Four Newly-Built Sport Arenas for PON Handed Over to Papuan Gov’t

The Central Government Thursday (10/06) officially handed over the newly-completed four arenas for the upcoming 20th National Sports Week (PON) to the Papuan Provincial Government as host of the quadrennial event.

Those sports arenas, which were built by Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, are the Aquatic Arena and the Papua Bangkit Sports Area in East Sentani district and the Cricket Venue and Hockey Field (indoor and outdoor) in Waibu district in Jayapura regency.

The Aquatic arena has been under construction since December 2018 with a budget allocation of Rp401 billion. This venue is equipped with pool facilities that complies with the  standards of the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) as a parent organization of the international sport of swimming.

Meanwhile, Papua Bangkit Sports Area has been constructed since November 2018 by occupying an area of 33,016 meters in the Sports area of Kampung Harapan and using the State Budget amounting to Rp278.5 billion.

The compound is equipped with international standard facilities and other supporting facilities, such as atraining / heating field and a parking area. The structure of the Papua Bangkit Sports Area building won the Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) award for three categories at once.

Furthermore, the construction of the Cricket arena and Hockey field (indoor and outdoor) occupies an area of ​​133,509 square meters with a budget of Rp288.3 billion.

The Outdoor Hockey Venue has received certification from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 5 August 2020 as an arena ready to be used for international matches.

Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing’s Director General of Copyright of Diana Kusumastuti pointed out that the handover of the management aims to support the sporting event.

“I entrust the Papua Provincial Government to maintain and manage all the assets that have been handed over as well as possible,” she said.

The venue that has been handed over, she added, can be used as a training facility for Papuan athletes for sports events.

After the event has finished, it can also be used for sports tournament activities, both at the provincial and national levels, she added.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, with its huge capacity the Papua Bangkit Sports Area can also be used to hold a music concert or other events. We hope that the entire infrastructure that has been built will not only be useful for boosting the achievements of Papuan athletes, but also to stimulate economic activities in the region,” Diana said.

In the meantime, the Papua Provincial Government through Regional Secretary Dance Yulian Flassy expressed gratitude for the Central Government’s support in developing sports in Papua through infrastructure development.

“Our task now is how to use this infrastructure to encourage economic growth and better welfare for the Papuan people,” said Dance.

For the record, the 20th edition of the National Sports Week is set to take place from 20 October to 4 November this year. This multi-sport event was originally set to be held in 2020, but was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Source: Setkab

5 Papua Development Acceleration Plans by Special Staff Billy Mambrasar

Special Staff Billy Mambrasar and Minister of National Development Planning/Head of Bappenas, Suharso Monoarfa

Special Staff (Staf Khusus/Stafsus) of the President of the Republic of Indonesia Billy Mambrasar introduced five Main Programs for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua. The five programs were explained during the webinar “Untukmu Indonesiaku – Building a Sustainable Indonesia from the East”. The programs, which will be run by Papuan youths, are an implementation of Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2020.

“Pak Jokowi’s commitment to advancing Papua, developing the Papuan people, has not changed. He therefore issued Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2020 on the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua, in which Indigenous Papuans will be the main target of the welfare improvement program, ” said Billy. He stated that this program is called Bringing Change (Bawa Perubahan) or Baper. He hopes that this program can help solve problems in Papua and West Papua, especially with regard to the welfare and development of indigenous Papuans.

“We hope that this program will create thousands of new jobs for children of indigenous Papuans and create multiple positive economic impacts on Papua and West Papua,” said Billy. These positive impacts include a reduction in the unemployment and poverty rate, as well as increase in the welfare of the people of Papua and West Papua. The five plans for accelerating development that were initiated by Billy are as follows:

1. Papua Youth Creative Hub

The Papua Youth Creative Hub is aimed at creating young Papuan entrepreneurs and creating management of training ecosystem and business capital by Papua Muda Inspirasi (PMI). He said this program will be directly monitored by the President and is expected to bring in 100 young entrepreneurs from Papua and West Papua in the MSME sector, startups, and creative industry.

