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.


Source: westpapuatabloid.com

Illustration: Jayapura City

Anti-Hoax Declaration in West Papua

The West Papuan people agreed to reject false or hoax news in West Papua. The Anti-Hoax Declaration in West Papua was conducted in Imbi Park, Jayapura City, on March 13 2018, and joined by more than 300 people with three points of agreement in rejecting and opposing the spread of hoax or false news.

In the occasion, the people in West Papua also stated that they will support the Indonesian Military and Police Force to take firm action against the hoax propagators in West Papua. People in West Papua refuse to be victims of false news and hate speech.

A number of representatives from local communities and schools are seen in the Anti-hoax Declaration. They unfurled banners, posters, and pamphlets in the declaration. In West Papua, the spread of hoax or hoax news is mostly done through social media, especially Facebook. The West Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar mentioned a number of hoax news that were circulated in West Papua was done from outside West Papua. This is known after the West Papua Police formed the Anti-hoax Task Force.

“In order to  combat and anticipate hoax from people outside West Papua, we create healthy and positive contents that people need, so that people won’t be fooled by hoax or false news they received,” said Boy.

Boy added, the sanctions for hoax spreaders can be up to 7 years in prison. He invited the West Papuan people to use social media wisely and to disseminate information based on facts, without publishing false news that had an effect to mislead the community’s perspective.

Meanwhile, The Acting Governor of West Papua, Soedarmo, said the Antihoax Declaration was a form of early anticipation made by the West Papua Police to face the upcoming election in Indonesia.

“The government and the West Papuan people support this declaration, we oppose and reject the hoaxes that threaten the unity of the nation in West Papua,” Soedarmo said.

According to Soedarmo, the election process in West Papua is still considered vulnerable, which are caused by conflict between supporters and the dissemination of hoaxes.

After the declaration, some 300 West Papuans joined in signing a 100-meter white cloth for anti-hoax support in West Papua


Source: liputan6.com

It’s Time for West Papua Coffee to Shine

The Provincial Plantation Office of Papua continues to boost the production of coffee by doing expansion of the area, intensification and rehabilitation of agriculture. The policy is done due to the coffee production in Papua that is still at average of 500 to 600 kilograms per hectare. “We always remind (the coffee farmers) to prepare high quality coffee seedlings to increase production up to 800 to 900 kilo grams,” said Head of Papua Plantation Office, John Nahumury, in Jayapura, Wednesday (21/3/2018).

Nahumury has encouraged the District Plantation Office to open a special area for ​​superior and qualified plantation, in the hope that with expansion of the land, the farmers can plant the provided high quality coffee seeds. “So if there is an extension of planting land, it is important to take superior quality seeds, thus there will be no more random coffee seeds in the plantation,” said Nahumury. He hopes that the coffee that has been planted today can be further developed with the end result that can meet the demand of not only domestic but also abroad. He hopes the Papua coffee can become the mainstay of farmers’ income. He expects massive funding support for this plan to be developed.


In addition to development, Papua also continuously boosts the promotion involving several related agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry. “(the objective) is to introduce Cartens Coffee, Baliem Blue Coffee, and other coffee produced by the Papuan,” he said.


Acting Governor of Papua, Soedarmo, said coffee farmers in Papua have been under the nurture of various programs from Bank Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, Bank BRI, Bank Papua including coffee entrepreneurs. He hopes that these relevant agencies in the region have a sense of care and belonging toward the land of Papua. “If the sense of belonging does not exist, it is impossible to develop the existing potentials,” said Soedarmo.


Source: tabloidjubi.com

Illustration: bekalkopi.com

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Encourages Fishery Exports In West Papua

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia, has continued to boost the fisheries in West Papua, especially in exporting the fish from traditional fishermen. This was stated by Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti in Working Visit to West Papua Province on Saturday, March 17 2018.

“I some time ago had a meeting with Pelindo IV. The company will bring a floating cold storage to buy fish from traditional fishermen, and then export them directly from the eastern Indonesia”, said Minister Susi.The plan to export fish from the catch of traditional fishermen will begin to run within one or two months ahead.

In addition, in order to encourage the production of traditional fishing in West Papua, The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will also give aid for an environmentally-friendly fishing, in the form of nets as a substitute for the prohibited fishing gear that is still used in traditional fishermen. “The tool will not only preserve the environment and marine life, but could increase the catch, as well as the welfare of the fishermen, especially in West Papua”, she said.

