PNG Governor warns Indonesian president Widodo over West Papua
PNG Governor warns Indonesian president Widodo over West Papua
PNG Governor warns Indonesian president Widodo over West Papua

Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby Governor Powes Parkop has strongly called on the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo not to take Papuans for granted.

Parkop says today that if President Joko Widodo won’t take heed of what our people are asking him to peacefully solve the issue, East and West Papuans are going to stand united and nothing is going to stop them.

Powes Parkop has long been a supporter of the Papuan call for recognition as an independent state.

Governor Parkop says mobilization of Papuans has started because we are not taking this ill treatment anymore and alerts President Widodo that if he will take Papuans for granted he is to expect something more to come.

“I want to have peace with you (Widodo) because you are my neighbor, I want to exchange with you, I want to interact with you and build relationship. We don’t want to live with hate, discrimination, and in division”, Parkop said.

Parkop says as much as Papuans want to share their wealth and resources with Indonesia, but there is so much hate now because of the killings, rape and torture of Papuan people.

Port Moresby residents, churches, and few parliament leaders stand in solidarity and marched today from Kone field to Jack Pidik Park with some West Papuans after reports of an incident in Surabaya last week where Papuan students were harassed by a mob and later arrested.

The students were released, but the government response to the harassment, and lack of an apology to Papuans, has met with criticism in the Pacific Islands.

Governor Parkop’s call is supported by Northern Governor Gary Juffa, and Vice Petroleum Minister and Komo Magarima MP Manasseh Makiba.

Meanwhile Radio New Zealand reports Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo says he will invite prominent Papuans to his palace in the wake of the recent violence there.

The president’s office says an invitation will go out to traditional, community, and religious leaders.

Jokowi says the meeting will discuss ways to accelerate prosperity in Papua and West Papua provinces.

FM100/PNG Today

In a couple of hours or a liitle more, I will be truly in the old man catergory, so its a little emotional for me as I lay resting in my bed doing some reflecting on my life thus far.

Growing up, I started with good perspective about life and its ups and downs. I was not perfect and made wrong decisions many times, but I can pretty much handle the bad situations in my life.

I was doing ok but when I entered the 40s, things really changed, and went downhill really fast, and I thought very seriously about ending my life. I did not want to live anymore.

I went into depression, I lost a few things, lost my job, and lost a car, which to this day, I have no idea, how it got lost or what I did with it, that if I had given it to someone, or left it somewhere with the engine running. I had an illness, I did not know I had it. My depression was so bad I could not remember things. I was the collateral damage of what was directed at Sir William Skate from 1999 to 2002.

Many times I just sit under the tree and stare blankly.

One day someone found my old gym bag that still had my weight gloves, weight belt, and one two other items in it. This gym bag dated back to the time when I was working for PX in the 80s. I used to go to the Gym then.

It was the first gym ever to be established in Port Moresby, or Png for that matter and was located under the building of what is now the Hideaway Hotel, and it was run by an Australian woman called Debbie Clerk.

Debbie Clerk was the wife of a Kiwi bloke called Clive Clerk, who was famous for Coaching the Tarangau Rugby Team, and one time was the Kumuls Nationsl coach.

I cleaned the Gym Bag, and started going to the Holiday Inn Gym, when it was being managed by Ravu Kila. Ms Ravu Kila was a Fitness Guru, and Instructor and was into the Aerobics dance exercise phenomenon. She was very kind to me.

I had no money to pay for the Gym, so Ravu Kila said if I could help around, clean and Coach Squash, I could use the Gym for free. Thats where I met my good brother Pascoe Vala, where we would play Squash twice a week.

I was slowly getting over the depression as I was attending Court for the charges relating to the Bill Skate Issue.

From 1999 to 2002 I was still facing the Courts, and so the depression still hanged over me. Early in 2002 around February, I attended a Court Case, and the Judge set me free.

I walked from the Courthouse to the Gym.

I did not know how to feel, and my mind was still blank, and when I hit the Gym, I went crazy. I lifted weight, leg press, you name it I did it. I spend the next 4 hours in the Gym. I think that day I bench pressed 150 kilos of weight. I was reaching 140 kilos, but that day driven by the excitement of the Court decision, I broke some sort of record. I lifted 10 kilos, and pressed two times. I could manage only two presses but, man, I was excited.

At 4.30pm that same day, I walked past the Murray Barracks Oval, on the way home and saw the DRUC team training. I saw a familiar figure, my Egu Abel Tore, so I walked in to see him, when I found out that he was the Coach. I asked if I could play.

Able Tore and I played with Barbarians, but earlier on before playing for Barbs, I joined Nick Plummer, Damien Amo and others and we formed the PX Rugby Union Club. It was later called Skyline, but I had already retired f r om playing to concentrate on work.