2. Millennial farmers

The second program is creating one hundred thousand of Millennial Farmers. This is already being implemented in ten provinces, including Papua and West Papua. The program from the Ministry of Agriculture is expected to produce 20 thousand farmers in the two easternmost provinces of Indonesia, and 80 thousand farmers in eight other provinces. This program is a combination of technical and economic training, as well as partnerships with market.

3. Papuan Talent Management Website

Billy plans to launch a Papuan Talent Management (Manajemen Talenta Papua/MTP) website that will contain information on the best indigenous Papuan children. They will be given training on an ongoing basis and be linked to job opportunities in various sectors. This program will be managed directly under the supervision of the Director General for Regional Autonomy, the Ministry of Home Affairs.

4. Non-formal learning centers

Non-formal learning centers will be established to provide more access to education. With these learning centers, Billy hoped that the community will acquire new skills which are adapted to the local context in the Papua and West Papua regions. This program is directly supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

5. Bootcamp Policy for Papua

The Policy Bootcamp for Papua is an application and website where the government can receive inputs and policy advice for all components of Papuan society, especially the youth. This website is expected to be managed by the Papua Desk, Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency, in direct coordination with the Presidential Staff Office of the Republic of Indonesia. Input from the community can then be directly implemented in cross-ministerial/institutional work programs.

Source: Kompas | Image: Setkab.go.id

National Human Rights Commission Disagrees to Military Withdrawal and Says OPM is Perpetrator of Violence

The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komisi Nasional HAM/Komnas HAM) acknowledges that some acts of violence that occur in Papua are perpetrated by the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka/OPM).

Komnas HAM chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik considered that these acts of violence are very brutal.

“Sometimes they are very brutal, like the incidents in Wamena and other cities where demonstrations occurred following the case of racial discrimination in Surabaya. We have noted that there have been many brutal acts of violence by the OPM,” said Ahmad in his presentation at the Indonesian Military and National Police (TNI-Polri) Leaders Meeting on Monday, February 15, 2021.

Ahmad asked the government to allow Komnas HAM to have a dialogue with certain parties or local figures. This measure is to prevent more violent incidents from occurring.

“We are proposing leniency, a little more flexibility for Komnas HAM to initiate dialogues with certain parties,” said Ahmad.

For three days, on 15-17 February 2021, TNI-Polri held the 2021 Leaders Meeting. On the first day, the two agencies discussed a number of issues including economic growth, Covid-19 handling, and strategies in handling human rights issues. Komnas HAM was invited to provide input.

In addition, the Head of Komnas HAM also said that he does not agree to any proposals that are aimed at weakening the strength of the TNI and Polri in protecting the sovereignty of the Indonesian nation, including the withdrawal of military and police personnel assigned to Papua.

“In various speeches and seminars, I always say that our country’s democracy is developing. In its development, there are extraordinary dynamics, where sometimes it would go awry. I usually call these situations a turbulence,” said Ahmad.

The reason why the National Military and National Police must remain in Papua, Ahmad said, is that the they are the guardians of the democratic principles, so long human rights norms are maintained. He stated that the proposed withdrawal of military and police force from Papua was not approved by his institution, because it would weaken the two institutions in the region.

“If withdrawn, the region will get more dangerous. Thus, whenever someone came to us with such proposal, Komnas HAM has never agreed. How can they be withdrawn if there are still many problems there,” he said.

“Because we want discipline and operations to be carried out. Therefore, the reduction of military forces and other similar things, in my opinion, are absurd,” he added.

According to him, Indonesia is a sovereign country, and it is the duty of the TNI-Polri to resolve any disturbances to the sovereignty in accordance with human rights principles. Ahmad emphasized that, as two institutions that protect human rights, the TNI and Polri must be strengthened, as many people were attacked by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in Papua.

“Two of the protectors of human rights in Indonesia are the TNI and Polri. Without them, our society will certainly become victims of various acts of violent persecution,” he added.