Minister Susi also asserted, with the existence of the policy of prohibiting the use of the regular fishing gear which destroys the environment, the government does not intend to suffer the fishermen especially traditional fishermen, “we think far ahead for the fisherman community itself to be prosperous”, she added.

On the occasion, Minister Susi also advised that efforts made by the The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in stopping foreign ships and trawling equipment, as well as actions against destructive fishing can be continued by the local government. According to her, the people and local government are considered most appropriate to maintain and be responsible for the conservation of coral reefs in the waters of West Papua. “We in Jakarta help with the maximum policy and support we can provide, but of course the most responsible are the people and local government,” said Minister Susi.

Meanwhile, Minister Susi restated clearly the laid-down trawlers should not be able to sail again in the West Papuan seas. “If that happens, the future Papua sea will be terrible, because trawling will destroy and spend coral reefs and marine biota on the seabed”, she said.

EU Ambassador to Indonesia Visits Papua Province

The EU Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Vincent Guérend, began a four-day visit to the Papua Province, including Jayapura (the capital of the province) and Wamena. This visit aims to see firsthand and obtain information on the latest developments of the province, including the economic sector, regional elections (Pilkada), governance, human rights and environmental protection. This is the second visit for Ambassador Guérend since his assignment to Indonesia in September 2015.

The Ambassador is scheduled to meet various stakeholders, the local government and civil society representatives, including the Acting Governor of Papua, Soedarmo; the Regional Police Commissioner, Police Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar; Vice Speaker of the Papua House of Representatives, Fernando Tinal; and Wamena regional government.

“The EU has good relations with Indonesia. We work together in various fields, such as trade, climate change, governance, democracy, and human rights. Many of the EU’s development cooperation programs in Indonesia directly bring benefits to the province of Papua in the areas of health, education, support for climate change mitigation efforts and sustainable economic development,” said EU Ambassador Guérend.

In addition to discussions with local governments, Ambassador Guérend will hold meetings with civil society, particularly on environmental and climate change – on future assistance to capacity building and advocacy. The EU Ambassador Guérend will also visit some of the projects focused on education, health and forestry in Central Papua that are financed by EU.

A 2.5 Million Euro aid to the ParCiMon Program (Participatory Monitoring by the Civil Society of Land-Use Planning for Low-Emissions Development Strategy) has contributed to sustainable green development in Papua. The project is being implemented by the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) in three districts (Jayapura, Merauke and Jayawijaya), specifically for capacity building in sustainable use of natural resources and access to environmental services, while ensuring local community participation in development planning.

The Ambassador plans to visit hospitals in Wamena to see further the Government’s efforts to give quality health services and treatment for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The EU and the EU Member States are major contributors to the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).

Ambassador Guérend will also visit St. Stevanus Wouma Elementary School, an example of the success of EU-funded education program. The Minimum Service Standards Capacity Development Partnerships (MSS CDP) program, funded by the EU with a grant of 37.3 Million Euros, provides support to 108 districts in Indonesia, including 8 districts in Papua Province and 7 districts in West Papua Province. The MSS CDP program aims to assist in the achievement of Minimum Service Standards (MSS) of primary education. This program provides training and capacity building for teachers, school principals, school supervisors, education officials, and local government in achieving MSS.

Ambassador Guérend will also meet the trainees of the SUSTAIN Project in Jayapura. The SUSTAIN project aims to enhance the integrity, transparency and accountability of the judiciary. The project also provides training for judges dealing with environmental crime cases.

A Morning Leisure talks between Jokowi and Papuan Student in New Zealand

On the sidelines of the Indonesian President work visit to New Zealand, Jokowi took his time for a leisurely walk at Wellington Waterfront Pier. He wasn’t alone, he was accompanied by the Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto, State Secretary Pratikno, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, and Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya. Not only that, Indonesian students in New Zealand, which dozens of them are Papuan, participate in the morning entourage with Jokowi.

In the middle of the walk, the students had time for a dialog with the President. Marvey Ayomi, “Coordinator of Children of Papua in New Zealand”, appreciated the efforts of the Jokowi government in boosting infrastructure development in Papua.

Although is not easy, he believes Jokowi government has seriousness in building Papua. “It is not easy, I myself as a Papuan knows that to take care of Papua and the people of Papua is not easy, therefore we appreciate it,” he said on Monday (19/3).

Marvey asked Jokowi to continue the development in Papua. There is one demand for infrastructure that he has requested to be encouraged in Papua; an international airport, thus “if we want to return to Papua we don’t need to transit in Bali or Jakarta, but directly to Papua,” he said.


