Monday, September 18, 2017

1) Indonesia offers increased assistance to Samoa and Pacific

2) West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans
3) Oceania bishops want sustainable development
4) West Papuan independence founder dies


1) Indonesia offers increased assistance to Samoa and Pacific

7:16 pm today 
Samoa and other Pacific countries are being offered increased technical assistance and capacity building programmes by Indonesia.
TheObserver reported that Indonesia restated its commitment to playing an active role in regional development during the recent Pacific Islands Forum summit in Apia.
The Director for Technical Cooperation for Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Syarif Alatas, said the active role was part of his country's effort to contribute to world peace and prosperity.
He said renewed technical assistance was being made available to Samoa, which recently entered a trade relationship with Indonesia.
Mr Alatas said the assistance is usually in the form of training, apprenticeships and scholarships in various fields.
According to him, Pacific countries have become one of then priority areas for Jakarta's international development outreach.
The various capacity building programmes Indonesia offered come in the form of bilateral and triangular cooperation arrangements.
The newspaper reported that between 1999 and 2016 Indonesia conducted at least 182 programmes followed by 1457 participants from countries in the Pacific region.
The programmes were in areas including fisheries, agriculture, democracy and good governance, disaster risk management, seaweed processing technique and entrepreneurship.

2) West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans

From 4:03 am today 

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says its decolonisation aspirations are focussed on action at the United Nations.
The Coalition is one of the key groups within the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which is pushing for internationally-facilitated negotiation with Indonesia over Papua's political status.
Various Papuan civil society, church and customary leaders met with Indonesia's president Joko Widodo last month about establishing dialogue over problems in Papua.
However self-determination is not expected to be on the agenda in the dialogue, in which the Liberation Movement is not involved.
The Coalition's chairman Andy Ayamiseba says the Movement rejects direct dialogue with Jakarta because it considers Indonesia an illegal occupier in Papua.


ANDY AYAMISEBA: So if we dialogue with an illegal occupant, that means we recognise Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua, which is in dispute at the moment. So we categorically reject the offer of dialogue with Jakarta. We are going to follow our roadmap which is to release the issue (Papuan self-determination) back into the (UN) decolonisation committee.
JOHNNY BLADES: That's about the process by which West Papua was incorporated into the republic?
AA: Yes, that is correct. Because we are the mouthpiece of the Papuan people's aspirations. So we have to stand on what the people have instructed us to do. We can't dialogue with Jakarta who try to make us believe that is the right path. We stand against the illegal transfer of West Papua to Indonesia. That is what we are challenging at the moment. We have a roadmap at the moment, where things have to go back to where it was. Before, we were listed on the decolonisation committee, and through an illegal process somehow we were transferred to Indonesia. So we're challenging it now. We're challenging it through legal means as well - not only politically, but through legal means as well.
JB: Whereabouts, is this in the ICJ (International Court of Justice)? Where is the legal avenue?
AA: That is where the International Lawyers for West Papua (come in).
JB: Is there a legal case?
AA: There will be a legal case, we have to justify to the UN, so we could act on the basis of the legal opinion given by the International Court, yeah.
JB: What do you feel about the current mood in the international community about West Papua, do you think it's changed over the years?
AA: Yes. I think we're gaining the momentum, while Indonesia has reached a ceiling. They can't go further than where they were now. We are gaining momentum. We have raised the issue around the world, so we just wait for the process to proceed. I believe that the Pacific countries' Coalition for West Papua is going to table that (issue) in the UN at this coming meeting (of the General Assembly, beginning this week).