Source:

Tempo

Liputan 6

Bhayangkara News

Rowing Athlete from Papua Still Undergoes Training Despite the Pandemic

Rowing athlete Stevany Maysche Ibo continues to undergo a national training camp (Pelatnas) even though the Covid-19 pandemic has forced several sports events to be delayed. This Papuan-born athlete said the training took place at the Jatiluhur Reservoir, West Java. “We carry out activities as usual, but the portion of the training is reduced,” said Stevany.

According to her, there has been no change in the national training schedule even though the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Qualification, which is the main focus of the training camp, has undergone a schedule change. According to Stevany, to maintain the athlete’s condition, the coach will reduce the portion of the exercise. “Still training in the Jatiluhur lake. No running training, only the gym and water training,” she said.

Previously, the Executive Board of the Indonesian Rowing Sports Association (PB-PODSI) had stated that the national training program (Pelatnas) would continue. Training is now focused on the Jatiluhur reservoir even though the entire national and international agenda has been postponed due to COVID-19. “Pelatnas has never stopped. It has been done since January,” said PB PODSI Deputy Chairman Budiman Setiawan.

Budiman said that since it took place in the midst of a pandemic, they were still implementing health protocols so that athletes would avoid the risk of transmission. The athletes also receive direct supervision from expert doctors. Currently, there are 16 athletes participating in the National Pelatnas, each consisting of eight rowing athletes and eight canoeing athletes.

Previously at the SEA Games in the Philippines, they have managed to bring home 10 gold medals, three silver, and three bronze. This achievement exceeded the previously announced target of five gold medals. Meanwhile for the 2020 Olympics, the Indonesian rowing team hopes to bring tickets in four numbers. The four numbers, namely two in rowing numbers and two in canoeing numbers.

Spreading Moral Message Through TikTok

Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, rower Stevani Maysche Ibo would use TikTok after training with the national team. # Rememberpesanibu #cucitangan #pakaimasker #jagajarak

The Mandarin action movie lover doesn’t just play TikTok alone. She sometimes invites her colleagues on the rowing national team to join in. Through TikTok she also conveyed moral messages to his fans, including about the weight of being an athlete.

In her message, she insinuates people who think athletes are always rolling in money and often traveling abroad. According to her, the achievements of an athlete are not obtained from relaxing and being idle. “People think that being an athlete are always nice. But honestly, it’s not always as good as they think.” said the winner of two gold medals at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.

Stevani said that every athlete must make sacrifices if they want to excel in the world of sports. She herself must be willing to lose a lot of time with family and friends. “We must be ready to sacrifice everything,” she said.

Source: Tempo Sport & Majalah Tempo

Female Papuan Pilots Join Garuda Indonesia and Citilink

Two female students from West Papua managed to put their name in history. Vanda Korisano and Martha Itaar became the first officers in two of Indonesia’s top airlines.

Both are recipients of scholarships from the Special Autonomy fund of the Papua and West Papua Province who studied at Nelson Aviation College, New Zealand, since 2014. There are around 150 students from Papua and West Papua who received the scholarship and study abroad.

“Vanda was accepted as a pilot at Garuda Indonesia, while Martha was accepted at Citilink,” said Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya in a written statement on Wednesday (31/7).

Meanwhile, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe in his statement on the sidelines of attending the 1st Pacific Exposition in Auckland on July 14, stressed that the main task of Papuan students and students abroad is to study. He appealed to them not to be affected by negativity.

“You are not obliged to go back to Papua after you finish college. If you want to work here or in Australia or anywhere else, please. Later in Papua we will be proud to hear that there are Papuans working in a big company,” Enembe said.

The success of this Papuan student made Marveys Ayomi, a teacher and mentor at the International Pacific University (IPU) of New Zealand proud. He also thanked Ambassador Tantowi and the ranks at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington for their efforts in helping and paying attention to Papuan students as long as they studied in New Zealand.

The Indonesian Embassy in every activity such as seminars, sports and culture always involves Indonesian students and students, including those from Papua. Students and students are involved in the Pacific Exposition 2019 which was held in Auckland on 11-14 July.

Garuda Indonesia President Director Ari Askhara expressed his pride in being able to recruit the best Papuan women. This proves that anyone can become a pilot.