Two Papuan Young Women Becomes the Two First Female Papuan Pilot for Indonesia

During his meeting with the Indonesians students in Wellington, New Zealand, it was mentioned that two Papuan young women are studying in a Pilot Academy in New Zealand. The two young woman will become the two first female pilots from Papua and will work for Garuda Indonesia airlines.

This information was revealed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya. “Mr President, I would like to inform you that two graduated girls from the pilot academy, are in the final process to become Garuda’s pilots” said Tantowi. “So we will have the first two female pilots from Papua and and for Garuda Indonesia,” added Tantowi who was then applauded by the President Jokowi and the First Lady Iriana.

How Sorong Grew into One of the Most Prosperous Towns in West

Thanks to the rapid economic growth, there are several cities and towns in West Papua that are contributive for the province’s economic and financial developments. Since the Dutch Colonialism era, Sorong was known for its natural resources and economic potentials. After independence, Indonesian government opened the lines of investments to Sorong, further creating an economic boom in the town.

General Information of Sorong

The name “Sorong” rooted from “Soren”, a Biak word that means “deep and wavy sea”. The name was bestowed by Biak people, who were known as sailors. When traders from China and India started coming to New Guinea, they often mispronounced “Soren”, which slowly became “Sorong”. European missionaries and Maluku sailors later followed the changed pronunciation.

Sorong has diverse land surfaces, with lowland, highland, and mountain areas. Rain happens almost every month, and the humidity level can reach 84 percent. However, it is a land rich in natural resources, especially oil. This has made Sorong one of the favorite destinations for migrants and investors.

Sorong also has a lot of rivers, such as Remu, Klagison, Klabala, Duyung, Rufei, and Klasaman. The rivers, along with frequent rain, have made Sorong ideal for farming. The rivers also allow locals to grow and harvest sago frequently, enough to sustain daily life. The ideal elements, combined with the coming of migrants, made Sorong one of the fastest-growing towns in Papua.

Sorong and the Economic Potentials

When the Dutch first came to Sorong, they saw the potentials from natural resources in the area, especially oil. They built an oil mining and refinery company called Nederlands Nieuw-Guinea Petroleum Maatschappij. This company contributed a lot to Netherland’s own economic boom, but it also caused Sorong to receive a lot of attention.

Migrants and Dutch people from overseas started pouring into Sorong, to tap financial profits from the growing oil business. Slowly, the business made the town grow into one of the busiest towns in Papua. Now, Sorong is known as the second biggest and busiest town in West Papua. It has started to show a significant increase in economic aspects since 2010. Currently, properties, transportations, trading, and services dominate Sorong’s income. However, with the rising trend of tourism boom and traveling trend, Sorong has seen new opportunities in similar trends. 2013 also saw the buildings of several traditional markets, to better accommodate small business owners in Sorong.

Roles of Small Business in Sorong

Even before economic and tourism booms, Sorong has been empowered by small and medium businesses. The regional government even put “encouraging small businesses” as one of the development missions of Sorong. Internet and new infrastructures have helped people of Sorong to promote their small business products to the entire province and country.

In September 2017, Sorong reported 0.12 percent of deflation. There were several business sectors that had roles in the deflation, the most prominent were dried fish, mustard greens, kawalina fish, jackfruit, tuna, garlic, onions, and spinach. 2017 was even deemed as the best years in consumption price index.

There are many areas in Sorong that have high potentials in the fishing industry, which is still overwhelmingly supported by small and medium enterprises. Sele Strait has recently been mentioned as one of the new potential areas to develop fishing and farming industries.

Tourism Potentials in Sorong

Yosef H. Solosa, the head of Sorong Tourism Board, said that there are many areas in Sorong with high potentials to become the new tourist destinations. Not all of them have been explored by the local and central governments. However, the trend of eastern Indonesia tourism has increased exposure to Sorong as the gateway to Raja Ampat.

Located off the coast of the “bird’s beak” area in Papua, Raja Ampat is a collection of islands with diverse underwater life. This spot has been known as one of the best diving areas in the world, thanks to its rich biodiversity. When Raja Ampat rose to prominence at the beginning of 2010’s, Sorong also got the positive impact. The town were booming with various businesses and new infrastructures to accommodate visitors.

