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.
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…
AN Indonesian shopping centre frequented by Papua New Guineans at the border with Indonesia has been closed indefinitely after a clash between rebels and Indonesian soldiers.
This was confirmed yesterday by PNG Consular-General Geoffrey Wiri.
“The Operassi Papua Merdeka (OPM) rebels came across the border into PNG and fired shots back targeting the Indonesian military base on Tuesday,” he said. “There were no reports of casualties. The situation has calmed down (but) business activities at the border (remain) closed.”
Wiri, who is based in Jayapura, said the clash occurred near Wutung village in West Sepik.
PNG and Indonesian border authorities plan to meet next week to decide what to do next.
Meanwhile, Morehead Station manager Maninanzang Gantau said the situation along the southern part of the border in Western was normal.
“Indonesian officials will advise us when to stop villagers crossing into the Indonesian border town of Sota when they feel that it is not safe,” he said.
Gantau said the shooting near Wutung was probably a lead-up to the OPM flag-raising ceremony in November.
“Right now there is a heavy buildup of Indonesian military along the southern part of the border.”
He said West Papuans involved in the OPM and living outside West Papua usually return home to take part in the ceremony.
Meanwhile, West Sepik police commander Moses Ibsagi has warned PNG citizens living along the border not cross to Indonesia yet.
“The situation is still tense on the other side of the border (even though) our side is very quiet,” he said.
“We have two PNG Defense Force platoons on the ground and I have a manpower of 32 with me. Our instruction is to ensure the safety of PNG citizens living along the border and that government facilities are protected.”
“I started to receive death threats two years ago and it’s almost like a daily experience now to receive death and rape threats online,” the 31-year-old told SBS News in an exclusive interview.
“They’re trying to kill the messenger. They cannot refute my data, all the footage they cannot refute that so they’re trying to destroy my credibility.”
Ms Koman became involved in the West Papuan struggle for independence in 2014 after five protesters were allegedly killed and another 17 injured by the Indonesian military in an event known as the Paniai killings.
“I thought at the time … ‘wow, why is there no outrage? School children are killed by security forces,'” she said.
“It has become my personal mission to expose what’s happening in West Papua.”
It’s difficult to access accurate death tolls from the provinces because there is a “total lockdown at the hospital”, Ms Koman said. West Papuans also often avoid going to the hospital if they are injured because of fears they will be killed there.
“That’s exactly the aim of the security forces, lock it down so only government version can go out,” she said.
Foreign media is heavily restricted from entering West Papua.
Let’s Do Our Part to End Misery, Shame and Despair Our People Have Endured for 57 Years!
By Natalius Pigai, Defender of the Weak / Commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights 2012-2017
I write this article based on the reality faced by the
people of Papua for 57 years. I was born in a remote place in the interior of
Papua, the center of war and conflict. Eventually, I became an activist in the
struggle for civil rights and reached the peak of my career as a commissioner
of the 2012-2017 Indonesian Human Rights Commission. Today I am still active as
a humanitarian activist.
Since I was a child, I have seen, monitored, listened and
recorded all the contents that were checked directly to the people of Papua as
well as stories with no less than 15 regents / former regents and officials
still active, and also based on the results of investigations and monitoring. I
write this as a professional investigator who has handled no less than 15 thousand
cases in Indonesia.
This paper is my contribution to the common good and
improvement (bonum commune).
57 Years of Papua living in misery, hundreds of thousands of
Papuans were arrested, tortured, slaughtered and killed based on racial hatred
of the black Papuan people and curly hair.
Words that contain verbal violence such as monkeys, apes,
and gorillas have long been received by Papuans. Perpetrators are not only
ordinary Malay people but also state officials both in Papua and outside. More
and more newcomers are behaving racistly and with the segregative attitude
toward the people of Papua. Today they showcase the racial and segregative
behavior of apartheid, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism which had developed in the
past century in Africa, America, and Europe. Today, Indonesia is the only
country on earth that has allowed racism to develop not only in the civilian
population but also in Government, especially to the Papuan-Melanesians.