According to Ari, to be part of the cockpit of the Garuda Indonesia Group crew, they must pass high qualification standards and a long process. Ari hopes that the steps made by Vanda and Marta can be a towing locomotive for other Papuan sons / daughters at Garuda Indonesia.

Vanda and Marta, who arrived in New Zealand in 2014, once awarded as the best pilots throughout the year for international students (Best all round flying performance for international students). They got certification for Private Pilot License, Commercial Pilot License and Multi Engine Instrument Rating.

After graduating from New Zealand in early January 2018, they decided to continue their education at the Ganesha Flight School, Jakarta. Here, they get Indonesian DGCA Pilot License certification. In June 2019, their hard work and struggle finally paid off, their dream of becoming a pilot for Indonesia’s biggest airline, Garuda Indonesia Group, was fulfilled.

Source: Kumparan.com

7 Papuans Graduated from Corban University, Oregon

On May 4th 2019, A total of 10 Indonesian students are among those who celebrate their graduation at Corban University in the city of Salem, State of Oregon. 7 students are from Papua and West Papua, and 3 students from West Java and Banten.

The ceremony also attended by the Governor of Papua Province, Lukas Enembe, along with the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco and the Education attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, DC. Governor Lukas Enembe encourages Papuan youth to study abroad with scholarships offered by the Papua Provincial Government.

Among them, 3 Indonesian students from Banten, West Java and Papua managed to get cum laude predicate in their graduation. In addition, one of the Indonesian students from Papua also received a ministry award from the Corban University campus.

The achievements of the young Indonesians is an honor that make Indonesia proud. Governor Lukas covey in his remarks “to all graduates, please continue to excel and contribute for the development of Indonesia. For students who still pursue their studies, keep focus on your study and take this opportunity to the fullest in your learning processes that can be useful for the people and the nation of Indonesia wherever they are. “

Governor Lukas Enembe also stressed that they are Indonesian citizens who are obliged to protectbring the name of Indonesia. He also advised Indonesian students from Papua to become agents of change for the development of Papua province and thrive for even better in the future. The graduates also received prizes from the Governor of Papua for graduating on the same year.

Minister Counselor / Economic Consul of the Indonesian Consulate General in San Francisco, Hanggiro Setiabudi congratutaled all the graduates, and requested all Indonesian students in the United States to pursue their study seriously so that can give contribution for the advancement of Indonesia. Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia in the United States are ready to help and assist all Indonesian students.

The education and cultural attaché from the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC, Popy Rufaidah, offer the students the opportunities of internships (optional practical training) at local companies for 1 year after their graduation. It is hoped that Indonesian students may take advantage of these opportunities.

The Governor of Papua also attended a series of graduation events with the celebration of Bakar Batu at the campus area of Corban University, which was also attended by 200 invitee of Indonesian lived in the city of Salem and local communities who had been supporting Indonesian students from Papua during their study in Corban Campus.

Source: Sindonews

Former Leading Campaigner for West Papua Independence who Advocated Compromise

Fransalbert Joku, a former leading West Papua independence campaigner who then became an Indonesian government supporter has died in Jayapura at the age of 66 on 28 of March after illness linked with heart disease and kidney failure.

He was a prominent landowner from Sentani and formerly the spokesman for the Papua Presidium Council which galvanised momentum in the West Papuan independence struggle at the turn of the century.

After the death of Theys Eluay, Franzalbert Joku eventually threw his support behind the Special Autonomy Status which Indonesia granted Papua in 2001 in response to the demands for independence. He returned to Indonesia in 2008.

He became a frequent representative of Indonesia’s government on West Papua matters at regional fora such as the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Forum.

Fransalbert Joku with other West Papua figures Nick Messet (left) and Michael Menufandu (right)

“Now I say this without meaning to undermine my brothers and sisters who are still out there in the jungle or in other countries advocating outright independence,” he told RNZ Pacific in 2015.

“I just look at the issues and try to place them within the context and try to look at what options are within the realm of possibilities.”

Mr Joku’s shifting of allegiances has made him a distrusted figure among many in the West Papuan independence movement.

