Indonesia bans foreign diplomats’ access to Papua amid separatist unrest

Indonesia has effectively banned foreign diplomats and the United Nations from visiting Papua, as separatist unrest continues to challenge Jakarta’s authority.

The government says security concerns prevent it from allowing access to foreign embassies or its citizens wanting to visit the troubled Papua and West Papua provinces.

Several embassies in Jakarta have sought permission to visit Papua but have been knocked back.Duration: 3min 13secBroadcast: Wed 9 Oct 2019, 5:00pm

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/

PNG Oposisen lida Belden Namah toktok long hevi bilong West Papua

Papua New Guinea praim minista James Marape itokim PNG parliment tete olsem gavman bilong em bai respektim sovergnity bilong Indonesia na ino inap long toktok long ol human rights hevi long West Papua.

Mr Marape itok yet olsem sapos ol West Papua refugees ikam insait long PNG long ronowe long ol hevi bai PNG gavman ilukautim ol tasol ol lhevi insait boda bilong Indonesia em gavman blong em bai ino inap long mekim wanpla toktok long en

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PNG welcome West Papua refugees

Port Moresby, PAPUA NEW GUINEA – October 15, 2019: 10am (NBC NEWS PNG): Papua New Guinea will stand ready to welcome refugees from West Papua if they decide to seek refuge in the country.

Prime Minister James Marape made these remarks in Parliament on Friday when responding to a series of questions by Opposition Leader Belden Namah on the Government’s stance on West Papua’s ongoing conflicts and alleged human rights abuses.

“Let me announce to the world, if refugee situations happen, we are Melanesians we are prepared to burn our last toea to accept refugees into our country.

“That is if they come, we are Melanesians our hospitality remains even to our own cost we will take care of them.

“But in the first instance whatever happens on the other side of the border belongs to the Indonesian government, it is their responsibility we can only advise and we can only raise concerns from this side,” said PM Marape.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Marape further said PNG will respect Indonesia’s sovereignty and not interfere in its affairs.

He said PNG’s foreign policy has always been ‘Friends to all and enemy to none.’

Marape said apart from supporting the call during the recent Pacific Islands Forum, for an independent investigation into allegations of human rights abuses, he’s personally summoned the Indonesian Ambassador to PNG for a briefing and conveyed his dissatisfaction on the ongoing unrests.

“As far as a responsibility to the greater international neighborhoods that we have, we remitted that concern through the diplomatic channel across the Palace in Jakarta and the Palace has heard our concerns.

“The response we got from Indonesia was that the President is interfacing more with the people in West Papua.

“In fact, he has made one known trip to West Papua since the incident has happened to sit down and start this engagement with the Councils and Chiefs there which is going,” Marape told Parliament…. PACNEWS

Source: https://nukualofatimes.tbu.to/

O’Neill faces arrest

By GYNNIE KERO and SYLVESTER WEMURU

PNG Acting Police Commissioner David Manning and Former PM Peter O'Neill
PNG Acting Police Commissioner David Manning and Former PM Peter O’Neill

POLICE will investigate Ialibu-Pangia MP and former prime minister Peter O’Neill for alleged official corruption and have obtained a warrant for his arrest from the court.

Acting Police Commissioner David Manning said the warrant was based on the “weight of the evidence brought by the investigators”. The warrant was to have been served on O’Neill yesterday but according to Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Operations Donald Yamasombi, he could not be located.

O’Neill however told The National late yesterday that he only became aware of the warrant for his arrest yesterday when it was posted on social media by Manning. He denied that anyone from the constabulary had officially communicated the matter to him or his legal representative.

“I will make myself available (to police) at any time to hear this complaint,” he said.

Manning said investigation into the case had been ongoing and police detectives after collating all the “evidence” called for an application to the court for an arrest warrant.

Manning said he had made contact with O’Neill yesterday and had requested him directly to accompany Yamasombi to the Boroko Police Station but he refused to cooperate.

“I am now appealing to the former prime minister to make himself available to the investigators for the investigation process to be completed,” Manning said.

“He will be processed by police after which he has the right to bail and defend himself in court.

“Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law so O’Neill’s constitutional rights are being respected.”

O’Neill criticised the way police had gone about the process of investigating him.

“The fact that the acting commissioner would choose to make this announcement on social media and not through official representation to my office, is telling that this is a political move,” he said.

“I was not informed or presented with a warrant to appear anywhere today (yesterday) by any member of the (constabulary).

“If this was a serious matter, not a political power play, a formal process would be in place that would have seen legal representation made to my office.”

O’Neill suspects that the investigation may have something to do with “renovations to the Yagaum health centre in Madang”.

“The question must also be asked: Since when is it criminal to help community projects for health and education?” he said.

“If someone has mismanaged the funds, they should be dealt with, not people trying to assist.

“As (former) prime minister, I was never the custodian of the funds sent to Madang for the Yagaum health centre for renovations to repair the run-down hospital.”