Even more ironic is that the intelligence officers, the
military, and the police have made the migrants as partners to smooth the
politics of occupation in Papua, to collect information, and even actually to
form militia forces to hack and kill civilians in Papua.
Intentionally or not, the officers herded migrants who were
innocent civilians to try their luck in the land of Papua as a militia group.
That is the trigger of the acute hatred of the people of Papua against
migrants. So when Papuans are angry and commit violence against migrants, why
are the Indonesian people not angry at the officers that lead migrants and
innocent civilians do to play in the embers of Papua, which is indeed a
Did we ever know that in Wamena, the city center and in
other areas HIV / AIDS is growing rapidly, threatening the extinction of the
Papuan Melanesian, not because Malay women commercial sex colonizers sell
themselves in “lokalisasi”, but because there is no localization, yet
they make small huts and migrant restaurants, in “what do you want to eat,
raw or cooked meat?” Raw meat means sex, cooked meat means food. That is
the illustration if a native Papuan eats. And that was done openly in the
center of the city, the authorities also witnessed it without going to prevent
or even curb it. We have never witnessed an operation to curb social pathology
or operation of justice.
When there were protests by Papuans in urban centers, the
authorities often searched Papuans in migrant houses or kiosks and migrant
restaurants, even straying bullets towards Papuans. Too many Papuans have died
because of this pattern. This method is witnessed by the Papuans because Papua
is a small town brightly lit.
All of this is recorded in the memory of the suffering
Papuan people. Oral speech spread throughout the Papuans and these modes are
widely known. Once again not migrants but migrants led by officials, inevitably
“obedient” to participate in the wishes of the state in the name of
integration in conflict areas.
But one of the behaviors that are not beautifully exhibited
by migrants is when they conflict with Papuans, migrants always ask for or take
cover behind the barrel of weapons, they do not follow legal channels, I have
never found a migrant sought justice in court against the Papuan people fairly.
Papuans are herded in Togel gambling games everywhere in the
cities; they have no more saving for the family because they have finished it
playing Togel gambling. While Indonesia has banned gambling firmly, it is still
rampant in Papua. The migrants, the Togel bandars, are surrounded by
officials. Selling liquor is managed by migrants and accompanied by officials.
There is even liquor whose alcohol reaches 40 percent written specifically for
Did we ever know that illegal mining areas are controlled by
migrants, backed by authorities, selling liquor, narcotics and even operating
prostitution such as in Degeuwo, Tembagapura, Mamberamo areas, etc? Residents
pay gold pieces for liquor or prostitution under pressure and gunpoint.
The authorities are backing migrants to control 3 main
sources of Papuan ownership:
seizing natural resources by illegal mining, fishing, and extraction of wood.
Seizing the economic resources of Papuans in all city centers, the distribution of goods and services is controlled by migrants, economic resources are controlled. Stalls, markets and even public transportation and motorcycle taxis are controlled by migrants. Papuans are only as vegetable sellers on the porch or the roadside. Even then, the nimble mamas, as women do everywhere they dared to make a living and provide enough education for their children. As is common in the world mothers are more militant; Papuan men are locked in to compete so they cannot make ends meet.
Depriving the political rights of the people of Papua, deprivation today has penetrated the world of bureaucracy and politics. Newcomers are too hungry for power, they want to be regents, deputies, people’s representatives utilizing bribery, scattering money here, scattering money there, today’s election is almost controlled by migrants. There are regencies whose members of the House of Representatives are almost 100% migrants, there are regencies where a family has 7 members in the house of representatives. The police are also marginalized Papuans when recruiting.
Recruitment filled with corruption, collusion, and nepotism.