But when asked last year in his last interview with RNZ Pacific about whether Papua should have independence, Mr Joku said a “deeper look at the issues” was required.

“Independence, for some of us, doesn’t mean an instant action of declaring a sovereign nation,” he said.

“I think it’s more a value. In order to find that value of freedom, of being independent, it is a continuing process.

“I differ between being an independent, sovereign nation of Papua, than being free and well-off economically, socially within a government structure that is in existence today,” he explained.

“Like in any other political processes, you can never win outright. You always end up with political compromise.”

“Special Autonomy, however imperfect and incomplete it may be, is an acceptable political compromise, and we need to grab hold of it earnestly, and make it serve our interests.” (Source: RNZ)

Armed Criminal Group Kills Three TNI in Nduga

Jayapura – Three members of Indonesia military (TNI) who were members of the Nanggala task force were reported killed by armed criminal groups (KKB) in Mugi District, Nduga District, Papua Province on Thursday.

Commander of XVII / Cenderawasih Major General TNI Joshua Sembiring confirmed this from Jayapura, the capital of the province Papua.

“It is true. But I haven’t received a full report about the incident”, said Major General Sembiring.

“How far is the progress, I have not received yet. Please contact Kapendam (Kodam Chief of Information) because currently I’m not in Papua”, he continued.

When asked about the reports of nine KKB being killed and five firearms brought by the KKB were successfully secured, Seimbing confirmed this as well, but for further details please contact Kapendam.

Meanwhile, the data gathered was revealed that the three soldiers who were killed in a gun battle with the KKB namely Serda Mirwariyadin, Serda Yusdin and Serda Siswanto.

Serda Mirwariyadin NRP 21150184631093 Position Babakduk unit 1/2/2/14, Serda Yusdin NRP 21150175490396 Position Barintis Unit 3/2/3/14, dan Serda Siswanto Bayu Aji NRP 21160168880494 Position Bakes Den 1/14.

At Least 3 Indonesian Soldiers Killed by National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB)

7 March 2019, Commander for Defence Area III of Ndugama, has seized 4 weapons, consist of 3 modern weapons and 1 minimi chain weapon.

During the fire contact accompanied by weapons deprivation, at least 3 Indonesian soldiers were killed on the spot in the Windi Village of Derakma District.

This situation happened at 12.30 p.m. It started with 8 Indonesian soldiers from the District Post who went to Widi Village and had a chance to meet with Amos Kogeya as well as his wife. Both of them were interrogated.

After the interrogation, Indonesian soldiers burnt 5 honai belongs to the locals. Because of this situation, TPNPB surrounded those Indonesian soldiers and fire contact was started. They were then involved in the chase which exhausted Indonesian soldiers. TPNPB succeeded to shoot them down and seized 4 weapons.

At 3.00 p.m, 2 choppers entered the area and evacuate the corpses. That is all the report from Ndugama by Egianus Kogeya via Operation Commander, Pemne Kogeya, to TPNPBnews.

Three Indonesian Soldiers Killed in Fresh Papua Violence

Three Indonesian soldiers who attempted to guard the construction of a bridge had been massacred by the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) in Nduga, Papua.

The soldiers had just arrived in Yigi village in Nduga district on Thursday (7/3) morning when they were suddenly attacked by a large group of 50-70 people from TPNPB.

It happened on the same ground where another massacre that killed at least 19 workers occurred back in December 2018.

Too many innocent souls had become victims of the separatists while taking part in efforts to boost infrastructure in Papua.

The world should know this truth – the one who should take responsibility for human rights violation in Papua is the separatist group, TPNPB.

A Review on Chagos, Papua, and Vanuatu

A few days ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its advisory opinion stating that the UK should return Chagos to Mauritius in order to put an end to decolonization, as Chagos is an inseparable part of Mauritius since its independence day in 1968.

ICJ then refused to give a further opinion by valuing this case as a bilateral case between Mauritius and UK.

This case is surely not related to sovereignty issues, but rather an issue of decolonization which has not yet been settled.

