Dozens of Teacher Evacuated from Kampung Aroanop, Tembagapura District

After three days of conflict with the armed separatist group, on Thursday (19/4) Indonesian armed forces managed to evacuate dozens of teachers from Kampung (Village) Aroanop, Tembagapura District to the capital of Mimika Regency in Timika. Out of a total of 18 teachers, 13 have been evacuated. The other five are still waiting for the evacuation process.

The operation was led by Colonel Infantry Frits Pelamonia. Army troops were divided into 4 teams and managed to infiltrate and surround the area around the Aroanop since Thursday morning at 05.30 WIT. Knowing their position was surrounded the separatist group ran scattered and fled to the north towards Kampung Jagamin.

Having control over Arwanop village, rescue teams from the Indonesian army soon rescue teachers who had been collected and guarded by local residents at the home of Arwanop village chief Mr. Yonatan Beanal.

Rescue teams found the teachers of the victims of acts of abuse and rape of OPN OPM in a very poor condition. The teachers looked very frightened, depressed and anxious. The rape victim also suffered severe depression. There were bruises and wounds on the teacher’s face due to severe persecution by separatist group a few days earlier.

The teachers were immediately transported by army helicopter and flown to Timika. A total of 13 teachers consisting of 7 male teachers and 6 female teachers were successfully evacuated on Thursday morning at around 09.05. While the rest of 5 teachers have not been successful in evacuation due to weather condition in Aroanop.

The teachers who are still in Arwanop are currently guarded by the army. Arriving in Timika, female teachers were immediately rushed to Charitas Hospital, Kuala Kencana District, Mimika for medical examination and care. The rest of the teacher will be evacuated on Friday (20/4). However, Frits and Kodam XVII / Cendrawasih cannot provide certainty of departure time from Timika because it is impossible to fly helicopter in a bad weather condition.

According to Frits Pelamonia, the group is a joint Papuan separatist who used to move from Ilaga in Puncak regency. In addition, they are also used to working with other groups from Puncak Jaya. Therefore, he is very grateful as his team was able to evacuate dozens of teachers from Aroanop.

One of the teacher named Rano Samsul said that he witnessed how dozens of armed separatist members move quickly entering Aroanop.

“So, they went into the village quickly and held us for 45 minutes,” he explained. Rano admitted he did not know the purpose of their action.


Pict source:

Minister Wiranto Wants to Visit Merauke

After the recent visit of President Joko Widodo to Papua, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto also plans to review the development of the border in Merauke, Papua with the National Border Management Agency (BNPP). It is a government attention, to never abandoned the border areas.

“My plan is to go to Papua to review the construction of the border, in Merauke. As well as to see the projects that have been completed, then we inaugurate, “said Wiranto in his official statement on Saturday (14/4).

Wiranto said that after receiving BNPP presentation on Integrated Border Development of 2018 at the Office of the Coordinating Ministry for Political and Security Affairs, Jakarta, Friday, 13 of April. The meeting was also attended by Acting Secretary of BNPP Widodo Sigit Pudjianto, Secretary General of the Ministry Lieutenant General Yoedhi Swastono, and officials of Kemenko Polhukam.

The Minister added that, according to the government-promoted program (nawacita) under President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, BNPP has the duty and function as coordinator and agency that synchronizes the development of the border areas.

“So if anyone says that we are neglecting the border area is wrong, because one of our current focus is development in the border area. For what? In addition to infrastructure at the border, to build the economy, for equity and so on,” he concluded.



Pict. Source: Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs’s Documentation

What to Note from President Joko Widodo’s Eighth Visit to Papua

President Joko Widodo is scheduled to make a work trip to West Papua and Papua provinces from Wednesday (11/4) to Friday (13/4). This will be his eighth visit to the easternmost provinces of Indonesia since he took office in October 2014. Upon his arrival, President Widodo is to hand over land titles to Papuan residents and visit the Mama-Mama Market in the evening.