Recruitment of civil servants in Papua often witness the
coming of migrants’ relatives who were born, grew up and went to schools in
Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi; they were called to join the test in Papua, and with a
bribe, they could pass. There was also a graduate of agriculture test who
passed as a doctor and was accepted when he was placed in a clinic (puskesmas).
It happened in Intan Jaya Regency. This is one mode of taking the land of
Papuan by migrants.
If the 3 main sources of life for Papuans are controlled, is
there any hope of life for Papuans? The future is certainly bleak. There is no
hope of living in their homeland.
Do you know that the regional heads and officials in Papua
are held hostage by the contractors and his subordinates who are mostly
migrants? The contractors use state officials to smooth the project, even
disburse money before the project runs.
The Regent is almost certain to be held hostage by the head
of services with large budgets such as Public Works and Finance and has to
cooperate with the Police and the District Attorney.
Throughout Papua, the Auditor of the Supreme Audit Agency
(BPK) came or was visited by local officials to bribe the BPK to issue a letter
called “finished checking”, once again the letter was named
“finished checking” even though the BPK had never checked it. As a
result, all the people of Papua are surprised why almost all districts in Papua
each year can get the title WTP (Fair Without Exception), robbing public money
in large amounts without physical development.
If I may be honest “as is”, then hospitals in
Papua have been labeled as “places of death” not human nurseries, not
places of life, especially government hospitals including those of the Police,
and now Papuans have begun to suspect private hospitals even though they belong
to the church. Papuans are very afraid to go to the hospital, they prefer
natural remedies. The hospital has long been suspected by Papuans as a place
for ethnic Papuan cleansing, on average young mothers who have been
hospitalized during pregnancy or after childbirth cannot give birth, some
mothers are injected with anti-fertilities without their husbands’ and their
consent (maybe asked when experiencing pain during childbirth). So today the
average young mothers cannot give birth.
Indeed, the average physical appearance of the building and
inside the hospital is very “rotten” even when I see firsthand the water of the
faucets in the number one hospital in Papua, the water faucets are dead a week.
Even though water is vital, the water of life without human water must die,
especially in hospitals. Indeed, in this world, medical personnel and medics
are special / they are God’s representatives in the world, but for Papua, the
assessment is different. It is an old saga. One indicator of the threat of
Papuans, in particular, is the increasing ratio of maternal and child mortality
because until this moment there are no maternal and child hospitals throughout
Papua. In contrast to outside Papua, each district has a mother and child
hospital even more than one.
Not only hospitals, Papuans today have lost respect for
priests, priests especially Kiai, have long lost the prophetic voice in the
land of Papua Melanesia. The church becomes an instrument of authority, a tool
of the mysterious clique. Add God who defends the Papuans die suddenly in the
interior, facing a gun barrel.
In remote areas of the island, they often sell expired items:
biscuits, sardines, noodles, etc. People do not understand because they are
uneducated and, as a result, many people get sick and die.
One of the crimes of migrants in Papua is that Papuans are
forced to convert to Islam. Many modes have been found. In Wamena, an officer
herded a village under gunpoint and took some students to convert to a religion
that is not a religion. In several areas, migrants take children with the
argument of being foster parents or educating them, to be sent to some Islamic boarding
schools and become converts.
There is no law in Papua, no justice before the law for
Papuans. Justice only applies to those who are migrants. Unless Papuans pay a
“bribe” to a judge. Papuans who are young and quick can get a court
decision and a copy of the decision in a matter of days, while poor Papuans
find it difficult to get justice. Nearly 58 years the court has sentenced
non-Papuans or police officers, I have never seen and read one document of the
police being jailed for torturing and killing (Extra Judicial Killing).
All the groans lament, the sadness of the Papuans are
silenced in the hearts of the people of Papua. The Papuan people have no room
for expression, the mass media is silenced as a propaganda tool for the
authorities and migrants. Civil society organizations and political parties as
instruments of articulation of the interests of the people of Papua are
silenced, freedom of expression is limited. As a result, what happened today
was the explosion of the tip of the iceberg that had frozen for so long. That
is what is not understood by the state and the people of Indonesia.
