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Thousands of Papuan joins the rally condemning racism

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Lukas Enembe, the governor of Papua Province talks to thoousands protester in Jayapura. – Supplied

Jubi, Papua – Monday, 19 Augusts 2019. Thousands of students from the Faculty of Social and Political Science of the University of Cenderawasih closed the university’s gate, the only access to its Waena Campus in Perumnas 3, Heram Sub-district of Jayapura Municipality.

The gate became the point of a mass rally in responding to the acts of violence and racism against Papuan students in Malang and Surabaya a few days ago. In addition to the University of Cenderawasih, masses also gathered at some points in Expo Waena, the University of Science and Technology Jayapura, Abepura suburb and Jayapura City

Thousands of Papuan communities of different backgrounds ranging from students, KNPB activists, community-based organisations, the association of regional student dormitories in Jayapura, and ordinary people including children, joined the rally. Their number grew bigger and bigger as people united the crowd on the road. Walking and riding motorbikes, they walked towards the governor’s office located in the central of Jayapura City.

Before reaching their end, first, the crowd stopped by the office of Papua’s People Assembly (MRP) in Kotaraja. There, Victor Yeimo, the KNPB spokesperson for international affairs, asked assembly members to join the crowd.

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“If MRP wants to protect the dignity of Papuans, let’s join us. Indonesia mocked us by calling Papuans ‘monkey’. This humiliation was not coming from the local mob, but soldiers and the police as well,” said Yeimo, who was the General Chairman of the Central KNPB in his five-minutes oration.

The crowd then continued their long march passing Skyland and Entrop roads. All Papuans whose houses nearby were very supportive of the protesters by giving bottled mineral water. They also showed their support by clenching their hand and yelling ‘free Papua nation’. Along the road, people chanted “we are nor red and white, but the morning star” and yell out ‘freedom’ and ‘referendum for Papua’, while around hundreds of police and dozens of military personnel stayed close to them.

When the crowd arrived in Taman Imbi in the central of Jayapura City, hundreds of protesters made up activists, residents and youth communities have waited for them. Meanwhile, hundreds of police officers also deployed to the scene. All stores and shopping centres in Jayapura City mostly closed.

The city almost entirely occupied by indigenous people. Only one or two non-Papuans appeared standing near the protesters. Jayapura City, the centre of business where homes for mostly non-Papuans, seemed entirely belong to Papuans. “This is our land. If they call us ‘monkey’, Indonesia must get out from here,” yelled the crowd.

Finally, the crowd arrived in the governor’s office where Governor Lukas Enembe already waited. It took seven hours for them to walk 16 kilometres from Waena to the governor’s office. Here, students, youth and customary leaders alternately gave speeches in front of the crowd.

People incessantly hailed the name of Victor Yeimo asking him to speak. Along with some other activities, he got on the stage. The audience cheered on him. “Papuaaaa?” he screamed over the crowd. “Freedom!” the group replied. He repeated the same yell three times.

In front of the crowd, Yeimo stated that today was a big moment for Papuans. People gathered together for not only about racism against Papuan students in Java, but many factors that accumulated into Papuans’ outrage.

“We are gathering here for not only because we are called ‘monkey’. Moreover, but also justice for our brothers in Nduga who fled to the jungle. We urge the Indonesian government to investigate the human rights violations that had never settled. We ask them to stop exploiting our natural resources and forests!” said Yeimo. Further, he said Papuan people no longer care about infrastructure development because it was not what they asked. “Road constructions have damaged our forest! What about Special Autonomy? Does it give us benefits for the last 19 years running in Papua,” he added.

Then, the Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe got on the stage to express his anxiety on what was happening to Papuan students in East Java. We are not descendants of apes. Therefore, I deeply regret why in Indonesia, which is already 74 years old, there are people still acting small-minded like that. Malaysia is a lot better, though they are from the same root, Malay,” he said.

In addition to his children who are studying overseas, he said his administration sends more than a thousand Papuan students to study abroad. “So, we have dignity. I stated to the Governor of East Java that Papuans love Gus Dur (former president from East Java origin – red) as he loved us. Gus Dur was very protective towards Papuans in East Java. Why did Banser (Ansor Front) not deployed to calm down the mob persecuting Papuan students yesterday?” he questioned.

Moreover, Enembe also released a five-points statement on behalf of the Papuan Government. First, it says that the Provincial Government of Papua expresses its anxiety and concern about the incidents in Surabaya, Semarang and Malang, which caused the arrest of Papuan students by security forces. The provincial government also appreciates the legal enforcement by the security force when it’s done proportionally, professional and fairly. The security forces were expected not to neglect persecution or any vigilant acts either by groups or individuals that potentially hurt the feeling of Papuans. People should avoid doing oppressive actions that can cause casualties, political conflicts and destroy the spirit of nationalism among citizens.

Second, Papua is the territory of the Republic of Indonesia, known as the real miniature of Indonesia. It represents the diversity of Indonesian multi-ethnic, cultures, and religions living in harmony. The indigenous people of Papua welcome and treat non-Papuans with respect and equality. Therefore, we wish that Papuans are treated in the same respect in many parts of Indonesia. This should become our mutual commitment as a nation to create a peaceful Indonesia that politically, economically and culturally safe for everyone.

Third, the Provincial Government of Papua asks all Papuan communities in Papua Province and other provinces in Indonesia to respond to the incidents in Surabaya, Semarang and Malang appropriately without any single act violating the cultural norms and laws.

Four, we expect non-Papuan communities throughout Indonesia to maintain peace and not to conduct unconstitutional acts such as persecution, oppression, racism, discrimination, intolerance and other actions that can harm the feeling of Papuan communities and disturb the tolerance and harmony among citizens. In our 74th anniversary, we should not let the acts of intolerance, racism and discrimination in our country.

Finally, as the Governor of Papua, I invite all governors, regents, and mayors throughout Indonesia to protect Papuan students who studying in their regions, as much as we do to non-Papuan students and communities in our region. This is our mutual effort to prevent a similar incident occurred in the future as well as to maintain our nationalism, unity and togetherness as a nation.

Meanwhile, the General Chairman of the Central KNPB Agus Kossay stated the rally was a manifestation of Papuan peoples’ perception towards the meaning of 74 years of Indonesian independence which they found it useless due to racism. It shows that Papua is not part of Indonesia. They said we were monkeys. And the statement came from military and police culprits. So, lets us get out of Indonesia,” he said.

Further, he continued that they want all Papuan students studying in Java will be guaranteed safe. “If there is no guarantee, a similar incident might be repeated. When it happens, it would be better sending them home,” he said.

People were still gathering in the lawn of the governor’s office until 6 p.m. They were gradually dispersed and going home at around 7 p.m. (*)

 

Reporter: Kristianto Galuwo
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Docking their yachts at Jayapura Seaport, foreigners scrutinised by local immigration office

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Four foreign nationals during the investigation at Jayapura Immigration Office. – the courtesy of 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.

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“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

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Goliat Tabuni asks independent team to investigate the church burning in Tembagapura

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Photo illustration. – pixabay.com

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.

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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

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80 candles lit to commemorate one-year of Sentani flash flood

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Commemoration and worshipping events held by youth and Baptist Sunday School of Imanuel Toladan Church, Jayapura Regency to commemorate one year of Sentani flash flood on Monday (3/16/2020). -Jubi/Yance

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.

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“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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