3) Oceania bishops want sustainable development
By Rowena Orejana -  September 18, 2017
Oceania’s Catholic bishops have called on their respective governments and civic authorities “to be vigilant in guarding against any attempts by international businesses to exploit our common resource”, meaning the oceans.
The executive committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, New Zealand, CEPAC — the rest of the Pacific) met in Auckland from August 7 to 12.
The executive committee members able to attend were Port Moresby Archbishop Cardinal Sir John Ribat, MSC (president), Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin (deputy president), Noumea Archbishop Michel Calvet, SM, Dunedin Bishop Colin Campbell, Palmerston North Bishop Charles Drennan (spokesperson) and Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, OFM Conv.
“As bishops of the Pacific, the place of the sea in the lives of the peoples we serve was a central focus of our meeting. Our common ocean is teeming with life and goodness. For many of our peoples the sea is their treasured source of nutrition, sustenance and livelihood,” they said in a statement released after the meeting.
“Our interest in the ‘Blue Economy’ is to uphold a model of development that respects the fundamental importance of sustainability that looks way beyond any perceived short term economic windfall,” the statement added.
Bishop Drennan said the plight of Kiwi lay missionary Doug Tennent who was deported from Papua New Guinea in June was also discussed in the meeting.
“He (Mr Tennent) is a much respected advocate for justice in PNG and indeed taught law at university level in that country,” Bishop Drennan told NZ Catholic. “Happily we can say that due to various interventions he has now been allowed to return to the nation he loves and serves.”
“But this whole incident reminds us of the ugly collusion that sometimes exists between corrupt officials and unscrupulous business interests,” he said.
The bishops also expressed concern for the livelihood and cultural integrity of the people of West Papua, without going into the issue of independence.
“There are some groups in Papua who would like to see a breakaway from Indonesia. This view sits against a complex historical backdrop. The FCBCO executive chooses not to enter into this political fray because we believe that independence can be understood on many levels,” explained Bishop Drennan.
“For our group it is best that we focus on supporting fundamental platforms of democracy like education, an independent judiciary, efficient and honest civic leadership, press freedom, and clear boundaries to the role of the police and military,” he said.
“Democracy fosters independence in the sense that it counters subordination — of individuals, families and ethnic communities — to those who exert pressure or exercise authority in a manner that is actually an abuse of power,” he added.
The bishops visited De La Salle College in south Auckland and the City Mission in central Auckland. At the City Mission, they served meals to the homeless, the mentally unwell and those suffering economic deprivation.
“We all noted how often we were simply and quietly thanked by those we served. That humbling experience brought a smile to our faces and strengthened our resolve to notice and to listen to those on the margins of our communities,” Bishop Drennan said.
An FCBCO plenary assembly will be held in Port Moresby in April next year. The theme will be — “Care of our Common Home of Oceania: A sea of possibilities”.

4) West Papuan independence founder dies
7:37 pm today 
One of the founders of the West Papuan independence movement, Nicolaas Jouwe, has died in Jakarta at the age of 93.
Jouwe was a member of the New Guinea Council, the legislature established in 1961 by the Netherlands in its former territory of West New Guinea.
He was the highest ranking Papuan in the colony as the Dutch were preparing it for independence.
When control of the territory was transferred to Indonesia from 1963, Jouwe and his family left to settle in the Netherlands from where he campaigned for an independent West Papua.
He became a permanent advisor to Dutch delegations to the United Nations and the South Pacific Commission.
Jouwe was given a knighthood by the Queen of The Netherlands for his distinguished services to the government in relation to Papuan affairs.
Although he vowed never to return to his homeland if it were still occupied by Indonesia, Jouwe returned for a visit to Papua in 2009 upon an Indonesian government invitation.
He returned to Indonesia to settle again in 2010.
Jouwe died on Saturday in Indonesia's capital. His body is expected to be flown to Jayapura in Papua province later this week for burial.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kiribati joined, eight countries will bring West Papua issue in UNGA

A google translater. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

Minggu, 17 September 2017 — 05:58
Kiribati joined, eight countries will bring West Papua issue in UNGA

Papua No. 1 News Portal I Jubi,

Vanuatu Parliamentary Secretary for Prime Minister Johny Koanapo (left) with Jubi journalist Victor Mambor after an interview at UNHRC, Geneva in February 2017 - Doc. Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi - Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai admitted that although the Pacific Leaders' Forum (PIF) in Samoa last week discussed West Papua as an agenda item, some PIF members considered West Papua a sensitive issue and did not want the forum to make a decision.

