Indonesian military and police have seized the West Papua National Committee headquarters in the Southern city of Timika.

Dozens of officers descended on the building on Monday, tearing down walls and ordering an end to operations.

The Jakarta Post reported the local district police chief saying 80 military and police personnel monitored New Year celebrations at the headquarters on Monday.

Agung Marlianto said officers ordered Free West Papua activists to remove all insignia and not to shout freedom slogans.

Police Chief in Timika, Agung Marlianto
Police Chief in Timika, Agung Marlianto Photo: wikicommons

Officers painted over and knocked down walls displaying the red and white colours of the independence movement.

Mr Marlianto said Papuans won’t be allowed to use any Free West Papua symbols, including the Morning Star.

West Papua National Committee spokesperson Ones Suhuniap told the Jakarta Post the takeover was immoral and improper.

The committee’s headquarters will now be used as a joint military-police post.

Oro Governor, Gary Juffa. (Img Loop PNG)

Port Moresby – Governor of Oro Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG) Gary Juffa said that the spearhead organization of the Melanesian group or often called the Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) could be of no use.


According to him, if PNG and Fiji continue to turn a blind eye to the injustices committed by Indonesia towards Papuans in West Papua, then MSG is of no use.

Gary Juffa is the Governor of the Oro Province in PNG. He is known to be very vocal regarding his solidarity on West Papua issues

West Papua protest in Apia during the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit.
West Papua protest in Apia during the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

Samoa will take the position of Pacific Island Forum members and support “constructive engagement” with Indonesia on issues relating to West Papua.  

Earlier this week, the Bishops of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia called for Samoa to increase vocalisations of concerns against the reported actions of Indonesian military against West Papuans.

In a public statement, they expressed “deep disappointment” at what they described as the continued suppression of the first people of West Papua.

The Bishops said they are praying that the Indonesian authorities halt human rights abuses, and proposed a four-fold course of action for the governments within the Anglican Church’s jurisdiction—New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga Samoa, American Samoa and the Cook Islands—to take. 

Despite the call, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said he agrees with the consensus of the Forum, which can press the Indonesian government on moral issues.

In September, the Forum supported “constructive engagement” over human rights, and members of the Forum were asked to support a resolution to go before the United Nations General Assembly.

“On the moral issue, we hold the common stance of the Pacific Island countries.

“The Indonesians should deal with the issue appropriately of human rights abuses,” he said.

The Prime Minister continued that the government and the army of Indonesia may be acting independently of each other, and that should be taken into consideration.

The Anglican Bishops also called for governments to pay attention to the denial by the Indonesian government of the “first people’s right of self-determination and the abuse of their natural resources by foreign corporations.”

On the issue of West Papuan desire for self-determination, Prime Minister Tuilaepa said he does not feel he has the power to interfere.

“The more important issue for the people of West Papua themselves, that they have been pressing, is the issue of self-determination and that is where we have no power,” he said

“This is part of Indonesia.

“It is like telling New Zealand that the North Island should be given to another race of Maori, and that’s interference.”

However, he did say the United Nations are the only authority that can help West Papua gain independence, just as Samoa did in 1962.

“That is the road we travelled in order to become independent,” Tuilaepa said.

“We sought the approval of the United Nations. There was no other way, it was the U.N that granted us our independence.”

Samoa Observer

More than 500 people have been arrested in Indonesia, after mass Papuan independence demonstrations turned violent.

voice of truth and freedom@khirlani

Powerful action in Surabaya where 233 people were arrested for expressing themselves. When we say FREE WEST PAPUA that includes FULL freedom for all citizens. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of thought. west PAPUA ✊✊

The Jakarta Post reports at least 17 people were injured, with photos circulating of bloody head wounds.

A lawyer representing Papuans, Veronica Koman, says 537 people were arrested across several cities.