The Mama-Mama market is a large new purpose-built market for West Papuan women vendors in downtown Jayapura. Started its operation in January 2018, the market is a way of empowering Papuan women who are the key players in the traditional markets where fresh, home-grown product are sold. It aims to enable better grassroots participation in economic development in Papua. For many years the Papuan capital lacked an adequate central market in Jayapura, with women vendors left to sell in an unused car park on a busy street corner. The market complex has streamlined electricity and modern toilet facilities. It is designed in a way to offer the Papuan a way to better market their produce, literally lifting their wares off the floor.

On the day after, President Widodo is scheduled to visit the construction of Holtekamp bridge in Jayapura. The bridge is expected to operate in 2019. Upon its completion, the bridge is likely to cut travel time from Jayapura to Muara Tami as well as cross country border post of Skouw that delimits Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The existence of this bridge can cut time up to 60 minutes from Jayapura to Muara Tami and Skouw which originally can take up to 2,5-hour drive, and therefore accelerating cross-border economic activities in the area. Holtekamp Bridge is also expected to become an icon in Papua, especially Jayapura.

Subsequently, upon his visit to Asmat regency, President Widodo is to ensure continuous treatment after measles and malnutrition outbreak occurred last year in the area. In addition, President Widodo also wants to listen directly to inputs from the community in the district. In the West Papua province, President Widodo will visit an early childhood education unit (PAUD) and meet inspirational women, among other things on the agenda.

President’s visit to Papua is perceptibly intended to accelerate the development in Papua and West Papua province. It is also to assert that building infrastructure in the periphery and outer islands is part of the concrete efforts to suppress development inequality.


Pict source:

Reducing Inequality in West Papua by Accelerating Infrastructure Development

Until 2019, the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Area and Transmigration (DPDTT) is prioritizing the program of eradicating 80 disadvantaged areas to make it developed areas, from the 122 areas classified as disadvantaged areas. In addition, the DPDTT Ministry is also prioritizing the acceleration of development in 39,091 disadvantaged villages and 17,268 villages that are very much behind.

The program is part of the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) of 2015-2019 with a target of increasing the economic growth of underdeveloped regions to 7.24 percent by 2019. Next is to reduce the percentage of the poor in disadvantaged areas to 14.00 percent and increase the Index Human Development (HDI) to about 69.59 percent.

In order for these targets to be achieved, a strategy that works is needed. Among other things is to utilize natural resources for the greatest prosperity of the people, and implement the pattern of development by minimizing regional inequality.

Most important are qualified human resources, innovation, creativity and ability to apply the right technology. Next is to encourage investment that can increase people’s productivity.

As we know, the 122 underdeveloped regions in Indonesia are spread in 19 regencies in Sumatera, 6 regencies in Java and Bali, 12 regencies in Kalimantan, 18 regencies in Sulawesi, 26 regencies in East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, 14 regencies in Maluku, and 33 regencies in Papua.

Based from data, it is seen that the eastern part of Indonesia is the most abundant area. Therefore, there must be a policy effort to reduce the gap with the acceleration of infrastructure development, potential management, and development of a more independent transmigration area.

This is not certainly an easy job. There must really be a mature readiness in order for the target to alleviate the disadvantaged areas and make them better. At a minimum, the disadvantaged areas should already have access to areas with a running economy. Therefore, an exchange of economic value of society will exists.

West Papua also Applies a New Scheme on the Utilization of the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Fund. In 2018, West Papua province received a special autonomy fund (Otsus) of Rp. 2.4 trillion and additional special autonomy infrastructure funds amounting to Rp.1.6 trillion. The amount of additional funds is greater than last year, which was only Rp. 875 billion.

Starting this year, the distribution of Otsus funds in West Papua uses a new scheme as set forth in the West Papua Regional Development Plan (RPJMD) 2017-2022, of which 90 percent of the special autonomy funds are handed over to regencies / municipalities while provinces only manage 10 percent.