However, Salwai, who leads the West Papua lobby during the PIF, also acknowledged support for the West Papua issue continues to grow.
"If last year seven countries, including Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, are currently the eight countries that joined the Paciifc Islands Coalition for West Papua (PICWP)," Salwai told the Daily Post last week.

These eight countries will bring the West Papua issue before the United Nations General Assembly session that will begin next week in New York, USA.

"So far, Vanuatu has continued to commit itself to pioneering the West Papua problem, through government, civil society and churches and this year we are bringing this issue to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) forum," Salwai continued.

Vanuatu Parliamentary Secretary for the Prime Minister's Office, Johny Koanapo, told Jubi via e-mail Sunday that the efforts of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in the Pacific have shown significant progress. If previously, the West Papua issue is just a bilateral issue and a regional issue in Melanesia, now West Papua's advocacy has spread far and wide in the Pacific.

"The West Papua issue has passed the Melanesian Spearhead Groups where we have different opinions on how to deal with the West Papua issue. But this problem has moved beyond the jurisdiction of MSG, "he said.

Not only the Vanuatu government and the Solomon Islands government, Koanapo continued, currently other countries in Micronesia and Polynesia have joined the PICWP established since a year ago.

"Kiribati is a country that joins in 2017 after seven other countries, namely Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and Tonga established PICWP," Koanapo said.

Widespread issue of West Papua in the Pacific is certainly demanding more jobs for Vanuatu who has been a country that constantly mensing the interests of the people and people of West Papua. One of them, said Koanapo is to bring West Papua as one of the agenda at the EU ministerial forum through ACP forum.

"This is the first time in history that the West Papua issue has become an agenda in ACP involving EU countries," Koanapo said.

Koanapo noted interesting things in Vanuatu's lobbying efforts in the European Union. As he bilaterally lobbied on behalf of the Government of Vanuatu with the Belgian Government last June, Belgium said that they never realized there was a problem in West Papua. Because West Papua is an issue hidden in "behind the carpet" because the press is never allowed to go freely to see West Papuans and hear from them what is happening and their views on their fate.

"It is a sad reality that is there (West Papua)," Koanapo said.

Furthermore, several Pacific governments have agreed to take on the role of West Papua advocacy at various levels because every country and its citizens have an obligation to defend human rights.

"The prime ministers of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are organizing a side event at the UN General Assembly in New York next week to continue to lobby for the West Papua issue, as well as the political statement of the eight-member leader of the UN General Assembly," Koanapo concluded.

In June, the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels claimed to have heard a joint statement from the governments of Vanuatu, Solomon Island, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and Marshall Island. The seven Pacific nations condemned Indonesia's human rights abuses in West Papua. In addition, they called for a resolution supporting political rights for West Papua to self-determination.

However, the Indonesian Embassy in New Zealand said that the ACP meeting was without addressing the West Papua issue.

"The call to re-draw the Indonesian border by some politicians in Vanuatu, Solomon Island and others, is just nonsense and irrational. This strangeness is the talk of desperate and vulnerable political leaders who continue to rule, "wrote the Indonesian Embassy in New Zealand in a release quoted by various media in Indonesia at that time. (*)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

PS Koanapo says issue of West Papua now gone beyond the region

PS Koanapo says issue of West Papua now gone beyond the region


Parliamentary Secretary for the Prime Minister's Office, Johnny Koanapo: Issue of West Papua has moved beyond the region.

The issue of West Papua self-determination and violations of human rights has now progressed beyond the South Pacific islands region, says the Parliamentary Secretary (PS) for the Prime Minister’s Office, Johnny Koanapo. He said the issue that had Vanuatu as its lone advocator for many years and then Solomon Islands during the last two years now has the support of six other countries of the region from Micronesia and Polynesia.
PS Koanapo met the media with the intention of the government is to brief the people on how much work government has undertaken on the issue of West Papua.
“I wish to say that the government has done a lot of work on the issue of West Papua since the Charlot Salwai government came in in 2016 and the issue remains high on government’s international political agenda.