O’Neill said “this blatant interference in police operations must be referred to the Ombudsman Commission.”

He claimed that Manning and Madang MP and Police Minister Bryan Kramer were behind the move to have him arrested and questioned.

West Papuan refugees welcome in PNG – PM
© Getty Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape listens to Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on July 22, 2019. - Marape is on a six-day visit to Australia. (Photo by MICK TSIKAS / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MICK TSIKAS/AFP/Getty Images)
© Getty Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape listens to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on July 22, 2019. – Marape is on a six-day visit to Australia. (Photo by MICK TSIKAS / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MICK TSIKAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister says his country stands ready to welcome more refugees from West Papua.

James Marape was responding to questions in Parliament yesterday about the deteriorating human rights situation on the Indonesian side of the border.

He said PNG respected Indonesia’s sovereignty over West Papua and what happened there was Jakarta’s responsibility.

However, Mr Marape said he supported the Pacific Islands Forum call for an independent investigation, and personally summoned Indonesia’s ambassador.

West Papuan refugees would always be welcome in PNG, he said.

Source: https://www.msn.com/

Melanesian Spearhead Group Role on West Papua Issue

By Ambassador Brian Yombon-Copio

West Papua has ongoing issues on human rights abuses and atrocities committed by Indonesia’s guided democracy regime. They have suffered for far too long on their motherland and felt that they should exist as an independent nation state which would guarantee them absolute freedom from these issues. Most importantly West Papuans view that they belong to a Melanesian race and they fear continued suffering at the hands of a populous mongoloid race. The West Papuans are an ethnic minority which has resultant ethnic similarities to Melanesians where they have same features, cultural values and norms and importantly they have closer proximity with PNG based on ancestral ties especially West Sepik and Western Provinces which draws back to many years.

The Melanesian countries have witnessed and sympathised on the sufferings of the West Papuans and they have overwhelming views against the abuse of human rights and atrocities. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (‘MSG’) which is the central forum for Melanesian peoples has indicated support for West Papua with their aspirations for a fully pledge independent nation. However PNG being the largest Melanesian country which is viewed to have potential influence has different views under successive political leaders and supported West Papua with reservations at the MSG level.

Nevertheless West Papua was admitted as an observer recently in the Melanesian bloc instead of a full membership. The current government views PNG’s regional standing and reputation which have been shaped by its commitment to Melanesian values which include stronger democracy, maintaining the rule of law, protection of human rights and increasing trade and economic aspects of development as significantly important. The MSG is an important partner in the pursuit of these values regionally. PNG is therefore viewed as a strong influence and ‘bread winner’ for other Melanesian countries and ethnic minorities within the region. Accordingly PNG Government’s change of politics on West Papua is timely.

Historically PNG has been forced into a difficult situation as previous governments reached an understanding with Indonesia that West Papua remains an integral part of the country and PNG should not offend Indonesia in supporting West Papua’s independence aspirations. As a result PNG’s position on the West Papua issues has been grasped with mixed reactions by other Melanesian countries which expected PNG to equally support West Papua’s agenda on its political future.

The Melanesian countries do not duly consider PNG’s closer proximity to Indonesia and the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries. However the MSG countries view PNG as a ‘bread winner’ for the rest of the smaller island nations. In other words, PNG is expected to act on behalf of smaller island countries regardless of its own position and pursue the interest of smaller island nations and other minor ethnic groups like West Papua and New Caledonia. Given PNG’s perceived leadership in the region, the MSG views that PNG has an obligation to deliver desired results for the benefit of minor ethnic groups which have formidable issues. However MSG solidarity is important and if collective determinations are reached, PNG has no option but to respect such and support the decisions for realisation in the interest of the MSG bloc. At the MSG level there has to be solidarity in most of the decisions reached by the MSG for a common good of Melanesian peoples.

There is overwhelming support for West Papua for its aspiration for self-determination from majority of the MSG members and PNG’s change in position should impact certainty to a larger degree. PNG should play a lead role in encouraging the MSG bloc to make representation to Indonesia with its collective determinations to address the issues of West Papua. It is strongly believed that Indonesia would respect PNG and sense that the collective determinations reflect the views of the MSG.

The major regional players like Australia and New Zealand also have vested interests and are aware that the West Papua agenda on independence has potential issues with their own interests with Indonesia. On the other, Australia and New Zealand might have their own foreign policies on PNG-Indonesian relations as they are absolutely aware of the impeding position of PNG. Given the scenario, Australia and New Zealand should support on the West Papua issues through regional dialogues to reach solutions which would satisfy both West Papua and Indonesia.

Papua Police name 13 suspects for deadly Wamena unrest

Papua Police name 13 suspects for deadly Wamena unrest – National – The Jakarta Post

The Papua Police have named 13 people suspects for allegedly having been behind the recent deadly unrest in Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, which caused tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes.