However, the decision of ICJ was seen by few parties, who did not fully understand the meaning of the decision and associate this case to Papua issue, as a decision that supports the separation of Papua from Indonesia―making it seem as if the situation in Papua was also an unfinished decolonization process, and that Papua is a colony of Indonesia.

To straighten the fatal mistake of associating the Chagos issue with Papua’s, there should be an understanding on how Papua had become a province and an inseparable part of Indonesia.

History notes down that Papua case was a dispute between Indonesia and The Netherlands, which resulted to the Netherlands giving back Papua to Indonesia via the establishment of New York Agreementin 1962. This agreement was established due to Netherlands’ refusal to surrender all of its colonized areas when Indonesia declared its independence in 1945.

Both cases of Chagos and Papua is basically connected with an international law doctrine, Uti Possidetis Juris (you possess under law), which basically states that newly formed sovereign state should have the same borders as their preceding dependent area before their independence. This principle lays a foundation to defend the newly formed state not to be divided and separated into several different entities by its colonial power. History taught us that some colonial powers tend to divide their colony into several new entities.

Uti Possidetis Juris was then crystalized and strengthened with norms that prohibit colonial (invading) countries to separate or break the colonized countries with territorial integrity and right to self-determination. It was comprised in paragraph 6 of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoplesthat was set through UNGA Resolution No. 1514/XV 1960.

We have witnessed that UK and the Netherlands had taken similar actions where they decided to hold on to some parts of their colonized territory and separated the territory into several entities.

In Papua’s case, the bilateral dispute was then facilitated by UN Secretary-General, where the discussion led to the New York Agreement 1962. The agreement included the process of “handing over” Papua from the Netherlands to the UN, and then back to Indonesia. After Papua was handed back to Indonesia, PEPERA was set to take place. The Preamble Agreementhighlighted that Papua is a dispute matter between Indonesia and The Netherlands.

UN’s involvement in this process was intended to avoid further conflict between Indonesia and the Netherlands, which could have potentially caused an open war. This conflict was then concluded with the ceasefire agreement on the 15th of August 1952.

PEPERA itself was not convened by UN, but by Indonesia itself with the participation of the UN special envoy in it. The term which was used was “plebiscite”, not “self-determination”.

The result of PEPERA was reported to the UN Secretary-General separately both by Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the UN special envoy. The Secretary-General then reported this to UN General Assembly. During the discussion in the General Assembly, the Netherlands accepted the results of PEPERA as how it was in the resolution. UN General Assembly was also very “correct” in responding to PEPERA. It did not position itself as a party who endorsed the results of the agreement, but rather only to “take note” on the Sec-General report of PEPERA. This confirmed that PEPERA was not a self-determination mechanism like the one typically done by UN.

The facilitation process done by UN’s Secretary-General (even by using PEPERA) needs to be understood as a way to avoid bilateral conflict between Indonesia and the Netherlands, and not as an implementation of the UNGA Resolution No. 1514 (Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples) and No. 1541 (self-determination).

Therefore, history has witnessed the facts that Papua has always been a part of Indonesia since the declaration of independence in 1945.

In this regard, related to the title of this article, the confusing and misleading support of Vanuatu towards Chagos being handed back to Mauritius and Papua to be separated from Indonesia, also needs to be taking into account.

Vanuatu’s support for Mauritius is rather correct and accurate. However, if the same support is used in the Papua case, then it clearly shows that Vanuatu has double standard which demonstrates its embarrassing hypocrisy.

The author has questioned the ideological foundation that motivates Vanuatu to take such contradicting actions related to Mauritius-Chagos and Indonesia-Papua.

Here are few possibilities:

Vanuatu’s support towards decolonization is built on the international law principal of Uti Possidetis Juris. If this is the answer, Vanuatu accepted such doctrine in relation to Chagos, but rejected it if it is used in the case of Papua. Vanuatu’s response in this case can be regarded as irresponsible and hypocritical.

