Jayapura, Jubi – The General Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) of Papua said more than 1,600 ballots in eight of the 11 districts holding simultaneous elections in Papua scheduled for December 9 were damaged.
Papua Bawaslu chairman, Robert Horik said the finding was reported by the Election Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) in regency to local Bawaslu.
“There are 1,648 ballots damaged. Most ballots damaged are in Yahukimo and Pegunungan Bintang. The number reached 1,125 pieces, “said Horik, on Monday (11/30/2015).
According to him, the eight regencies that ballots damaged are Keerom (145 ballots), Nabire (125 ballots), Mamberamo Raya (42 ballots), Waropen (107 ballots), Pegunungan Bintang (825 ballots), Yalimo (46 ballots), Yakuhimo (300 ballots), and Merauke (58 ballots).
Bawaslu Papua has recommended to report finding thousands of ballots that damaged to the KPU Papua, subsequently forwarded to the District Election Commission. Regarding logistics distribution into 10 districts so far run smoothly. The delivery to Boven Digoel could not be realized because there is a dispute of candidate.
Papua KPU commissioners Legal Affairs and Oversight, Tarwinto when reporters confirmed via phone said, he would instruct the printing to replace the damaged ballots. (Arjuna Pademme/Tina)
Indonesia’s political system has ‘failed’ its minorities – like West Papuans
By David Robie
A human rights defender and researcher has warned in a new book published on the eve of the Indonesian national elections tomorrow that the centralised political system has failed many of the country’s 264 million people – especially minorities and those at the margins, such as in West Papua.
Author Andreas Harsono also says a “radical change is needed in the mindset of political leaders” and he is not optimistic for such changes after the election.
Harsono is author of Race, Islam and Power: Ethnic and Religious Violence in Post-Suharto Indonesia, a book based on 15 years of research and travel between Sabang in Aceh in the west and Merauke in West Papua in the East.
Founding President Sukarno used the slogan “from Sabang to Merauke” when launching a campaign – ultimately successful – to seize West Papua in 1961.
But, as Harsono points out, the expression should really be from Rondo Island (an unpopulated islet) to Sota (a remote border post on the Papua New Guinean boundary.
Harsono, a former journalist and Human Rights Watch researcher since 2008, argues that Indonesia might have been more successful by creating a federation rather than a highly centralised state controlled from Jakarta.
“Violence on post-Suharto Indonesia, from Aceh to West Papua, from Kalimantan to the Moluccas, is evidence that Java-centric nationalism is unable to distribute power fairly in an imagined Indonesia,” he says. “It has created unnecessary paranoia and racism among Indonesian migrants in West Papua.
“The Papuans simply reacted by saying they’re Melanesians – not Indonesians. They keep questioning the manipulation of the United Nations-sponsored Act of Free Choice in 1969.”
Critics and cynics have long dismissed what they see as a deeply flawed process involving only 1025 voters selected by the Indonesian military as the “Act of No Choice”.
Harsono’s criticisms have been borne out by a range of Indonesian activist and watchdog groups, who say the generals behind the two presidential frontrunners are ridden with political interests.
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) have again warned that both presidential candidate tickets — incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Ma’ruf Amin as well as rival Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno — have close ties with retired TNI (Indonesian military) generals.
These retired officers are beholden to political interests and the prospect of resolving past human rights violations will “become increasingly bleak” no matter who is elected as the next president.
Kontras noted that nine out of the 27 retired officers who are behind Widodo and Ma’ruf have a “problematic track record on human rights”.
“Likewise with Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno where there are eight retired officers who were allegedly involved in past cases of HAM violations”, said Kontras researcher Rivanlee Anandar.
Prabowo himself, a former special forces commander, is implicated in many human rights abuses. He has been accused of abduction and torture of 23 pro-democracy activists in the late 1990s and he is regarded as having knowledge of the killing hundreds of civilians in Santa Cruz massacre in Timor-Leste.
90,000 killed post-Sukarno
Harsono’s 280-page book, with seven chapters devoted to regions of Indonesia, documents an ”internally complex and riven nation” with an estimated 90,000 people having been killed in the decade after Suharto’s departure.
“In East Timor, President Suharto’s successor B. J. Habibie agreed to have a referendum [on independence]. Indonesia lost and it generated a bloodbath,” says Harsono.
“Habibie’s predecessors, Megawati Sukanoputri and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, refused to admit [that] the Indonesian military’s occupation, despite a United Nations’ finding, had killed 183,000 people between 1975 and 1999.”
Harsono notes how in 1945 Indonesia’s “non-Javanese founders Mohammad Hatta, Sam Ratu Langie and Johannes Latuharhary wanted an Indonesia that was democratic and decentralised. They advocated a federation.”
