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Papuans plan to boycott Indonesian elections, say activists

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Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua spokesperson Surya Anta (centre) speaking at LBH Jakarta last week. -CNN Indonesia

Papua, Jubi – West Papuan people will not take part in Indonesia’s 2019 presidential and legislative elections, say the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP).

This is because they accuse the Indonesian government of illegal political practices in Papua, of failing to uphold the rights of the Papuan people and because both presidential candidates have a bad track record on Papua.

“Indonesia is a state which since the declaration of the Trikora operation on December 19, 1961, has conducted illegal political activities in the territory”, said FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) offices in Central Jakarta last week.

“Because of this we are taking a position and declaring that we will not take part in the 2019 presidential or legislative elections,” he said.

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Anta explained that what they mean by the territory of West Papua was an area extending from Numbai to Merauke, Raja Ampat to Baliem and Biak Island to Adi Island.

The groups also believe that the contestants in the 2019 election on April 17 are the same as those in previous elections where candidates are only interested in gathering votes from the Papuan people.

However, there has been no effort by the legislative, presidential or vice-presidential candidates to uphold the rights of the West Papuan people, they say.

Maintaining colonialism

Speaking in the same vein, Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) national collective secretary-general Samsi Mahmud said that the Papuan people were not interested in the 2019 elections.

Aside from Indonesia’s illegal political activities, according to Mahmud none of the political parties are articulating the wishes of the Papuan people and the elections are only aimed at maintaining the practice of colonialism.

“[The elections] are a tool for the colonial government to put local power holders in place to safeguard their interests”, said Mahmud.

AMP member Erepul Sama said there was no difference between the two presidential candidates, incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, particularly in their handling of human rights violations.

“Prabowo himself has a bad track record in Papua such as the Mapenduma incident. But this doesn’t mean that Jokowi is any better”, said Sama.

“Jokowi has allowed human rights violations to occur again and again, for example in the bloody Paniai case which has still not been resolved”, he added.

Aside from declaring that they will not take part in the 2019 elections, the FRP-WP and the AMP made three other demands: West Papuans be given the right to self-determination, All organic and non-organic troops be withdrawn from Papua, and Journalists be given free access to Papua.

Background

Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961.

It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement.

The Mapenduma operation was a botched rescue operation in the remote Mapenduma area of West Papua led by then Kopassus commander Prabowo Subianto in 1996 to secure the release of World Wildlife Fund researches taken hostage by the Free Papua Movement.

The attempt ended in a military attack on Geselema village resulting in the death of up to eight civilians.

On December 8, 2014, barely two months after Widodo was sworn in as president, five students were killed and 17 others seriously injured when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency.

Shortly after the incident, Widodo personally pledged to resolve the case but four years into his presidency no one has been held accountable for the shootings. (pmc.aut.ac.nz/CNN Indonesia)

 

Source: Pasific Media Centre

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NGOs questions KPA on billions of funds channelling for people living with HIV

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HIV/AIDS Care volunteers who were recruited by KPA Papua province a few months ago to help KPA in counselling. – Jubi / Agus Pabika

Jayapura, Jubi – Some NGOs and communities working with people living with HIV in Jayapura asked the Provincial Aids Commission (KPA) of Papua to transparently report the distribution of funds amounted Rp 1.5 billion allocated to increase nutritional intake among people living with HIV in Papua Province.

The chairperson of the Papua Community Health Development Foundation (YPKM) Joice Erlerly said so far these institutions are not aware of the funds distributed by the KPA Papua.

“We knew about this information after reading an article published in a printed newspaper in Jayapura City. However, the article did not state who had received the funds? Where did it distribute? Regional or provincial level?” said Joice on Tuesday (08/13/2019).

Moreover, she added her institution have never had the coordination or communicated with KPA about any distribution of funds for people living with HIV/AIDS. “YPKM along with those who care about this issue still provide nutritional intake for people living with HIV,” she said.

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Concerning the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Papua, she clarifies there are 48 thousand in which 6,000 alone are living in Jayapura City.