Free West Papua@FreeWestPapua

This girl was among many who were brutally attacked by Indonesian nationalist militia in , for peacefully demonstrating for ‘s freedom yesterday. Is THIS Indonesia’s regard for human rights in West Papua?

Human rights groups are calling for any people remaining in custody to be released.

An Australian woman, Ronda Amy Harman, is also reportedly among those arrested.

Activist calls for NZ rethink on West Papua after mass arrests

A human rights activist says New Zealand should rethink its policy towards West Papua in the wake of the violent demonstrations and mass arrests over the weekend.

Activist Maire Leadbeater said New Zealand should urgently respond to the weekend’s arrests.

“If New Zealand would stand beside Vanuatu and support self-determination for the West Papuan people, it would make a major difference. I challenge anybody to tell me that’s not so. There are a number of Pacific nations already speaking up. What’s lacking is the big, powerful rich nations like New Zealand.”

The demonstration in support of West Papua in Wellington.
The demonstration in support of West Papua in Wellington. Photo: Supplied/ NZGreen Party

 

Source (Radio New Zealand)

Foto bersama pimpinan gereja-gereja di Pasifik usai Sidang Umum PCC ke 11 di Auckland, New Zealand. (Elisa – SP)

JAYAPURA – Gereja-Gereja Pasifik kembali menyatakan komitmen solidaritasnya untuk mendukung hak penentuan nasib sendiri bagi bangsa West Papua dan mendukung penuh West Papua dimasukan dalam daftar dekolonialisasi PBB.

Komitmen itu disampaikan Dewan Gereja-Gereja Pasifik atau Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) mewakili 30 gereja anggota dan 9 Dewan Gereja Nasional setelah Sidang Umum PCC ke 11 yang diselenggarakan dari tanggal 26 Oktober – 1 November 2018 di Mangere Auckland, Aotearia – New Zealand.

“Kita merenungkan tema, ‘Menyanyikan Nyayian Tuhan di Negeri Asing”, dari Mazmur 137:4. Kita juga mendengar teriakan komunitas kita yang berjuang untuk menyanyikan lagu Tuhan sebagai lagu kebebasan dan keadilan di tanah mereka sendiri.

Dengan demikian, kami menegaskan kembali komitmen kami terhadap perjuangan penentuan nasib sendiri saudara-saudara kami di Tanah Papua dan menyatakan dukungan kuat kami untuk dimasukkan dalam daftar PBB untuk Dekolonisasi,” tulis PCC melalui release yang dikirim ke redaksi suarapapua.com, Sabtu (24/11/2018).

PCC juga mewakili 30 gereja anggota dan 9 Dewan Gereja Nasional menyerukan kepada gereja-gereja di Pasifik untuk menyisihkan waktu pada Minggu ke 2 bulan Desember tahun 2018 sebagai hari untuk mengingat saudara-saudara di West Papua dalam liturgi dan doa ibadah.

“Kami menyerukan kepada gereja-gereja di Pasifik untuk memakai pakaian berwarna merah dan hitam di setiap hari Rabu sebagai bentuk dukungan bagi kebebasan di West Papua.

Kami juga menyerukan kepada Indonesia untuk segera hentikan pengabaian secara terang-terangan terhadap penduduk asli West Papua yang jelas-jelas dalam situasi pelanggaran HAM. Terutama tindakan pelanggaran HAM yang sedang berlangsung dan upaya selanjutnya untuk memanipulasi penduduk Papua dengan migrasi yang secara paksa ke Papua.”

Rakyat Pasifik yang memberikan dukungan bagi West Papua. (Ist)

Selain itu, PCC menyerukan agar mengakhiri eksploitasi tanah adat di West Papua dan memberikan peluang pendidikan yang lebih besar kepada penduduk pribumi, termasuk kesempatan kerja bagi penduduk pribumi.