In relation, the West Papua Provincial Government affirmed that all regency / municipal governments are obliged to carry out the management of special autonomy fund with full responsibility and transparency, while the accountability report on the use of special autonomy funds must be submitted periodically on time.

Meanwhile, for additional infrastructure funding, management is handed over to the Public Works Department and the Transportation Department. The funds will be used to accelerate infrastructure development such as roads and bridges.

To evaluate the progress of each region in the implementation of Otsus, the regional heads agreed to hold meetings and presentations of Otsus development results every year, and it will be conducted in Teluk Wondama Regency this year.



Pict from: Ministry of Village and DPDTT

Success Story from West Papua for the West Papuan

The number of negative news about West Papua does not make these West Papuan children stop working hard to build West Papua. A number of students even get scholarships from top universities in the UK.

Billy Mambrasar is one of the West Papuan students who continues his Master of Science studies at Said Business School, Oxford University. Billy also got a scholarship once in Australia and joined a student exchange program to Harvard University, United States.

Billy who was once a cake seller in the traditional market could not believe that he can continue his studies up to Oxford University. “Hopefully this can be an inspiration for the poor children of Indonesia and other West Papuans that entering ivy league universities is not impossible,” said Billy.

Other stories come from Rio Albert, who is taking doctoral programs in sociology and social policy at Southampton Univeristy, in England. Rio is a child from Wamena. Rio admitted that he used to come late to school due to the unpredictable fog that covered his way to school.

At the time of junior high school finally Rio chose to continue school in Jayapura to seek a better education. “I heard from my sister who went to school in Jayapura that the school is better than in my village, the challenge is to stay far away from the family, because I have no family in Jayapura,” explained Rio.

Advancing Indonesia

Rio and Billy and other fellow students form a group in social media, “the Papua Scolarship”, there are also career centers, internships and courses. Rio and Billy want to motivate to the younger siblings to be more active in learning.

Not only that, Billy has also established an organization called “Kitong Bisa”, an institution founded by several other young Indonesia professionals. Kitong Bisa provide entrepreneurial training for young people in remote areas, especially in Aceh and West Papua.

Stories that are not less interesting came from George Saa, a graduate student, majoring in Materials Engineering in Birmingham, England. Previously he took a course in Aerospace Engineering in Florida, USA. While in high school he had won the First Step world competition at the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004.

George has some dreams for the land of West Papua and Indonesia. He wishes the primary school to be free of charge, provides school buses and free lunch. “In my opinion, primary school should be free, school children should be picked up every day to go home, lunch should be provided free of charge at school, and special coaching programs should be given for special skills for junior high school students. For university, I envision to initiate research collaboration and complete research database system. For West Papuan campuses, I want to create a design center with small-scale manufacturing capability. My goal, namely ‘product creation’, is the creation of technology-based products that will be very profitable for the region in various aspects such as economy and business,” George said as quoted from

Source: GNFI

Picture: Oxford University

A Letter for Mr. Wenda

I have read many articles written about West Papua, either written by the Indonesian Government, foreign writers and journalist, or written by Benny Wenda and his OPM friends.

I am Indonesian, and I am not going to tell you whether I am a Papuan or not, because first of all, it’s not important. Although I never really loved, cared nor hated OPM, but Mr. Wenda for me is quite interesting. He is Papuan, whom talked a lot about the welfare and care about Papuan but he lives in London.

Now, as an ordinary member of my village and town, a part of my large family and friends, I do care about the welfare of the people around me. I live with them, share almost everything with them, and most of all, I love them.

I traveled quite a lot lately, not only within Papua or other islands in Indonesia, but I’ve had the opportunity to travel  to other countries, and I saw a lot of things, and it has made me love my village and the people even more.

Now, I try to make a comparison about what Mr. Wenda said about Papua and Indonesia, and compare it with what the Indonesian have done in Papua.

