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)


Egianus Kogoya’s Footsteps, the Leader of Armed Criminal Group Who Abolished 31 Road Project Workers in Papua

Egianus Kogoya is suddenly popular. He becomes a subject conversation after the tragedy of the massacre of 31 project workers by the Armed Criminal Group (ACG) in Nduga District, Papua. It is known that Egianus Kogoya is the leader of the group that executed the massacre.
Wakapendam XVII/ Cendrawasih Lieutenant Colonel Inf Dax Sianturi said, Egianus Kogoya was known already got a red report card before the bloody incident occurred.

“So, Egianus Kogoya in our records is a group that is politically at odds with the Republic of Indonesia. Not a few of them have criminal records, “said Dax.

He added, the group led by Egianus Kogoya had 20 to 25 military standard firearms. The weapon was alleged to have been captured by TNI and police personnel.

Before the incident of the massacre of 31 project workers in Nduga Papua, there was a series of red report cards by Egianus Kogoya.

  1. Attack on the Airfield
    The group led by Egianus Kogoya once attacked the airport in Kenyam, the capital of Nduga district.
    A pilot of Trigana Air and two other people were injured and four people were killed by the Egianus Kogoya group.
    It was pity, the four dead victims were consisted of two children and their two parents.
  2. Attacking the TNI Post
    Egianus Kogoya and 40 of his followers attacked the TNI post in Mbua. At least a TNI soldier was killed and one injured due to the attack.
    “So yesterday they also attacked a TNI post and one of our soldiers died and one was injured,” said Dax.
  3. Captivity
    Launched from Tribunnews, the Egianus Kogoya group once took hostage of 15 teachers and medical personnel in the beginning of October in Mependuma Sub-district, Nduga Regency, Papua.
    With all his red report cards, including the massacre of 31 project workers, Egianus Kogoya has been labeled as a terrorist by the TNI.
    “Their actions are more than terrorists. Very inhumane. “The victims built a road to open the lag,” said Dax.

13 Regencies in Papua Generate USD 8.4 Million from Agriculture Products

By Akfa Nasrulhak – detikFinance

Jakarta – The Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (Ministry of PDTT) together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) checks and validates the Self-sustain Village Development Program (PPMD) in Abrose Village, Ransiki District, South Manokwari, West Papua.

Head of Sub-directorate of Technology Efficiency (Kasubdit TTG), Directorate of Natural Resource Utilization (PSDA) of the Directorate General of Community Development and Empowerment (DG PPMD) of PDTT Ministry of Agriculture, Anastutik Wiryaningsih revealed that the PPMD ​​activities have been implemented since March 2017 and will end on 31 December 2018.

“In this period we carried out capacity building and community empowerment programs, especially in agriculture,” Anastutik said in a written statement on Thursday (11/08/2018).

Anastutik revealed that there were 13 districts where 6 districts in Papua and 7 districts in West Papua were targeted by the program and received funding in the form of grants and loans of USD 8.4 million from IFAD.

“The community is given training starting from cultivation or processing of chocolate or cocoa, seaweed, vanilla, to empowering women. The community is also taught to save their income and so on,” said Anastutik.

According to Anastutik, the year before PPDM came in, the community in Abrose complained about their cocoa plants being affected by tree diseases.

“Because the treatment were not good, cocoa has been stricken with disease. We gave proper treatment exercises. Now their cocoa is healthy and produce more,” she said.

PPDM has also succeeded in helping farmers to send 4 tons of seaweed from Fak Fak to Surabaya.

“In Fak Fak, seaweed is only valued at Rp. 6,000 per kg, in Surabaya the price can reach Rp. 18,000 per kg,” she said.

During the visit, Anastutik also took time to meet one of the 30 residents who were members of the PPMD ​​program, Helena (60). Wearing a shirt with a picture of Monas and Bajaj bearing the Jakarta sign, Helena came out to meet the group from the Ministry of PDTT and IFAD in her newly built house in the middle of lush cocoa plants around her.

The location is not far from the Village Development and Community Empowerment Service (PPMK) of Ransiki District which is also the Capital of South Manokwari Regency, West Papua. Precisely in the village or village of Abrose which is on the roadside towards the city of Manokwari.

Helena, who was accompanied by Village Assistant Abrose Abdul Rahim Arkan Semoryai, said that the group’s success with the Independent Village Development Program (PPDM) was initiated by the Ministry of Defense PDTT and IFAD.

“We were taught how to take care of our cocoa, to cut, harvest, store and to dry,” said Helena.

Meanwhile, IFAD’s Country Program Officer Anissa Lucky Pratiwi said, in addition to conducting training to improve community skills in agriculture, IFAD is also starting to focus on how people in these villages can sell their produces.

“After they produce products in the agricultural sector, we also begin to think about how they can sell them to improve the community’s economy,” said Anissa who has participated in community empowerment programs in Indonesia for approximately 8 years. .