If that is not the reason, then the next possibility for Vanuatu to build its argument on a racist mindset is that they view the establishment of a country based on a monogamous race. This is very likely as Vanuatu often express such ideas through equally racist jargons, such as Melanesian race, etc in various events. The same things always come up in various Vanuatu’s statements to support Papua separation from Indonesia. They used a simple argument: Melanesian Papua is invaded by Indonesia which is a Malay or Asian nation. Vanuatu completely dismissed the fact that many provinces outside Papua in Indonesia are also majorly populated by Melanesians and fundamentally Indonesia is made up of different races, religions, and beliefs. Perhaps, Vanuatu still adheres to an outdated and ancient mindset.

Another possible reason why Vanuatu took such actions is that it wants to raise its name in the international community and to distract their attention from troublesome and difficulties in their own domestic condition such as acute conflicts in politics, social, and economy. Corruption, poverty, and other social issues has put Vanuatu as one of the poorest and backwards country in the world.

However, in the end, it is only Vanuatu that can explain this strange attitude. One advice the author would give to the leaders of Vanuatu: buy a good mirror, and take a look at yourselves.

Ministry Seeks to Set Record Straight on Papua

Dian Septiari / The Jakarta Post

Indonesia is intensifying efforts to weed out what it calls “the threat of fake news” cast over the country’s easternmost provinces, just as Papuan separatist groups begin shifting from political to legal arguments to justify the local population’s right to self-determination.

The Foreign Ministry has found itself having to defend against legal claims to the right of Papuan self-determination, which it says have no grounds in Indonesia’s own history of independence, according to Damos Agusman, the director general for legal affairs and international treaties.

Damos said the right to self-determination argument was legally unsound as West Papua province was already included alongside Indonesia’s other regions in the country’s declaration of independence from the Dutch in 1945.

Citing an international law principle stipulating that newly formed sovereign states should retain the same borders as that of the preceding dependent area, he said the area now known as West papua was already part of the Dutch East Indies, according to its constitution from 1938.

He also defended the legitimacy of the 1969 “Act of Free Choice”, the result of an agreement between the Netherlands and Indonesia regarding the administration of the territory of West Papua signed in New York in 1962, saying it was a legitimate bilateral deal that could not be tampered with by third parties.

The ministry official informed people of the need to understand the historical context under which issues such as control over Papua was negotiated, especially in the context of colonialism.

“Self-determination must be based on several criteria, otherwise it will create chaos,” Damos told an audience of students in a seminar held at the ministry compound in Jakarta on Thursday (10/1).

The tone of Thursday’s seminar underscored Indonesia’s effort to push back on “fake news” that it says was being spread online by ill-minded activists from Indonesia and abroead.

In the past, the narrative carried by separatist groups focused more on political arguments such as the affinity of the Papuan people to the Melanesians of the South Pacific. “[Nowadays] we have detected that there are massive changes in their arguments – from political arguments to legal arguments that are wrong and misleading,” Damos said.

The issue of Papua has made it into Indonesia’s foreign policy priorities this year, despite years long efforts to stave off concerns from the international community about the country’s fight against separatist rebels.

The conflict between them flared again last month when armed separatists in Nduga, Papua killed more than a dozen people working on a trans-Papua highway construction site that was part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s efforts to bring development to the province.

The issue was addressed by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in her annual policy speech on Wednesday, which saw her pledge to take firm action against any disryptions to Indonesia’s sovereignty, including hoaxes, lies and violent acts carried out by separatists and their supporters.

“Indonesia will not give up even an inch to defend the country’s sovereignty,” Retno said in her speech.

Speaking in the context of the Nduga attacks that led to the death of 19 PT Istaka Karya construction workers and one soldier, Retno said such “disturbances” would not reduce the government’s commitment to improving the welfare of the Papuan people.

On the foreign policy front, she said she would strengthen the Melanesian kinship not only among the provinces in the eastern part of Indonesia but also with the countries of the South Pacific.

Jakarta has drawn criticism for using military approach in dealing with security issues in Papua.

According to a statement by the Human Rights Working Group, sovereignty diplomacy, especially on the issues of Papua, “will be doomed to failure” if the state insists on employing security apreach and repression”.

Source: The Jakarta Post (11 January 2018)