Selain itu, pihaknya juga menegaskan kembali dukungannya selama hampir setengah abad terakhir kepada gereja anggota PCC, Gereja Maohi Nui (French Polynesia-Tahiti) Protestan tentang masalah lingkungan yang terkontaminasi dengan manusia), degradasi sosial dan ekonomi di wilayah Maohi Nui sebagai akibat dari pengujian Nuklir Prancis.

“Kami menegaskan kembali resolusi 2011 dari Pemimpin Gereja Pasifik yang mendukung prasasti ulang wilayah Maohi Nui pada daftar wilayah non-otonom di PBB. Kami serukan kepada pelapor khusus Human Council PBB untuk melakukan misi pencarian fakta di wilayah Maohi Nui yang dibuat di Komite Keempat Majelis PBB Urusan Dekolonisasi Politik tahun ini.

Kami juga menegaskan kembali dukungan penuh kami terhadap klaim yang sedang berlangsung oleh Gereja Maohi Protestan kepada Dewan HAM PBB, terkait pelanggaran hak asasi manusia yang dilakukan terhadap rakyat Maohi Nui selama periode tiga puluh tahun pada saat uji coba Nuklir Prancis di Atol Morurua dan Fangataufa di Maohi Nui.”

 

Sumber (Suara Papua)

Academics have been urged to ensure that cultures of Pacific peoples are promoted within the education system.

Victoria University academic Kabini Sanga says scholars who attended the Oceania Comparative and International Education Society annual conference in Wellington this week can work together to achieve this.

Christine Rovoi has more.

Kabini Sanga at the OCIES (Oceania Comparative and International Education Society) annual conference in Wellington.
Kabini Sanga at the OCIES (Oceania Comparative and International Education Society) annual conference in Wellington. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Tim Glasgow

TRANSCRIPT

Vanuatu To Join INTERPOL
INTERPOL Notices are international requests for cooperation or alerts allowing police in its 192 member countries to share critical crime-related information. Notices are published by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat at the request of National Central Bureaus (NCBs) and authorized entities, and can be published in any of the Organization’s official languages. Source: INTERPOL HQ

Vanuatu has applied to join the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).

Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade, Ralph Regenvanu, revealed the application was made this week.

“The principle reason is “probity checks” being carried out by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) were proving to be deficient, particularly as concerns people applying to buy Vanuatu citizenship under the Development Support Program (DSP) and people applying to be nominated as Honorary Consuls,” Minister Regenvanu told Daily Post.

“The FIU was able to pick up financial irregularities but not non-financial irregularities, including past or potential criminal behaviour and associations.

“By joining INTERPOL, the FIU and our police will be able to access the international INTERPOL database as part of the probity check process, and for other purposes, which will provide much better information to vet persons concerned.”

In a letter to the INTERPOL Secretariat, Minister Regenvanu stated that the Vanuatu Government is strongly committed to protecting the security of its people and the sovereignty of its borders from the impacts of transnational crime.

The Minister advised that the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) is already a proud member of the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (PTCN), whose aim is to detect, investigate and disrupt transnational crime in the region.

“The Republic of Vanuatu’s acceptance as an INTERPOL member will further strengthen the VPF’s ability to cooperate with international law enforcement agencies in the combined effort to dismantle transnational and organised crime syndicates on a global scale,” Minister Regenvanu stated in the letter, on behalf of the Vanuatu Government to the INTERPOL Secretariat.

He said the Government of Vanuatu willingly assumes all obligations and responsibilities expected from the INTERPOL membership, and formally endorses the VPF to be the responsible body to perform all functions of an Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) within Vanuatu.

“I would therefore greatly appreciate of this application could be supported for consideration by the INTERPOL General Assembly at its earliest convenience,” he concluded.

The NCB would be accommodated within the National Intelligence Unit (NIU) under the Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) and will be responsible for all international cooperation, country-level coordination and liaison with other government departments within Vanuatu to fulfill all requirements of a NCB.

