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Pacific Forum countries urged to follow up on West Papua

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Rosa Moiwend, West Papuan reearcher and human rights defender.Rosa Moiwend, West Papuan reearcher and human rights defender. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Papua, Jubi – A West Papuan human rights defender has called for more Pacific islands countries to speak up internationally about human rights abuses in her homeland.

Rosa Moiwend, who has been visiting New Zealand this week, said it was important that Pacific Islands Forum countries advanced this issue to reflect widespread, grassroots concern for West Papua in the region.

At the 2015 Pacific Forum summit, leaders agreed to push for a fact-finding mission to Papua.

Indonesia is yet to allow such a mission to visit, but Ms Moiwend said forum members must follow this up.

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“Because otherwise it’s just lip service from the forum,” she said.

“Members of the Pacific Islands Forum are also UN members, so we need more and more Pacific Island countries to speak about the human rights situation in West Papua.”

According to Ms Moiwend, while several small Pacific countries have raised Papua at the UN, bigger countries such as Australia and New Zealand should support them.

Development

Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s infrastructure development drive in Papua is proving traumatic for remote indigenous communities, Ms Moiwend said.

Its centre-piece is the Trans-Papua Road project which is being built through some of Papua’s most remote terrain.

The project is also at the heart of heightened conflict in Papua’s Highlands since the West Papua Liberation Army massacred at least 16 road construction workers last December.

While conceding that opening up access to Papua through the project had its benefits, Ms Moiwend said it also brought outsiders and development that local Papuans were not prepared for.

“It will also open a space for more and more military and police posts along the road, because of the security reason that they will say.

“And it’s actually threatened people’s lives because for West Papuans people are traumatic with the presence of the military.”

Ms Moiwend’s family are customary landowners in Merauke in Papua’s south where rapid oil palm and agri-business development is underway.

“Customary land is actually affected by these big projects – food project and oil palm plantation,” Ms Moiwend explained, adding that indigenous communities had little say in the development

“I think government needs to discuss with the people. You can’t just come and (start) plotting the land and then invite the investor to come and invest their money because people rely on our land.

“The land is the source of our food. So if they want to replace with something else, then how can they provide food for our people?” (*)

 

Source: RNZI

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HIV/AIDS transmission in Jayapura Regency claimed to decline

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Photo illustration of health services. – Pexels.com

Sentani, Jubi – Jayapura Health Office claims HIV/AIDS cases in Jayapura Regency has declined with only 3,202 cases occurred until last year.

“HIV/AIDS prevention is a complex issue. It would not only the responsibility of the health office, but all parties should contribute in educating the community,” said Pungut Sunarto, the Division Head of Disease Prevention and Management of the Jayapura Regional Health Office, on Tuesday (21/1/2020).

People living with HIV/AIDS in Jayapura Regency are mostly the productive age group ranging from 20-49 years old. There are also infants and children among patients.

“We are always updating the report on people living with HIV/AIDS [in our region]. If not, they would not be able to access the ARV,” said Pungut.

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He further said that the family plays a crucial role in preventing HIV/AIDS transmission. Similarly, he continued, life endurance among people living with HIV/AIDS depends on the support from their closest family.

“Those living with HIV/AIDS who regularly take their medicines (ARV) can reduce their medicine (ARV) can reduce the risk of virus transmission. So, please do not blame and stigmatise them,” said Pungut.

Meanwhile, a Sentani resident Edison Sineri agrees that parents have a significant role in preventing their children from behaviours that likely lead to the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexual diseases.

“Currently, young people are easily get involved in promiscuity that difficult to control by parents. It possibly leads them to negative behaviours.” (*)

 

Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Lawyers question commitment over Papuan political prisoners’ right

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Three of seven Papuan political prisoners. – Jubi/Piter Lokon

Nabire, Jubi – The Papua Coalition for Law Enforcement and Human Rights urges the attorney general to fulfil the right of health for seven political prisoners detained in Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur and consider it as a neglection of the prisoners’ rights.

“We release this statement after one of our clients experienced vomiting blood. He had an internal disease issue,” said the Coordinator Emanuel Gobay on Friday (24/1/2020).

The coalition team asks the Papuan Attorney General’s commitment to providing the right of health to the prisoners as previously promised. It never occurred. Indeed, the Attorney General has neglected their family’s right to visit.

“If the seven detainees were in Papua, of course, their family can come to visit and find an alternative for health treatment.

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Therefore, Gobay urges the Attorney General of Papua to recall the seven political prisoners to Jayapura. He said the security issue is no longer relevant as a reason to allocate their trial outside of Papua.

“It is unfair (for the seven detainees) referred that all the trial hearings of anti-racism case held in Papua. All those trials are going well and safe,” asserted Gobay.

Meanwhile, a coalition member Oktovianus Tabuni added that in principle the seven political prisoners are respecting their legal process. However, they want to have their trial in Papua.

“The principle of a trial is to have a timely and low-cost process. Do not let it (the trial) float up like what has been happening now,” said Tabuni. (*)

 

Reporter: Titus Ruban

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Autonomy budget cut off, Jayawijaya Government reduce supplementary feeding budget

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Photo illustration of milk. -Pixabay.com

Wamena, Jubi – The Government of Jayawijaya Regency has reduced the number of schools to receive funding on the Supplementary Feeding Program (PMTAS). The reduction relates to the Special Autonomy Funds cut off for the PON (the National Games) 2020

Nurlili, an official at the Jayawijaya Village Community Empowerment Office (DPMK), said last year the program was running in five schools in Napua, Maima, Musaftaf, Wita Waya and Wadangku subdistricts.

“There allocate for only two schools this year because of the budget cut off for the PON. We depend on the Special Autonomy Funds for this program,” Nurlili said in Wamena on Tuesday (21/1/2020).

In 2020, the local government plans to implement the program in four sub-districts, namely Asolokobal, Wesaput, Muliama and Tagime. “But, Muliama and Tagime sub-districts are a bit far, so we decided to implement the program in the zone two, namely in SD YPPK Hepuba in Asolokobal Sub-district and SD Inpres Wesaput in Wesaput Subdistrict,” he said.

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The budget allocation for PMTAS Year 2020 reduced from IDR 857 million to IDR 468 million.

However, Nurlili hopes that in February they can conduct training for teachers and women at sub-districts and village levels on healthy food for children.

“At the end of the training, we will purchase some items that are not available in sub-districts and villages to deliver in March. They will be cooking food for the pupils, and we will monitor its implementation. There will be a payment for the cooks, but they should submit the report first,” he said.

In addition to food ingredients, the local government also provides cash for schools to purchase some food from the local markets to help the cash flow of villages and sub-districts.

“This program is very critical because President Jokowi has instructed us to decrease stunting among children. Therefore, we allocate the PMTAS for the primary school children because it is their growth period,” he said. (*)

 

Source: ANTARA

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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