The Nation (Inter-Ethnic and Religious National Leaders)
should find a solution to the problem of Papua in a dignified and more
progressive manner, not in favor of military repression in Papua. If you ask
for a military operation, then you don’t need to ask because 58 years of
military operations have taken place, the people of Papua are living every day
under threat in their bloody land.
I have to be honest to say that we are two different races namely
the Melanesian Negro Race and the Malay Mongoloid Race. Like Oil and Water, it
will never be able to unite unless racism, Papuan phobia, and discrimination
are eliminated from this country and it seems impossible because discrimination
in this country is already too acute.
(A Heart Wrenching reflection of a Papua man lamenting the plight and disaster facing our people of West Papua. 57 years of these abuses and suppression has exploded. The fear and submission has been replaced by anger and bravery. Nothing can stop it now! Only referendum will solve this crisis. We can’t rest or sit back having read with tears the cry of our people. Let’s us make sure we have a massive October 11th, 2019 Rally)
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has told media he is prepared to meet West Papuan pro-independence groups to discuss problems in Papua.
Viva News reports that President Widodo, known as Jokowi, indicated he was willing to meet anyone to discuss important issues in his country.
Papua region has been gripped by weeks of protests, a security forces crackdown and violent unrest which has left over 40 people dead, according to authorities.
The proposal to meet pro-independence groups was put forward by representatives of the Papua and West Papua regional legislature
The representatives made the proposal when meeting with President Jokowi’s Chief of Staff, Moeldoko, and Interior Minister Tjahjo Kumolo.
While the president did not single out groups to meet, Papuan representatives have suggested the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and the West Papua National Committee.
The Chairperson of the Maybrat Regency Parliament in West Papua, Ferdinando Solossa, made the suggestion at the Presidential Palace complex in Jakarta.
Both the Liberation Movement and the Committee are pro-independence organisations calling for West Papuans to be granted an independence referendum.
Last week, Detik Newsreported that Moeldoko said that he would himself be willing to meet with the government’s opponents in Papua, and even mentioned the Liberation Movement’s leader, Benny Wenda.
Moeldoko said he was willing to meet Mr Wenda in the interest of finding solutions to the ongoing problems in Papua.
The chief of staff was responding after meeting with Mr Solossa last week, with the Papuan representative emphasising that dialogue should involve an independent, neutral and objective third party in resolving the roots of political problems.
To: Honourable James Marape, MP,
The Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Action on Torture & Attempt to Kill One Melanesian from West Papuan in
Vanimo, Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea
Dear Honourable Prime Minister,
West Papua and human rights of Melanesians
from West Papua has been a continuing issue since the invasion and occupation
of our Melanesian land by foreign power called the Colonial United Republic of
The West Papua Refugee Relief Association
(WPRRA) which was established in Port Moresby in 2010, hereby would like to
present to Honourable Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New
Guinea the “torture and assassinate attempt on one of Melanesians from West Papua
who have been living in Vanimo, Sandaun Province for many years, after escaping
from terror, intimidation and threat to life from Indonesian army and police
forces in West Papua.”
We attach the chronology of the event and our
demand for immediate actions, and images of the victim. We will supply videos
on our interview with the victim upon request.
Issued in: Port
Moresby, Papua New Guinea
On Date: 28 September 2019
Vanuatu’s prime minister has again pressed the United Nations General Assembly over human rights abuses in West Papua.
During his speech in New York, Charlot Salwai lamented how some Pacific territories are yet to break the shackles of colonialism.
Mr Salwai cited France’s territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia, as well as Indonesian-ruled West Papua.
He called on the administering powers to respect UN processes and ensure people in these territories can have their self-determination views heard.
Mr Salwai called for use of the UN system to find solutions to violations of West Papuans’ human rights.