“Very briefly, it means that Vanuatu is plugged into a global policing network, which brings benefits and obligations mainly around exchange of information,” said Dr Tess Newton Cain, principal of TNC Pacific Consulting when she was contacted yesterday for her views on the implications, in particular what Vanuatu stands to gain and lose if it becomes a member.

Dr. Cain, who is an expert in Criminal Law added: “I imagine it would make Vanuatu look better from a Counter Terrorism Financing and Anti Money Laundering point of view. There could be a concern that our police resources get side tracked into dealing with INTERPOL requests”.

She noted that INTERPOL has a training and capacity building arm so Vanuatu may be able to benefit from that.

The INTERPOL Membership Application provides information on the country becoming an Independent State, its Territory and Population, the Government and its capacity to enter International Relations – Vanuatu is a member of 39 International Forums and Intergovernmental organisations.

It affirms that Vanuatu has closely studied and understands the INTERPOL Constitution, regulations and membership requirements under Article 2-7 and 31-33 and it pledges to uphold and respect all provisions of the INTERPOL Constitution, Regulations and Rules, including not limited to INTERPOL Rules on the Processing of Data, in order to effectively contribute to the INTERPOL law enforcement community in combating ordinary law crime.

INTERPOL enables police in its 192 member countries to work together to fight international crime, providing a range of policing expertise and capabilities.

It supports three main crime programmes: Counter-terrorism, Cybercrime, and Organized and emerging crime.

According to the INTERPOL website, Fiji and Nauru have been members since 1971, Papua New Guinea since 1976, Tonga since 1979, Samoa since 2009 and Solomon Islands since 2017.

 

Source (Daily Post)

Fossil fuel companies need to pick up the bill on climate change, Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister says.

Ralph Regenvanu
Ralph Regenvanu Photo: WikiCommons / Marke Lowen

Speaking at the Virtual Climate Summit on Thursday, Ralph Regenvanu said Vanuatu had benefited the least from fossil fuels, but been ravaged as a result of their emissions.

Mr Regenvanu said he was putting the fossil fuel industry and the states that sponsor it on notice.

“My government is now exploring all avenues to utilise the judicial system in various jurisdictions – including under international law – to shift the costs of climate protection back onto the fossil fuel companies, the financial institutions and the governments that actively and knowingly created this existential threat to my country.”

His comments echoed an urgent recommendation to tax carbon emissions from an October United Nations climate report which predicted disastrous consequences from global warming even at 1.5 degree celsius.

This is well below the current target of two degrees set by more than 200 countries signing the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The Marshall Islands is chairing the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s ‘Virtual Climate Summit.’

The Forum comprises the 48 countries most threatened by climate change.

Leaders from France, Canada, New Zealand and the Pacific are participating.

 

Source (Radi New Zealand)

Every colonial enterprise pretends to be inspired by something other than theft. The General Act of the Berlin Conference in 1885, under which the European powers carved Africa into formal colonial possessions, claimed that their purpose was “furthering the moral and material wellbeing of the native populations … and bringing home to them the blessings of civilisation”.

Similar rhetoric has attended all such seizures. To save native people from their enslavement to the Devil, or the Arabs, or each other, they had to be forced into general servitude, while their land and natural wealth were transferred to more enlightened people from overseas. Preposterous as such propaganda may seem to most of us today, it was taken very seriously. In some quarters, it still is. Take the case, scandalously neglected in both journalism and politics, of West Papua.West Papua, the western half of New Guinea, is owned and run like a 19th-century colony. But in one respect its situation is even worse, as it is not formally recognised as such. Instead, it is treated by the United Nations and powerful countries – including the United States, Australia and the UK – as part of the national territory of Indonesia, the colonial power.

Until 1962 the Netherlands, which was then the colonial master, had planned to oversee West Papua’s transition to independence. But the Dutch came under massive pressure from the US government, for whom south-east Asia was nothing but a series of counters to be deployed in its great game against the Soviet Union. It insisted that Indonesia be allowed to “administer” West Papua, as long as its people were permitted a referendum on independence by 1969.