Ten suspects, whose ages range from 16 to 40 years, were already in the custody, while the remaining three are still at large and being hunted by the police, Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. AM Kamal said on Monday.

“The three wanted [suspects] are categorized as provocateurs and are allegedly involved in the KNPB [National Committee of West Papua] and the ULMWP [United Liberation Movement for West Papua],” Kamal said as quoted by kompas.com.

The Indonesian government has blamed both the ULMWP, led by UK-based Papuan exile Benny Wenda, and the affiliated KNPB for orchestrating the unrest that broke out on Sept. 23.

Police investigators claimed they found indications the three were involved with the groups after collecting the testimony of the arrested suspects and witnesses, he said.

Wamena saw violent unrest on Sept. 23 as a mob, reportedly of native Papuans, set hundreds of buildings, including shophouses and government offices, and cars on fire and attacked other residents with weapons.

The turmoil, which the government estimated to have caused material losses amounting to Rp 479.5 billion (US$33.8 million), claimed the lives of at least 33 people, most of whom were non-native Papuans, and injured at least 76 others, according to authorities.

As of Sunday, about 1,726 residents were still staying at a number of evacuation sites, while another 15,544 had left Wamena for other cities across the country after the riots, the Social Ministry said.

Kamal said the police would possibly name more suspects. (gis)

Papua Police name 13 suspects for deadly Wamena unrest – National – The Jakarta Post

We changed the nation, says O’Neill

By GYNNIE KERO. The National PNG

FORMER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill
FORMER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

FORMER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, pictured, has defended the record of the government he led up to May, saying “we changed the nation by building infrastructure needed”.

He also condemned plans by the current government to cut back on expenditure in the Supplementary Budget to be tabled by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey on Thursday.

“Ian Ling-Stuckey condemns the eight years of economic management under myself, James Marape as Finance Minister and Patrick Pruaitch as Treasurer,” O’Neill said.

“This is just political opportunism from the treasurer and is causing a great deal of internal conflict in Cabinet.

“No one can deny that we changed the nation by building the infrastructure our country badly needed.

“Cabinet with James and Patrick saw a rise in debt. But you just have to look around and ask if we advanced the country.

“Did we build the infrastructure that Port Moresby needed – roads, bridges, the flyovers and port facilities? Yes we did.

“Around the country, did we build new hospitals and care centres? Did we build teacher training colleges? Did we build new air strips? Yes we did.”
He said the supplementary budget “appears to be a turn-out-the-lights budget”.

“This ridiculous cost-cutting for the sake of politics will bring our country to its knees and hurt our people who are in the most challenging circumstances,” he said.

He said Ling-Stuckey had claimed that under his management of the economy there would be no more debt.

“But Prime Minister (Marape) overruled him and said debt would be consolidated in Australia and China,” O’Neill said.

Jihad is coming to the Pacific
Open statement of Jihad Group in Central Java, Indonesia

It’s not just West Papua‘s 2 million Christians who are vulnerable but all in our region. If these jihadist have Indonesian government and military approval then this should be a red line for Australia and the region. It’s an abrogation of the Lombok Treaty and Indonesia’s founding principles of Pancasila.

The creep of Islamic militia into West Papua began at least 18 years ago when Laskar Jihad first sent members into Sorong and Jayapura. In 2001 I interviewed the Commander of Laskar Jihad, Jafar Umar Thalib, in Ambon during the war. He told me directly he was sending jihadis to train in West Papua. After the liberation of Timor Leste, General Wiranto and the TNI moved much of their security apparatus from Timor to Papua.

For years I’ve heard from OPM sources of jihadi camps around Merauke in the southeast corner, close to the borders of PNG and Australia, but they could never get photo evidence. Now phone cameras are capturing all as would-be jihadis demonstrate in Java and arrive on ships in Papua.

The plight of the West Papuans can no longer be ignored.

No-one wants an un-holy war here, one that would spread…

Source: Facebook.com

West Papua unrest: Shootout prompts border closure
The Wutung entry facility at the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is an important trading access point. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades
The Wutung entry facility at the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is an important trading access point. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Land and sea access between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea has been closed after a shootout at the border.

This follows reports of an Indonesian troop build-up along the border from communities in PNG’s West Sepik province.

Indonesian-ruled West Papua has been gripped by weeks of protests and violent unrest which has left dozens of people dead.

Amid a security forces crackdown, concern has been raised in neighbouring PNG about another potential influx of West Papuan refugees

PNG’s Immigration and Citizenship Authority has advised that following a shootout the border is closed to nationals from both sides until further notice.

It said shopping at the Batas market, close to the border on the Indonesian side, as well as movement into the West Papuan capital Jayapura was “completely banned”.

Earlier this week, PNG’s EMTV reported villagers at Wutung on the PNG side of the border as saying school children were ordered to return home.

Usually, most land and sea cross-border movement occurs around Papua New Guinea’s north coast.

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