At 45 years old, I asked if I could play. I told Egu Able Tore I was fit, I did weights everyday, and played Squash with Pascoe Vala twice a week. Egu Able Tore allowed me to play, after almost 17 years absence.

So I played and I was always in the first 15, but I played for only 10 minutes, and than Douglas Papaso would replace me after 10 minutes.

I began enjoying playing Rugby Union, and these beautiful game made me appreciate life again, it restored my life, slowly and surely, it took my depression away.

DRUC won the Grand Final that year in 2002 and I was part of the team. Instead of celebrating with DRUC boys, I went home, had a shower and went to sleep. Later that night I woke up around 11.30pm, and I drive to Clubb 22, looking for Lamp Shanks and cheaps but realised I only had K20.00 on me. I met with the late Carlos Hoot there too, and he was looking for food too. Anyway as the good and kind brother he was, he bought me a lamp shank. I drove to Murray Barracks, drove up to the top of the Commanders Hill, ate my meal of lamb shanks and cheaps, and then jusr sat there until the sun rose.

I drove away and left my illness, my state of depression there on top of the Commanders Hill.

In less than three hours it will be my birthday.

I appreciate Rugby Union saved my life. Now in my coaching life, I see young people, the jobless, the homeless, the pennyless, the no names, the criminals, the wait court boys, using Rugby Union to keep their heads above water. I see Rugby Union gives them joy and they forget that they are hungry, pennyless and they come, they just come to play rugby, because Rugby Union is a thing that makes them happy.

I think of my situation way back then and I feel for the boys I coach, they have their own personal troubles, and that is the reason why, I always talk too much about rugby and this why I fight PngRugby Board. I feel they do not understand that Rugby Union saves lives, not only mine, but the kids who play the game today.So


Indonesia deploys extra security forces as protests spread
Police blockade the protest in Jayapura. Photo: Whens Tebay
Police blockade the protest in Jayapura. Photo: Whens Tebay

Indonesian security forces have deployed extra personnel to man the streets of Papuan cities and towns in a bid to control ongoing protests.

arge protests have spread through the Indonesia-ruled Papuan provinces this week in response to racist harassment of Papuans in Javanese cities.

While a protest involving an estimated 20-thousand people in Jayapura on Monday was peaceful, mobilisations in some other centres have turned violent.

Chaos erupted yesterday in Fakfak and Timika, when military forces and police struggled to contain protests that turned into riots.

The government has restricted internet access in Papua in a bid to stem the flow of what it terms “hoax news” which it has linked to the unrest in Papua.

But footage has emerged of protesters in Fakfak being dispersed by security forces firing shots. It’s not clear if the shots were fired into the air or aimed at people but at least two Papuans were seriously injured in the melee.

The Guardian reported the police chief in West Papua province, Herry Rudolf Nahak, saying the situation was under control after more than a thousand additional police and soldiers were deployed from other parts of the republic.

More protests are expected in Papua in the coming days, and Indonesian authorities are concerned that anger will spill over again.

Earlier this week in West Papua’s capital Manokwari, protesters set fire to the parliament building and blocked roads with burning tires.

In Sorong, over 250 prisoners were able to escape the main jail amid rioting in the town centre.

In Timika, police detained 45 people related to yesterday’s riots which caused damage to commercial premises in the town, according to CNN.

Government responses

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, who goes by one name, left Jakarta today for Papua to attend to the security crisis.

He was accompanied by the head of Indonesia’s military, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, and national police chief General Tito Karnavian.

Mr Karnavian has pointed blame for the unrest in Papua on people who posted on social media about last week’s incidents involving Papuan students in Java.

But a spokesperson for the pro-independence West Papua National Committee, Victor Yeimo, said the government was trying to hide the truth by throttling the internet in Papua.

The West Papua National Committee chairman Victor Yeimo addressed the demonstration in the Papuan provincial capital, Jayapura.

The West Papua National Committee chairman Victor Yeimo addressed the demonstration in the Papuan provincial capital, Jayapura. Photo: Tabloid Jubi

According to him, Papuan university students in cities such as Bogor continue to be subjected to pressure by elements of the local community.

“People from Indonesia come and question them. They have videos, so every treatment by the Indonesian people they record it,” Mr Yeimo explained.

“So Indonesia cannot hide the issue. I called the leader of the students dormitory (in Bogor). They said they’re now preparing to go back to West Papua.”

Meanwhile, the Papua provincial governor Lukas Enembe has voiced concern for the welfare of Papuan students in Javanese cities and has called for those who continue to face harassment to return to Papua.

Along with representatives of the Papuan People’s Assembly, Governor Enembe is due to visit Papuan students in Surabaya, Malang and Semarang by tomorrow.

He is also expecetd to talk with Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo, who on Tuesday urged Papuans to stay calm and be forgiving.

Source: RNZ