“There are a lot of arguments that government has not done enough on the issue of West Papua, but when we look at the events that government through the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers have endorsed Vanuatu’s participation, there were many.”
In March this year, the Council of Ministers under the leadership of Prime Minister Salwai, appointed Honorable Ronald Warsal (Minister of Justice and Community Services) to attend the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva and Koanapo went with him when Vanuatu delivered a statement on behalf of the Pacific Islands Coalition for West Papua.
“May be, many people who have been dealing with the issue of West Papua, especially our former leaders like Barak Sope, Donald Kalpokas, the late Edward Natapei, Joe Natuman former Prime Minister now Deputy Prime Minister, have been walking with the people of West Papua for a very long time.
“And when we look at the political backup the people of Vanuatu give to the colonized people of West Papua, there’s only one country in the world that has been standing behind people who living under colonization by Indonesia. That country is Vanuatu. Vanuatu is the only country in the Pacific that is standing behind the people of West Papua.
“And then at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders’ summit held in 2015 in Honiara, at that time Solomon Islands government through Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovareh came on board. And then as PM Sogovareh said to me when I represented government at that time when I was Director General of Foreign and also represented the country at the minister’s level that the position or stand the government of Solomon Islands is taking is inspired by the position and stand the Vanuatu government has taken since day one on the since to West Papua to this day.
“So, instead of just one I the Pacific, there was two. That’s the Vanuatu government and the Solomon Islands government. Then the Solomon Islands government spearheaded with the support of Vanuatu on the margins of the meeting of June July last year when PM Charlot Salwai attended the establishment of what we call the Pacific Islands of West Papua (PIWP) and then other countries of Micronesia and Polynesia have come on board. Altogether eight countries – Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Tonga. So, Vanuatu, as the lone fighter, now has seven countries behind it for backup on the issue of West Papua.
“As a result in March this year, government through the Council of Ministers appropriated for Vanuatu’s participation at the Humans Rights Council meeting this year in Geneva. So, Minister Warsal and I went to the meeting where Honorable Warsal delivered a very strong statement. It was a political statement on behalf of BIGWIP members in the Pacific.
“I also wish to mention that when we have this coalition, Vanuatu’s strategy is for us to try shift advocacy for the issue of West Papua beyond the region. When we were introducing the issue at MSG, Vanuatu was the only country behind it.
“I am briefing us today as a former director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who has been behind much of the speeches and writings, to say that I’ve never seen before a government that has taken the issue of WP so strongly as the government of Charlot Salwai and Joe Natuman is making today.
“There are reasons for this. In the past governments tended to take different kinds of approaches. Some prefer for us to take a stronger diplomatic approach at the international level to lobby. Some prefer we have more dialogue with the colonizing power, Indonesia since 1962 to today that they continue to colonize the people of West Papua.
“So, the government of Charlot Salwai also appointed a special envoy. This special envoy was our Ambassador at the European Union, Ambassador Roy Micky Joy, to help lobby at the European Union jurisdiction and he also helped to lobby at the African Union. And he also helped to lobby at the Caribbean. We have divided this task and it is the first time.
“During my 16 years in office at the Foreign Affairs, I see that this government is very serious about the issue of West Papua.”
“May be the Opposition has some views that government may not be advancing, but I have not seen any opposition in the past with the credentials to advance this issue, except this government today has moved this issue on more than ever. I say this with a lot of confidence that the issue of West Papua today has already moved beyond the region,” the PS for the PM’s Office said.
“This government when it came in, it took this issue from being a bilateral issue just of Vanuatu, but a regional issue, which we have moved beyond the level of MSG in which we have differences of opinion on how we deal with the issue of West Papua because the diplomatic of Indonesia is strong. This made Vanuatu the only country in MSG to push the issue ahead. But the issue has now moved beyond the jurisdiction of MSG,” he said.
“It has moved to the level of the Forum and has become a regional issue. And if you see how the issue was listed in the South Pacific Islands Forum meeting last week to deal with out of 14 issues, one of them is West Papua.”