However, Sukarno, Supomo and Mohammad Yamin wanted instead a centralised unitarian state.
“Understanding the urgency to fight incoming Dutch troops, Latuharhary accepted Supomo’s proposal but suggested the new republic hold a referendum as soon as it became independent. Sukarno agreed but this decision has never been executed.”
The establishment of a unitarian state “naturally created the Centre”, says Harsono. “Jakarta has been accumulated and controlling political, cultural, educational, economic, informational and ideological power.
“The closer a region to Jakarta, the better it will benefit from the Centre. Java is the closest to the Centre.
“The further a region is from the Centre, the more neglected it will be. West Papua, Aceh, East Timor and the Moluccas are among those furthest away from Jakarta.”
The centralised political system needed a “long and complex bureaucracy” and this “naturally created corruption”, Harsono explains.
“Indonesia is frequently ranked as the most corrupt country in Asia. Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd listed Indonesia as the most corrupt country in Asia in 2005.”
Harsono also notes how centralised power has helped a religious and ethnic majority that sees itself as “justified to have privileges and to rule over the minorities”.
The author cites the poet Leon Agasta as saying, “They’re the two most dangerous words in Indonesia: Islam and Java.” Muslim majority and Javanese dominance.
Harsono regards the Indonesian government’s response to demands for West Papuan “self-determination” as “primarily military and repressive: viewing Papuan ‘separatists’ as criminals, traitors and enemies of the Republic of Indonesia”.
He describes this policy as a “recipe for ongoing military operations to search for and destroy Papuan ‘separatists’, a term that could be applied to a large, if not overwhelming, portion of the Papuan population”.
Ruthless Indonesian military
“The Indonesian military, having lost their previous power bases in east Timor and Aceh, ruthlessly maintain their control over West Papua, both as a power base and as considerable source of revenue.
“The Indonesian military involvement in legal businesses, such as mining and logging, and allegedly, illegal businesses, such as alcohol, prostitution, extortion and wildlife smuggling, provide significant funds for the military as an organisation and also for individual officers.”
Pro-independence leaders have called on West Papuans to boycott the Indonesian elections tomorrow.
Andreas Harsono launched his journalism career as a reporter for the Bangkok-based Nation and the Kuala Lumpur-based Star newspapers. In the 1990s, he helped establish Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) – then an illegal group under the Suharto regime, and today the most progressive journalists union in the republic.
Harsono was also founder of the Jakarta-based Institute for the Studies on the Free Flow of Information and of the South East Asia Press Alliance (SEAPA).
In a separate emailed interview with me in response to a question about whether there was light at the end of the tunnel, Harsono replied: I do not want to sound pessimistic but visiting dozens of sites of mass violence, seeing survivors and families’ who lost their lost ones, I just realised that mass killings took place all over Indonesia.
“It’s not only about the 1965 massacres –despite them being the biggest of all– but also the Papuans, the Timorese, the Acehnese, the Madurese etc.
“Basically all major islands in Indonesia, from Sumatra to Papua, have witnessed huge violence and none of them have been professionally understood. The truth of those mass killings have not been found yet.” (asiapacificreport.nz)
Professor David Robie is director of the Pacific Media Centre.
West Papuans call for mass boycott of Indonesian elections
By Tom Stayner of SBS News
A West Papuan independence leader and Nobel peace prize nominee is calling for a mass boycott of Indonesia’s upcoming elections to bring attention to their independence struggle.
Benny Wenda was granted political asylum in the United Kingdom 16 years ago – following an escape from custody while on trial in West Papua.
In exile, he has led the campaign for the self-determination that his countrymen say they have lacked since Indonesia gained internationally-recognised control of West Papua through a disputed referendum vote 50 years ago.
Wenda told SBS News from London, that he is calling for a mass boycott of Indonesia’s upcoming elections to again bring attention to a decades long independence struggle.
“This is a critical time for our people because the election for a colonial occupied force is not legitimate,” Wenda said.
“FROM NOW ON WE WILL NOT TAKE PART IN INDONESIAN ELECTIONS BECAUSE WE ARE NOT INDONESIAN.”
“We are Melanesian. We are the Pacific islanders… People are fed up – enough is enough,” he said.
On April 17 – more than 190 million registered Indonesian voters will go to the polls for presidential and general elections.
Favoured incumbent President Joko Widodo is being challenged by former military general Prabowo Subianto.
Subianto is also the son-in-law of long-time former President Suharto – who led Indonesia for three decades.