Indonesian administration consisted of imprisonment, torture, killing and the theft of everything on which officials and soldiers could lay hands. As the US embassy noted, around 95% of the people of West Papua supported independence. To encourage them to change their minds they were bombed, shelled and strafed, bayoneted and beaten to death. According to the Indonesian governor at the time, between 1963 and 1969 the armed forces murdered 30,000 Papuans.

But there still had to be a referendum. So in 1969 Indonesian officials rounded up 1,026 men, took their families hostage and, under the guns of soldiers, told them to vote. An Indonesian general explained that if they made the wrong choice they would have their tongues ripped out. Swayed by such persuasive arguments, they voted unanimously for annexation. This process was officially known as the Act of Free Choice.

There was, of course, no greater justification for this farce than for the treaties struck at gunpoint with native people in Africa, to fulfil the terms of the Berlin conference. A huge body of international law, including the agreement Indonesia had signed with the Netherlands, shows that questions of sovereignty cannot be decided this way, and that Indonesia has illegally annexed West Papua. But foreign governments affect to take the Act of Free Choice seriously.

Among the most preposterous justifications were those put forward by British officials. “Naturally one sympathises with the natives, but colonialism is not always such a bad thing, indeed it is often beneficial,” one diplomat asserted. A note from the Foreign Office advised that it is “in the general interest to turn a blind eye”, while another official report stated that government policy was “to help sustain the present moderate regime in Indonesia” (the moderate regime being President Suharto’s government, which had already killed around 500,000 opponents).

We’ve had 50 years of such excuses. Last year, foreign office minister Lord Ahmed told the House of Lords that the UK “retains its position on supporting the integrity of Indonesia”. But the principle of integrity does not apply, under international law, to occupied territories.

Doubtless these positions are unconnected to the tremendous mineral wealth of West Papua, now being exploited by multinational corporations without the consent of its people. BP, for example, is working an £8bn natural gas field called Tangguh. Vast deposits of gold, copper and petroleum, timber from the world’s largest contiguous tract of rainforest outside the Amazon, and fertile soils on which palm oil can be grown have been seized from the indigenous people – assisted by the government’s continued imprisonment, torture, rape and murder of those who resist it. Despite the riches being extracted from their land, the Papuans suffer horrendous levels of childhood malnutrition, preventable disease and illiteracy.

But last year something remarkable happened. At great risk to their lives, and in constant danger of discovery by the soldiers occupying their land, West Papuan campaigners gathered 1.8 million validated signatures and thumbprints on a petition to the UN to respect their right to self-determination. This amounts to 70% of the indigenous population. Many people were beaten and tortured for spreading it or signing it.

This month, after a year of being stonewalled, parliamentary supporters of West Papuan independence (who include Jeremy Corbyn) have at last been allowed to present this petition to the Foreign Office. Because the leader of the independence movement, Benny Wenda, lives in this country and because the UK, with its seat on the UN security council, has been instrumental in justifying the seizure of their land, using the age-old excuses for colonial rule, the attempt at international recognition begins here. The question is: will the government listen, or will it continue to pretend, as it did in 1885, that the theft of a nation is a sacred duty?

 

Source (The Guardian)

Indonesia’s President is encouraging Indonesian companies to develop palm oil in Solomon Islands.

No caption
Joko Widodo. Photo: AFP

Joko Widodo met with the Solomons Prime Minister Rick Hou on Saturday on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Widodo said they discussed Indonesian investment in Solomon Islands, including through palm oil development.

Indonesia also offered support with its fishing and tourism industries.

Mr Widodo said he appreciated the Solomons’ support for Indonesian sovereignty, an apparent reference to the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

An Indonesian forest cleared to plant oil palm trees, 19 May 2017.
An Indonesian forest cleared to plant oil palm trees, 19 May 2017. Photo: AFP

 

Source (Radio New Zealand)