“I wish to take this opportunity to commend the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, a very proactive SG who understands the situation of the people of West Papua who are colonized and continued to face human rights abuses on the own land. I note too that when we were at the Pacific Islands Forum last year, PM CS made a lot of bi-laterals with many countries and he talked about the issue of West Papua, for it to come before the Forum Leaders retreat. And at the retreat, PM Salwai took the lead on the issue of West Papua. Because the PM of Solomon Islands was not present so PM Salwai had to do the lobby and he continued to put the issue on the table and he continued to advocate for the issue to come before the United Nations.
“On the level of the work that the government has done, PM Salwai also appointed me as his Special Emissary for me to undertake shuttle diplomacy in the region, starting last month when the Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers meeting was held in Suva, I went there special emissary of the PM to present a case at bi-laterals of member countries to talk about the importance of how PM Salwai and PM Sogovareh see the issue of West Papua.
“I also wish to mention to the people of Vanuatu to understand that when the government of today says that we are shifting the issue of West Papua beyond MSG and beyond the region, it simply means also the level of work government is making outside of the region. In around June this year, at the ACP Ministerial meeting in Brussels, the government assigned me to attend this ministerial meeting with Minister Ralph Regenvanu, and because Minister Regenvanu was engaged with other assignments, I undertook this assignment on behalf of Vanuatu where I tabled the issue of West Papua for the first time in history as an agenda at the ACP Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium.
“I also wish to place on record for the people of Vanuatu to know that government also assigned Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy to do this work in his capacity at the Committee of Ambassadors at the process of ACP to table the issue of West Papua at the Committee of Ambassadors level. The Committee of Ambassadors is comprised of Ambassadors and senior officials of countries based in Brussels to continue to discuss the agenda and formulate resolutions to come to the Ministerial level and at the Ministerial they took up this agenda before it reached the leaders’ level.
“It was the first time too I lobbied with the Secretary General of ACP to continue to maintain this agenda item at the ACP.
“I believe strongly that the government will continue to participate at upcoming ministerial meetings and this issue continues to feature prominently in the agenda of ACP.
“At the same too, with the help provided by the Vanuatu government mission in Brussels, we see a website totally dedicated to ACP and European members to access information on what is happening in West Papua. We all know that today West Papua is a flashpoint, an area of conflict between Melanesia and the Asians, but not country is willing to take this up. We all know too that West Papuans today face a reality of genocide including cultural genocide where thousands of Indonesians everyday flock into West Papua with their immigration policy, which means that the Melanesians will find themselves already a minority in their own land. This is the reason why the people at the time of the New Hebrides were afraid of at that time pushed to have our independence because our land was alienated so much that we were afraid of losing it and our identify. This is an opportunity that the West Papuans have today.
“West Papuans continue to be exposed to human rights abuse and it is sad to see that not every country want to take up this issue.”
“I wish to assure the people of Vanuatu that PM Salwai is making everything necessary and we work under him, the PM assigns us with the mandate to make sure that the voice of the voiceless is heard around the world. And today for the first time, in the last two months the lobby pushed by Vanuatu has reached the Caribbean and today I also wish to say that seven countries in the Caribbean out of 15 are behind the issue of West Papua today. And we continue to lobby with the African Union and I believe that in the coming months the government of Vanuatu will continue to push in the African Union so the countries of Africa are more aware of the issue of West Papua.
“Interestingly, when I conducted a bilateral in June with the government of Belgium, they said they were never aware of West Papua. The issue of West Papua is an issue hidden under a carpet because the press was never allowed to go freely to see the people and to hear from them what happened and their views on the destiny they see for themselves. It is a sad reality that is there.
“The issue now has progress to the international stage and I say this with a lot of confidence that the issue has never taken so much international attention as it is today simple because the government is serious about, there is no second opinion on it as to whether the government will take up the issue or not.
“The government has taken on this role because it is a global country and we are global citizens with obligations to defend such things as human rights, which are parts of the rights of a human being.
In addition to all these, the Prime Ministers of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are organizing a side event at the UN General Assembly in New York next week to continue to lobby for West Papua, so that when leaders make their political statements at the GA these will reflect these efforts.