Meanwhile, Roberth Sihombing, an HIV activist in Papua, said that the five thousand people living in HIV/AIDS mentioned by the KPA Papua must be held accountable. “It would be nice if the KPA Papua works together with health services such as hospitals, community health centres and NGOs that assist people living with HIV/AIDS to get a valid data,” he said.

As clearly stated by him, people living with HIV/AIDS, in particular, those who registered in the community health centres need nutritional intake, especially pregnant women.

“A good program will only be more effective if it’s been well because the program of HIV/AIDS prevention and elimination requires the involvement of all parties. If the KPA Papua already had a study on nutritional intake needs among people living in HIV/AIDS, they can go ahead. Unfortunately, I think they don’t,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Agus Pabika
Editor: Maizier Pipit

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GempaR-Papua asks Indonesia to stop exploiting Papua Resources

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GempaR-Papua in a protest conducted in front of the University of Cenderawasih’s gate, Perumnas 3 Waena some times ago. – Jubi / Agus Pabika

Jayapura, Jubi – GempaR-Papua (Papuan Student, Youth and People Movement) of Jayapura Municipality urges the Government of Indonesia to discontinue all projects that often related to economic development, but in reality threatening the life of the indigenous community.

The Chairman of GempaR-Papua Samuel Womsiwor said it involves many interests ranging from long-term investments to the exploitation of natural resources in which triggering many human rights violations for both Kamoro and Amungme peoples.

“We decline the national food security program –the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate—in Merauke. Also, we reject the militarization of all efforts to spread the investment throughout Papua that supported by President Joko Widodo. Therefore, we urge the Government of Indonesia to open the access to Hak Guna Usaha (HGU) for the community,” Wamsiwor stated in a release received by Jubi on Tuesday (13/8/2019).

Further, GempaR-Papua also asks the Indonesian Government to immediately withdraw its troops from Nduga due to human rights violations occurred against indigenous peoples. Importantly, they also urge the government to open access to local, national, international journalists and humanitarian workers to work in Nduga and throughout Papua. (*)

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Reporter: Agus Pabika
Editor: Maizier Pipit

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PNG governor wants West Papua referendum

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Powes Parkop, the governor of Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District. Photo: RNZ /Johnny Blades

Papua, Jubi – The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital district wants Indonesia to allow West Papua to undertake an independence referendum.

In a statement, Powes Parkop also backed a call from Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Papua at next week’s Forum leaders summit.

Mr Parkop said the crisis in Papua had escalated due to Pacific nations letting fear of Indonesia dictate their approach to it.

He said the Melanesian Spearhead Group should also accept an application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

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“Indonesia must realize that when it choose to restore the rights and dignity of the West Papuan people it will unleash great joy.”

Mr Parkop said he had delivered the same message on West Papua to PNG Prime Minister James Marape and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovare.

According to him, he planned to also deliver it to the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the US, adding that he had requested a meeting with Indonesia’s government.

Jakarta says Papua’s incorporation into the Indonesian is final and non-negotiable.

Papuan Liberation Movement welcomes foreign ministers’ call

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has welcomed a resolution by Pacific foreign ministers to push for a UN Human Rights office visit to Papua.

In January, the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Indonesia’s government agreed in principle for a team from her office to visit Papua.

However, Pacific Forum members are concerned that the invitation is not being honoured. Forum foreign ministers have called for the timing of the visit by to be finalised by both parties.

They also seek for a resulting report on the Papua situation to be presented before the next Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in 2020.

The Liberation Movement’s chairman, Benny Wenda, urged Pacific Forum leaders to endorse this call when they meet for their annual summit in Tuvalu next week.

Mr Wenda said such a stand reflected the values at the heart of the Blue Pacific campaign to develop a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity where all Pacific people can lead free healthy and productive lives.

Accordnig to him, Pacific civil society networks continue to provide support to Forum Leaders and Government regarding the human rights issues of West Papua. (*)

 

Source: RNZ

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