Funds from IFAD are used to organize various trainings in agriculture from planting, harvesting, post-harvest production, to marketing agricultural products. To support the training, various interactive and interesting modules are made that are easy to use

News Source: Detik Finance

Pic. Source: Flickr

631,3 Kilometers More of Trans-Papua Road Has Been Paved

Papua is one of the main priorities for Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla’s administration. Through Ministry of Public Work and Housing (PUPR), infrastructure development that support connectivity including Trans-Papua road should be improved gradually and accelerated its development. In 2017,631,3 kilometers of Trans-Papua road in West Papua Province was paved. It covered 57 percent from the total of 1070,62 kilometers projected.

Minister of Public Work and Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono said that the road construction aimed to open wider access to remote areas, reduce costs, and increase the quality of life for people in Papua.

The finalization of Trans-Papua road is one of the manifestations of “Nawa Cita” Program in Jokowi-Kalla administration, which aimed to manage development from the outermost region of Indonesia.

“The construction of Trans-Papua road will be continued and is estimated to be completed by the end of 2019. We expect the impact of Trans-Papua road can benefit everyone.” Said Basuki Hadimuljono, Friday (13/04/2018)

The Chief of Executive National Road XII West Papua, Yohanis Tulak Todingrara explained that Trans-Papua road in West Papua Province has been divided into two segments. The first segment would be Sorong-Maybrat-Manokwari (594,81 kilometers). This route will connect Solok and Manokwari, two economic centers of West Papua Province. The route will also connect to Arar Seaport, one of The Special Economy Regions (KEK). The latest report in the end of 2017, 81,6 percent of the road has been paved, while the remaining 109,24 was in progress and the other 13,5 kilometers needed geometrical improvement.

The second segment, Segment II that connects Manokwari- Mameh- Wasior- Papua Province cross-border was approved in December 2017. From total of 475,8 kilometers, about 145,41 kilometers was paved, 330,41 kilometers is under pavement process and 38,24 kilometers needed geometrical improvement.

The challenges in Trans-Papua road construction, Both in Papua Province and West Papua are geographical conditions, which mostly consists of forest, mountains and extreme weather.

In addition, the availability of construction material is limited. However the central government continue to devote serious effort in using local material.

In 2018, the budget of road construction in West Papua is estimated at 1,6 trillion rupiah. The budget will be channeled to geometrical improvement and the construction of 125 bridges. “We expected that in the late of 2018, about 60,14 percent of Trans-Papua road in West Papua provinces will be paved about 64,56 percent in 2019”. Said Yohanis

 

Source: Kompas.com

After Victory Parade, Persipura Optimistic in Facing Next Year’s League

On Tuesday night (10/1), thousands of Persipuramania (supporters of Persipura) in Sentani region, Abepura, Jayapura Kota and its surroundings, were welcoming the arrival of their proud team, Persipura Jayapura, the winner of the 2016 Torabika Soccer Championship (TSC) Trophy in Bandung, West Java.

The team’s players, caretakers, and manager, also known as “Black Pearl”, arrived at Sentani Airport, Jayapura Region, at about 16.30 local time. The team consists of the Chairman, Benhur Tommy Mano, The Head of Committee, Fachrudin Passolo, Team Manager Rudi Maswi, the coaches and the players, including Team Captain Boaz T Solossa, who was named Best Player in the 2016 TSC.
Pangdam XVII/Candrawasih Major General Hinsa Siburuan, Regional Secretary of Papua’s TEA Herri Desinaen, politicians of Papua, and Persimania were among those who welcomed the team at Sentani Airport.

After resting a few minutes, the team were paraded on a decorated truck with the banner “Persipura, the Champion of TSC 2016” attached, and left for the City of Jayapura. Thousands of Persipuramania wearing the team jersey (red-black) escorted the Team. Meanwhile the caretakers, managers, coaches, and of course the players, were wearing necklaces of flowers.

Persipura

Persipura

persipura-2

Persipura Victory Parade

Airport Construction in Papua Improving

One of the ways to reduce the price of goods and distribution is to build airports in isolated areas of Papua.

“The Government has built 34 airports in isolated areas in Papua. This is already part of the airport construction plan”, said Director of Airport Affairs of the Ministry of Transportation, Yudhi Sari, in, Jakarta on Tuesday (10 / 1/2017).

The 34 airports are located in the isolated regions of Mopah, Kamur, Kimam, Bomakia, Manggelum, Wamena, Kiwirok, Bilorai, Akimuga, Enarotali, Sarmi, Tanah Merah, Noble, Oksibil, Moanamani, Mindiptanah, Kepi, Kokonao, Okaba, Illu, Ewer, Batom, Bade, Karubaga, Obano, Timika, Waghete, Nabire, Dekai, Rendani, Bintuni, Kaimana, and Babo. All the development projects are already part of the national airport construction plan.

Yudhi added that the airport development is useful to achieve equitable development and to boost economic growth. He further added that 10 of the 34 airports are located at the border area, namely Sentani, Mopah, Manggelum, Enarotali, Sarmi, Tanah Merah, Oksibil, Okaba, Karubaga, Kebar.

There will be also a new airport in Korowai. The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) plans to inagurate the new airport this year.

Frans Kaisiepo Airport, Biak

Frans Kaisiepo Airport, Biak

Sentani Airport

Sentani Airport