1) Government Building IDR4,7 Trillion Dam in Papua


1) Government Building IDR4,7 Trillion Dam in Papua
Monday, 11 September 2017 | 16:45 WIB
JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - The Ministry of Public Works and Housing (PUPR) has said that the government is currently rehabilitating irrigation areas including the construction of the Baliem Dam with a capacity of 200 million m3. The dam has potential power plant of 50 Mega Watt (MW).
The construction of the Baliem dam is estimated to cost around IDR4.7 trillion, while another one in preparation, the Digoel Dam, has a capacity of 230 million m3.
Minister PUPR Basuki Hadimuljono said, Baliem Dam in Papua became one of the designs, studies and fundings in cooperation with the South Korean government. The dam construction process is expected to be completed in a maximum of four years.
"Meanwhile, irrigation rehabilitation is conducted in a labor-intensive manner involving water use of farmer associations (P3A)," he said, Monday (9/11/2017), in an official statement.
Hadimuljono said that the food, water and energy sectors will be the center commad of national development in the future, as well as the spearhead of competition between countries.
Related to the management of water resources (SDA), Hadimuljono revealed that the current draft of the SDA Law has just been included in the House of Representatives Prolegnas and it is expected to be completed within four months.
According to him, the SDA Law does not belong to a certain group, but it belongs to all the people of Indonesia. "I hope the Association of Hydraulic Engineering Experts Indonesia (HATHI) can supervise and provide input so that the values of Pancasila become the spirit in the SDA Law to create justice for the people of Indonesia, so there is no more dispute in the regulation," he added.

       Activists showing their support for Dandhy Dwi Laksono through the hashtag #KamiBersamaDandhy – SAFEnet

Jakarta, Jubi – Indonesian police in East Java are investigating a veteran journalist for comparing former President Megawati Sukarnoputri to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi in a Facebook post.
On September 3, 2017, journalist and documentary filmmaker Dandhy Dwi Laksono wrote on Facebook that Megawati and Suu Kyi are alike in many ways, noting that both are former opposition leaders who now head the ruling parties in their respective countries. Dandhy added that if Myanmar’s government is being criticized for its treatment of ethnic Rohingya, the Indonesian government should similarly be held liable for suppressing the independence movement on the Indonesian island of West Papua.
He further compared Suu Kyi’s silence on the persecution of the Rohingya to Megawati’s role as party leader of the government, which has recently intensified the crackdown on West Papuan independence activists.

Rohingya people born and living in Myanmar are not recognized as citizens by the Myanmar government. In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya civilians have been displaced from their homes due to clearing operations of the Myanmar military in response to attacks by a pro-Rohingya insurgent group in northwest Myanmar. Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who are mostly Muslim, are crossing into Bangladesh to escape the fighting.
West Papua is a province of Indonesia with a vocal independence movement that has called for the creation of a separate state since the 1960s. Human rights groups have documented many cases of abuse committed by Indonesian state forces against activists, journalists, and other individuals suspected of supporting the independence movement.
Dandhy posted his comments on Facebook following a big rally was organized by Muslim groups in Indonesia, condemning the Myanmar government for its treatment of Rohingya refugees.
The youth arm of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) filed a defamation complaint against Dandhy on September 6:
“On the whole, (Dandhy’s) opinion was clearly intended to take advantage of the Rohingya incidents in Myanmar in order to insult and spread hatred of Megawati Soekarnoputri as the chairwoman of PDI-P and Joko Widodo as the president who is backed by PDI-P.”
He is now under investigation by the police cyber crime unit. If he is prosecuted for and convicted of defamation, Dandhy could face up to four years in prison.
Reacting to the complaint, Dandhy wrote that it is a minor issue compared to the injustices suffered by Papuan activists and Rohingya refugees.
The complaint is the latest case of how the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law is being used to silence dissent in the country.

