UN chief waffles over West Papuan human rights violations – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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UN chief waffles over West Papuan human rights violations

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Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu (background) and UN Secretary-General António Guterres during a visit to Port Vila’s seafront … West Papua issue raised in vain. Image: Dan McGarry/Vanuatu Daily Post

Papua, Jubi – During his visit to Port Vila last weekend, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres was confronted with questions about West Papua – but he waffled in his responses.

The matter was on the agenda during a bilateral meeting held between Guterres and key government officials, including Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Foreign Affairs Minister Ralph Regenvanu.

In a joint press conference, Salwai was unequivocal about Vanuatu’s continued commitment to support and help drive the decolonisation process globally, and especially in West Papua.

The UN head did little more than acknowledge the PM’s words in his own prepared remarks.

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Guterres also responded to questions on the topic from the media. The following exchange occurred during a pooled interview with Agence France Presse’s Ben Bohane. He had little more to offer there.

The most serious deforestation, the most serious ecological trouble, as well as the most serious human rights abuses in the whole Pacific are happening in West Papua, Bohane said.

Shouldn’t the UN be doing more to try and stop the human right abuses, and the ecological disaster that is unfolding there?

UN ‘doing its job’

Guterres did little to raise expectations of a resolution to this crisis any time soon.

“There is a framework in the institutions, namely the human rights council… there are special procedures, there was a panel, that recently made a report on those issues, a report that was then presented internationally. Indonesia also responded,” he said.

“So the UN is doing its job, with a major concern that there and everywhere, human rights are respected.”

The problem is, he was told, that Indonesia is blocking Pacific island delegations, and they also appear to be blocking the UN Human Rights Commission from visiting West Papua.

At the moment, all international media is banned. Again, shouldn’t the UN be doing more to open up West Papua?

The Secretary-General appeared to grant that there were indeed concerns about access to the area.

“The Human Rights High Commissioner has reaffirmed availability to visit the territory, and that remains our concern, and our objective.”

So, if Indonesia says no, he was asked, is there nothing anyone can do, even the UN?

“As I said, we had the institutions working, we have a panel of experts, but there are also from our side strong commitments there and everywhere.”

Little evidence of those commitments was on display in Port Vila. (Dan McGarry)

 

Source: Pasific Media Centre

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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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