Southeast Asia analyst Damien Kingsbury said both candidates have adopted “nationalist” sentiments in their campaign so far.
“There are both populists that are operating on a populist agenda,” he said.
“Jokowi is trying to broaden his appeal out to the middle ground of Indonesian voters. Prabowo is appealing much more to a base.”
Professor Kingsbury said despite making up some recent ground, Subianto is well behind President Widodo in most polling.
“The polls have been showing that Jokowi is running at around the 50 percent mark in terms of popularity,” he said.
“Prabowo is running at around the 30 percent mark with a significant number of undecided voters.”
This is the second time the two rivals will face off after President Widodo defeated Subianto in elections five years ago.
According to the West Papua National Committee, hundreds of thousands of West Papuans boycotted those elections in 2014.
West Papuan militants back boycott
Indonesia’s control of West Papua has long been a flash-point for ongoing low level conflict between Indonesian forces and Indigenous Papuan militants.
Indonesia recently deployed 600 soldiers to protect the building of a major highway in West Papua, in response to the killings of 19 Indonesian road workers. The road project was a signature promise that President Joko Widodo made to the region.
In following clashes with militants, Indonesia’s military said three of its soldiers were killed along with up to 10 rebels.
But despite this escalation, Professor Kingsbury said West Papua had essentially been a “non-issue” in the election campaign.
“Both candidates believe that that Melanesian West Papuans should accept they are Indonesian,” he said.
“[They believe] the separatist movement [in West Papua] is essentially a criminal organisation.”
In a statement seen by SBS News, the West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB-OPM) declared its intention to support the push to boycott 2019 elections.
“The TPNPB-OPM never recognised the existence of the Colonial Government of the Republic of Indonesia in Papuans Customary Lands,” the statement reads. (asiapacificreport.nz)
Foreign journalists must secure a permit to monitor general elections in Papua
Manokwari, Jubi – Foreign journalists and monitoring institutions can monitor general elections in Indonesia, particularly Manokwari, West Papua province, if they secure permits and immigration documents.
The permits can be obtained from the Foreign Ministry, Chief of the Manokwari Immigration Office Bugie Kurniawan said in a press briefing on Friday (12/4/2019).
The foreign monitoring institutions must be official institutions accredited by the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu).
“Foreign monitoring institutions can monitor the elections through two ways. One of them is that they are invited by the elections’ organizers such as KPU (General Elections Commission) and Bawaslu,” he said.
The second way is that they can file applications, while they must meet qualifications as monitoring institutions, he said.
Foreign journalists wishing to cover the elections must secure a permit from the Foreigners’ Visits Coordination Team (Tim Pora) at the Foreign Ministry. The team is made up of representatives from the State Intelligence Board (BIN), the National Police (Polri), immigration office and other related supervisory elements.
He said the Manokwari Immigration Office will supervise foreign nationals before and after the April 17, 2019 elections.
The Immigration Office is coordinating and exchanging information with Bawaslu, intelligence officials, and law enforcers and Tim Pora.
“We will supervise foreign journalists and monitoring officers up to a sub-district level before, during and after the 2019 elections,”: he said.
On 10th April, Bugie Kurniawan has insisted that it will take firm action against foreign journalists trying to cover the elections in West Papua.
“We will act firmly if there are foreign media [journalists] reporting on April 17. Report them to use if there are foreigners covering TPS [polling stations], we will secure and deport those concerned and enter their names on the banned list”, he said.
Kurniawan continued saying that the immigration office is coordinating with the General Elections Supervisory Board in dealing with foreign journalists reporting in West Papua. (*)
- Indonesia’s political system has ‘failed’ its minorities – like West Papuans 22 April 2019
- TAPOL and ETAN seek judicial review of 1969 ‘self-determination’ Papua vote 16 April 2019
- West Papuans call for mass boycott of Indonesian elections 15 April 2019
- Foreign journalists must secure a permit to monitor general elections in Papua 13 April 2019
- Papuan challenging the legality of 1969 Act of Free Choice 13 April 2019
- Tunggu hasil KPU, masyarakat Papua jangan percaya hoaks di Pemilu 2019 22 April 2019
- Usai pemilu, quick count pun tiba 22 April 2019
- Mengurai plastik dengan eckobrik 22 April 2019
- Besok, satu kampung di Boven Digoel Pemilu susulan 22 April 2019
- Paskah menerangi realitas kehidupan 22 April 2019
- HWD ajakan menjaga warisan Papua 22 April 2019
- Ini alasan Pemkab Jawaijaya belum tangani ODGJ 22 April 2019
- Sebelas TPS di Papua Barat harus PSU 22 April 2019
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