papua New Guinea has currently closed access to the country.
“The immigration, quarantine office and seaport authority has interrogated (him) and conducted the thermal check as a procedure of coronavirus anticipation. His body temperature was normal, so we gave him two days to leave the Jayapura water. If he is still around [more than two days], the seaport authority will forcibly pull out his yacht out of Indonesia,” said Gatut.
Meanwhile, Gatut said the immigration did not found any immigration violations conducted by Bruno Coolmet, his wife and their future son-in-law because they have a legal permit to stay until 1 April 2020.
“Although they did not break the immigration rule, they should deal with both quarantine office and seaport authority because [docked and left their yacht at the seaport] without reporting. In the future, we will be more restricted to protect the security of the sea from invasion by foreigners or others by involving the quarantine office, seaport authority and other relevant offices,” said Gatut.
After completing their administrative issue with the quarantine office, the three French national should leave the Jayapura Sea. “The immigration is keeping their documents as a guarantee,” he said.
Earlier, Deputy Governor of Papua Province Klemen Tinal asked the Immigration, Seaport Quarantine Office and other relevant offices to restrict the surveillance over passengers at airports, seaports and other entries to anticipate the spreading of coronavirus to Papua.
“Restriction and inspection should be done more strictly to both foreign and domestic passengers coming to Papua,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Alexander Loen
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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
80 candles lit to commemorate one-year of Sentani flash flood
Sentani, Jubi – Flash food that hit Sentani on 16 March 2019 is still kept strictly in the memory of those who experienced it. Even today, after one year of the disaster, many people are still living in refugee camps. To commemorate one year of the incident, young people and the Baptist Sunday School of Imanuel Toladan Church organise worship and several activities to pray for their family members who passed away in this natural disaster.
“We have not prepared this event for a long time, but we think this is what we can do. We want to remember the incident where all Sunday School’s students were gathering in the ‘island’ for worshipping then suddenly the flash flood came,” says Jenny Marlin Wenda, the GBIT Sunday School Principal, to Jubi on Monday evening (16/3/2020).
Furthermore, she adds that there is nothing more valuable than being grateful to God.
“So, here we are today. Mr Jeff Ron comes to give us a preach and motivate those who attend the worship today. Before praying, we lit 80 candles that provided by our school, then watch movies while gathering for coffee in the churchyard,” she says.
Besides youth and Baptist congregations, this event also involves nearby neighbours.
“We also thank those who participated to join the event and pray with us. We meet with families of victims who join and bring some food for all of us to enjoy. They feel this worship is important to them, so they come to join,” she says.
Moreover, she says no one ever thinks that they would survive in flah flood.
“When remembering that experience, I am sad because it caused 114 death, 205 missing and 961 injured, while approximately 11,725 are currently living in refugee camps. “
Meanwhile, Jeff Ron Sohilait in his preach says in difficult time humans might not think that they will survive during a flash flood, but nothing is impossible for God. God opened the way for us when we were at the island at the time.
“At that night, God opened us the way. He brought us out of place at that time. It means He has a certain purpose for the children of Sunday School in this world,” he says.
“On Saturday evening one year ago, these children went to the worship, and because of their prayer, God came to save them. This is a great testimony where God came to them in the sudden episode and guided them to the safe place,” says Jeff Ron. (*)
Reporter: Yance Wenda
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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