“The resolution of the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum calls on the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua to conduct an assessment based on concrete proof regarding the human rights situation.”
Rayyanul Sangadji, a junior Indonesian diplomat from Ambon, Maluku, exercised the country’s right of reply to Vanuatu’s statement.
“As an Indonesian with Melanesian roots, I can tell you we do not like to be clustered, categorised, or worse, divided by another, faraway country,” he said.
“Papua is, has [been] and will always be, part of Indonesia.”
Victor Mambor and Arie Firdaus = Jayapura, Indonesia and Jakarta
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Monday he was ready to hold talks with separatist leaders to solve the conflict in Indonesia’s Papua region, as thousands of Indonesians who had migrated there were evacuated from Wamena, a highland town where 33 people died in violence last week.
A protest involving hundreds of high school students that was provoked by alleged racist remarks from an instructor descended into chaos in Wamena on Sept. 23, with crowds setting fire to government buildings, shops and homes, authorities said. On the same day, security forces clashed with student protesters in the provincial capital Jayapura, leaving three civilians and a soldier dead, police said.
“I will meet anyone who wants to meet me,” Jokowi told reporters at the Bogor Presidential Palace, when asked if he was ready for dialogue with pro-independence groups such as the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB).
The government has blamed ULMWP and KNPB for the unrest that has gripped Papua and West Papua provinces since last month, when thousands of protestors took to the streets across the mainly Melanesian region demanding a vote on self-determination. The protests broke out over alleged racist epithets that had been used against Papuan students on Java island.
Authorities said five people were killed during the initial violence in August and early September, but Papuan activists said they recorded at least 13 deaths.
Officials said the unrest was intended to draw international attention to Papuans’ demand for a referendum during the ongoing 74th U.N. General Assembly in New York.
ULMWP chairman Benny Wenda, who is based in Britain, welcomed Jokowi’s gesture.
“We welcome what was conveyed by the government of Indonesia. But we will only hold dialogue if all soldiers and police are withdrawn from the land of Papua without conditions,” Wenda told BenarNews.
The chairman of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged Jakarta to engage Papuan leaders in a dialogue.
“In my opinion, this is the best solution. If it is not resolved through dialogue, we are worried there will be greater ramifications, including an international intervention,” Ahmad Taufan Damanik told reporters in Jakarta.
Almost 7,300 people have sought refuge in police and military headquarters, as well in church and government buildings in Wamena after last week’s violence, said John Richard Banua, the administrative head of Jayawijaya regency, of which Wamena is the main town.
Tensions rose in Papua in December after separatist rebels allegedly killed 19 members of a crew building a highway in Nduga regency. Authorities immediately sent more than 750 soldiers and police to the region after the killings.
Five people tagged as suspects
Police have said that most of 33 people who were killed in last week’s violence were migrants from outside Papua. Five people had been named suspects over the riot, officials said.
The military said more than 3,100 migrants who feared they would be targeted had been evacuated to the provincial capital Jayapura.
“They will be helped to return to their home provinces, especially women and children,” armed forces chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters, adding that men had been advised to return to Wamena to rebuild the town’s economy.
Security Affairs Minister Wiranto also urged those who fled Wamena to return.
“You can imagine, if they flock out of Wamena, who will drive the economy?” Wiranto told reporters in Jakarta.
The Papua region, which makes up the Indonesian half of New Guinea island, was incorporated formally into Indonesia in 1969 following a U.N.-administered ballot known as the Act of Free Choice. Many Papuans and rights groups said the vote was a sham because it involved only 1,000 people.
Wamena resident Obelom Wakerkwa told BenarNews that the students who took part in the protests did not engage in vandalism and arson attacks.
He said he saw security forces firing warning shots in front of the protesters.
“That enraged the high school students and the situation became out of control,” he said.
Ahmad Syamsudin in Jakarta contributed to this report.