Some of the main programs for boosting Sorong’s economy through tourism are:

  • The building of Tourism Information Building (Gedung Informasi Wisata) in 2014. This is the integrated center for visitors to find information about all good destinations in Sorong.
  • The building of new roads. Some of road building projects in Sorong were aimed to increase the stream of tourists. The newest roads in Sorong include a new one that connects the downtown with port, and the one that goes to Klaili District, famous for its hot water spring.
  • The improvement of natural and environmental tourism potentials, besides Raja Ampat. They include mangrove tourism, surfing in Um Island, and forest trips to see unique birds.
  • The development of beach destinations. Islands of Raam, Doom, Soop, and Item are among the most popular beaches to visit in Sorong.

Sorong may not have tapped all its potentials, but it shows quick growth in economy trend. It is no wonder that the town became one of the biggest contributors to West Papua’s gross income.

Chairman of the UN Decolonization Special Committee, Rafael Ramirez, Reveals the Lies of Benny Wenda

The separatist group Benny Wenda resumed spreading hoaxes and lies to the public through a message saying that Benny Wenda had submitted a petition calling for a referendum for Papua to the UN Decolonization Committee as published by the Guardian newspaper with the headline “Banned West Papua independence petition handed to UN”. On September 27, 2017, the Guardian newspaper in its

article mentions that Benny Wenda has submitted a petition calling for a referendum for Papua to the UN Decolonization Committee.

Responding to the report, the Chairman of the UN Decolonization Special Committee, Rafael Ramirez, has relayed a clarification on 28 September 2017 morning at the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA. In his clarification, Rafael Ramirez stated that he and the Secretariat of the UN Decolonization Special Committee never received, formally or informally, a petition or anyone regarding Papua as reported in the Guardian newspaper.

According to Rafael Ramírez, it is only the activities or efforts of individuals and certain parties who seek to manipulate and create a propaganda. Last year, Benny Wenda has also done the same thing, lying to the public. He mentioned that he had submitted documents about Papua to the UN Secretary-General, but after being confirmed with the UN secretary-general’s office it never happened. He seeks only to shape opinions and stigma, both to the international community and to the Papuan community that Papua is under the rule of Indonesian colonialism and seeks to fight for Papuan independence through a referendum.Indonesia colonizing the Papuan people is an absurd logic. In fact, the Indonesian nation is a nation that strives to fight for independence and peace as the right of all nations.

Indonesia is determined to fight for the Palestinian’s right to independence and stop the occupation of Israel against the Palestinians. On the other hand, Indonesia is also the largest contributor in the UN Peacekeeping Force. The Government of Indonesia is also adamantly doing development in Papua and gives full freedom to the Papuan people to manage its territory through Special Autonomy. So what Benny Wenda does is nothing more than the efforts of a handful of people who want to impose their own interests but under the pretext of the interests of the people of Papua.

One Fuel Price Accelerates Papua Economic Development

The myth of high fuel price in Papua is no longer encountered now. Moreover, the Government carried out the One Fuel Price program which significantly reduces fuel price in some regions of Eastern Indonesia. This was affirmed by the Minister of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Rini Soemarno, during his working visit to Papua. According to her, One Fuel Price in Papua and West Papua is a government effort in reducing the price difference in thrusting the acceleration of economic development. “Before 2016, the price of fuel in Papua ranged between Rp 50 thousand to Rp 60 thousand per liter.  With the One Fuel Price policy, selling of fuel in Papua with the regions of Java and Bali is in accordance with government resolve of Rp 6.450 for premium and Rp 5,150 for diesel,” she said in Wamena, Papua, on Tuesday (21/11/2017).

Rini stated that fuel price equalization is carried out by increasing the total number of channeling institutions (LP) of One Fuel Price operating since 2016 and continues in 2017. She added that until November 2017, Papua has 9 LP and 2 LP in West Papua that are distributing fuel to the public. “We will continue to encourage the addition of the number of channeling institutions to give justice to the people in remote areas or inland Papua,” she hoped.

Pertamina’s data noted that fuel needs of Papua region has currently reached nearly 800 thousand kilo liters (KL) per year, with an allocation of about 500 thousand KL for Papua and 300 thousand KL for West Papua. She said that fuel distribution is done through land, sea and air transportation modes. Next year, the government targets to set fuel price equalization at 14 points in Papua, extended among others in Bolkame, Abonaho Keerom and Tolikara areas. “It is undeniable that the geographical and distribution conditions in Papua pose as challenges, so we continuously strive to overcome them together. Apparently, we are optimistic that fuel price adjustments in the targeted spots can be realized. For everyone’s progress and economic impartiality, support from the local government as well as synergy of SOEs, communities and all stakeholders are needed, “she said