According to Indonesian digital rights group SAFEnet, at least 35 activists have been charged with online defamation since its enactment in 2008. Aside from Dandhy’s case, the group has documented six defamation charges involving activists and journalists in 2017.
Activists were quick to launch a campaign expressing support to Dandhy. They asserted that Dandhy was simply expressing an opinion which should be considered legitimate criticism and not a criminal act.
SAFEnet is encouraging Indonesian netizens to submit reports and testimonies about how the ITE Law is being abused to silence activists like Dandhy and suppress online free speech in general.
Instead of preventing the public from commenting on Megawati, a local investigative portal suggested that Dandhy’s case could in fact trigger greater interest in the former president’s legacy as a leader, including some of the issues that led to her defeat in the polls.
The hashtag #KamiBersamaDandhy (We Stand with Dandhy) was used on various social media platforms to call for support for the veteran journalist.(*)
Editor: Zely Ariane

Friday, September 15, 2017

Congratulations to the people of PNG on their 42nd anniversary of Independence

Congratulations to the people of PNG on their  42nd anniversary of Independence from Australia.

PNG achieved its Independence on the 16 September in 1975.

The PNG people are also great friends of West Papua given thousands of West Papuans fleeing Indonesian oppression,  sanctuary. 


1) Papua NU Chairman: Papua is Part of NKRI and is Undisputed

2) Indonesian Ambassador blames ‘fake news’ for unbalanced reporting on West Papua

1) Papua NU Chairman: Papua is Part of NKRI and is Undisputed
Friday, 15 September 2017 | 14:41 WIB

JAYAPURA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Chairman of Nahdatul Ulama (NU) of Papua Province DR H Tonny Wanggai believes that the establishment of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) is a final or undisputed agreement of the best sons and daughters of Papua together with youth from various regions in Indonesia.
"The embryo of the founding of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is because the role of youth who came from various regions in Indonesia and has agreed to join the 1928 Youth Pledge, including from Papua," said Tonny Wanggai in Jayapura, Papua, Friday (9/15/2017).
This statement was deliberately made by one of the academics at the renowned campus in Jayapura to assert to the youth of Cendrawasih Land that their role is very important in the present struggle by becoming actors in development in every field.
"So, reflecting on the sons and daughters of Papua who had long pledged to become one nusa [archipelago], one nation and one country of Indonesia in 1928 in Jakarta," he said.
According to him, it is worth noting that since October 28, 1928, the best sons and daughters of Papua were also involved in the Youth Pledge.
"This can be known through the parents [father and mother] of Ramses Ohee who now serves as Chairman of Barisan Merah Putih (BMP) [Red-White Front] of Papua, and also my grandfather, Mr. Atai Karubaba participated in the Youth Pledge on October 28, 1928 in Jakarta," he said.
This proves that since 1928 before independence until 1945, Papuan sons and daughters have also struggled in establishing the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and some of the names of those who are now appointed as national heroes are Frans Kaisepo, Silas Papare, Marten Indey and Abraham Dimara.
"These four people indicated there are Indonesian heroes from Papua, it is a historical evidence that the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia stands on the involvement of Papuan figures at that time," he said.
Another history recorded legally on November 19, 1969, out of the UN resolution that Papua, which was then West Irian, was part of the legitimate Republic of Indonesia. It is supported by many foreign countries and no one refuses, one of them from Egypt.
Papua now has the privilege of special autonomy, which aims to accelerate development in all fields so that it is the full authority to manage the existing wealth with full responsibility and wisdom.
"We become leaders in our own country, I think that's the best solution for the people of Papua," he said. (*)
2) Indonesian Ambassador blames ‘fake news’ for unbalanced reporting on West Papua
Pacific Beat 
Updated Thursday at 08:47
First posted Wednesday at 15:47

The Indonesian Ambassador for New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga says journalists are failing to cover Indonesia's attempts to address human rights violations in West Papua.