First, you are talking about genocide. There you are… Mr. Wenda is lying to his teeth. Second, the destruction of Papua. If Mr. Wenda thinks that building road and highways almost 4000 km all over Papua is destruction, I think he is a lunatic. Building roads means a lot for the people, especially in remote areas around Papua. It will open isolated areas and reduce the price of goods. I heard that the president really cares about it. I know the Indonesian are bringing rocks from other islands because of lack of rocks in dense forests in many areas in Papua. They built schools, and I am part of one of them, I graduated from those schools.

What about you Mr. Wenda? What have you done for the Papuan, except for making yourself popular and living abroad, enjoying your popularity and maybe also a better life compared to us here in Papua?  I think you are a disgrace, for your family and Papuan as a whole. You chose to live in the mercy of strangers, and call yourself a warrior. No Mr. Wenda, you are a coward.

Mr. Wenda, have you heard the story about Mr. Kilion Manggara, a retired elementary school teacher who thanks to his hard work with the residents in his village managed to bring electricity through Solar Power Plant? Now, Amdui Village has been electrified from the Centralized Electric Plant with 30 kWp capacity for about 130 families in 103 homes. Yes, the government built the electricity plant, but it was him that made it possible by bringing the government’s attention to his village.

Meanwhile, You, Mr. Wenda, you are asking the whole world to take the focus on you, and for that, you are willing to do anything, including lying. For Papuan man, you are not considered as a man.

With all the bad things and mishaps of the Indonesian government, I choose them easy compared to you. At least the Indonesian are trying hard to take care and bring welfare for the Papuan, and I guess I cannot even possibly dream that it will come from you.

Mr. Wenda, sorry to say, but you are a loser. I love my family, I love Papua. I don’t think you even care about us. I can tell you hundreds stories, but I lost my appetite, it’s just because of you Mr. Wenda.

Sorong, March 2018


Editor’s Note: Articles in Opinion section are written by West Papua Now readers. Please contact us should you wish to share your opinion to our readers.

West Papua Has Great Potential to be East Indonesia’s Economic Driving Force

Papua and West Papua provinces have great potential to become the driving force of eastern Indonesia’s economy through the abundance of their natural resources in various sectors of fisheries, agriculture, plantation, agro and food industries, marine and natural tourism, and mining.

In accordance with the Government Work Plan (RKP) of 2018, the regional development programs undertaken by the government this year are focused on growth and even distribution of development. West Papua Has Great Potential to be East Indonesia’s Economic Driving Force.

The growth of regional development in 2018 will be driven through the growth of the service processing and agriculture sectors. Increasing the contribution of these sectors is carried out in line with the continuous development of strategic areas in areas that have become main prime movers, such as; Special Economic Zones (KEK), Industrial Zones (KI), Urban Areas (megapolitan and metropolitan), Tourism and Agricultural-based Areas and Potential Areas such as Agropolitan and Minapolitan.

In terms of development distribution, the regional development policies are directed to narrow the gap between regions, especially the development of Indonesia‘s Western and Eastern Regions, including rural areas, underdeveloped regions and borders.

The policy undertaken by the government for Papua and West Papua is to encourage the transformation and acceleration of infrastructure development and encourage increase in investment.

The target of regional development in 2018 is aimed at growth and equity among regions by further enhancing the role of the economy, in which the roles of Papua and West Papua regions towards the national economy is expected to increase with focus on developing the potentials and advantages in each region.

Furthermore, infrastructure development in Papua and West Papua in 2018 is aimed at reducing intra-regional gaps, especially in mountainous areas.

In the economic sector, Papua and West Papua provinces are expected to increase their contribution to 1.88 percent of the national economy with an average economic growth of at least 6 percent this year.

In addition, the policy direction of development in Papua and West Papua is also aimed at supporting efforts in realizing Regional Development based on Indigenous Peoples supported by reliable infrastructure and facilities.



Illustration: Jayapura City