Mr Tantowi Yahya was involved in a confrontation with a Samoan journalist at last week's Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Summit, after the journalist interrupted an interview with questions about human rights abuses in the mainly Melanesian province.

Ambassador Yahya says Indonesia acknowledges there have been human rights violations in West Papua but that the incident in Samoa demonstrates a need for balanced perspectives and open-minded reporting.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Samsung won’t partner with Korindo following outrage over forest destruction in Indonesia

Samsung won’t partner with Korindo following outrage over forest destruction in Indonesia
  • by  on 14 September 2017
  • Under fire from watchdogs and consumers of its smartphones, Samsung said it would not pursue a joint venture with Korindo, itself the target of an NGO campaign for destroying rainforests in Indonesia.
  • Korindo was previously outed in a Mighty Earth report for using fire to clear dense forests in Indonesia's Tanah Papua region, home to birds-of-paradise and tree kangaroos.
  • Papua is the last frontier for oil palm plantation firms like Korindo, and they move east in search of land on which to expand.
Samsung will stay away from any joint venture with a Korean-Indonesian conglomerate, Korindo, amid an NGO campaign highlighting Korindo’s rainforest destruction for palm oil in Indonesia’s Tanah Papua region.
Samsung’s announcement that it would partner with Korindo in the logistics sector had been widely reported in the Korean media. The joint venture was not directly related to Korindo’s palm oil operation, for which it has burned and cleared vast tracts of forestland in Papua and elsewhere to make way for its plantations, NGO Mighty Earth has exposed.
Mighty has continued to pressure Korindo, most recently targeting its business partners in other sectors. Mighty and consumer group SumOfUs launched an online petition calling on Samsung to cut ties with Korindo, and it amassed more than 73,000 signatures, including 15,000 from users of Samsung phones.
The petition was hand-delivered to Samsung’s main office in Seoul, ahead of the company’s launch of its new Galaxy Note 8 phone last month.
That was part of a “week of action” surrounding the Galaxy Note 8’s launch in which over 2,000 Samsung customers sent emails to the electronics giant from their Samsung devices. Over 10,000 people took action online, and nearly 1 million people viewed online ads about Samsung’s connection to rainforest destruction, according to Mighty.
“I own two of your TVs and recently switched my Galaxy back to Apple because of your Korindo involvement,” said one of the many personalized emails to Samsung. “As long as you continue to have an environmentally irresponsible ethos I will not be a customer, and I will share that with my friends and on social media.”
After that, Samsung’s logistics arm sent a letter to Mighty, dated Aug. 31 and seen by Mongabay, saying it had no plan to establish a partnership with Korindo — and denying it had ever reached an agreement with Korindo in the first place.
“Although it is true that there was a news article dated June 19th, 2017 reporting  ‘a strategic partnership with Korindo Group’ on the global logistics business, we, Samsung SDS, would like to inform you that there has not been any business dealings between Samsung SDS and Korindo Group, nor has there been a concrete plan or intention to pursue any further business opportunities between the two, except to the extent that certain meetings were previously held only to navigate potential business opportunities and nothing more,” read the letter.
The joint venture had been reported by various Korean news outlets, complete with a photo of executives from both firms shaking hands in front of a banner displaying their corporate logos. Korindo posted the articles on its website.
Despite Samsung’s decision to cut ties with Korindo, Samsung still has a direct stake in the oil palm sector. It owns two plantations on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra, part of a joint venture with the Ganda Group, which is controversial for its stake in a company that bulldozed people’s homes in 2011 to make way for its plantation.
“Samsung has taken the first step to delink its business from rainforest destruction. Now it must go all the way,” Lapidus said. “Samsung needs to remedy its human rights abuses on its own palm oil plantations and require its joint venture partner, Ganda Group, to adopt a strict forest conservation policy aligned with the industry standard for responsible production.”
As for Korindo, Lapidus said she hopes it “wakes up to the reality that even from a business perspective, it can’t continue to allow deforestation.”
Banner image: The stocky, flightless northern cassowary is one of the many birds-of-paradise for which Papua is famous. Photo by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.