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Indigenous Peoples of Papua

Merauke Indigenous Clans to Report Oil Palm Company to Rights Commission over Deforestation



Merauke, Jubi – About 17 Merauke indigenous clans will report palm oil company PT Dongin Prabawa to the National Human Rights Commission over deforestation related to its oil palm plantation.

Approximately 42,000 hectares of community forest area including sacred places and sago forest have been cleared since 2009, they said.

A Merauke indigenous woman, Elizabeth Ndiwaen-Mahuze, told Jubi on Saturday (4/4/2015) the company has also reneged on its promises to build public housing, and provide cars and scholarships for their children.

She revealed 17 indigenous clans of several villages in Ngguti Sub-district agreed to appoint her representing them to bring some documents and report the deforestation case to the National Human Right Commission. “But I will consult to some NGOs in Jakarta first before meeting with the commission,” she said.

According to her, the deforestation of thousands hectares of community forest is a severe human right violation. “I hope the commissioners will immediately response my report. We want and expect them to come to Merauke and see the condition of community forest that already cleared and planted with the oil palm,” she said.

When asked about compensation claim, she admitted according to the agreement, the company should pay Rp 30 billion for compensation. But they only paid Rp 5 billion in the early year and Rp 1.7 billion in 2014 and they have not paid the rest amount yet meanwhile they still continue their activity and begin harvesting the oil palm and bring it out of plantation area.

She further said the representative of 17 clans has come to the town and directly addressed their demand but had no response from the company. So they decided to report PT Dongin Prabawa to the National Human Right Commission in Jakarta.

“We are the landowner and ask for what they have been exploited from our forest including the sacred places for the sake of oil palm plantation. Frankly, the community have come to meet with the company for several times but they didn’t give a good response,” he said.

On every occasion the Merauke Regent when he met with the community, he always said the government would not too intervene the company related to their investment if community supported it. “I always told the investors to pay attention and protect the community sacred places and sago forest. In addition they also must allocate a special area to the landowners to develop their farming,” the regent said. (Frans L Kobun/rom)

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Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway



Indonesian soldiers participate in a major military jungle warfare exercise in Poso, in central Sulawesi island, on March 31, 2015. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Officials working on a troubled road project in Papua say Indonesia’s military will complete the job this year.

In December, at least 16 Indonesians working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga province were massacred by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army.

The project was put on hold with the military saying it would take over work on the 4000 kilometre highway.

Combat engineers will reportedly carry out the construction, with hundreds of extra security personnel deployed to the area.

Detik News reports a military battalion has been assigned to the building of the project’s remaining 16 bridges.

Indonesian army engineers had already been working on the Trans-Papua Highway project for a number of years.

Military involvement in the project was cited by the Liberation Army as a central reason for killing the road workers, who were suspected of being soldiers. (*)



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Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport



Members of the Indonesian Army in Papua. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Indonesia’s military has evacuated the body of a soldier killed at an airport in Papua’s Highlands on Monday.

Xinhua reported that gunmen shot at an arriving aircraft carrying soldiers at Mapenduma airport of Nduga district, leaving one soldier dead.

Military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi said when the plane was about to land, it was shot at, and soldiers who were guarding the airport shot back, triggering gunfire exchange.

He said the gunmen retreated and escaped to the forest and the plane landed.

Tempo reported that two soldiers were shot, and hospitalised, with one dying later.

The soldier’s body has been evacuated to Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura,

He is the latest apparent victim in the Highlands conflict between guerilla forces of the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces that intensified last year. (*)



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A sad story of education from Papuan outreached and border areas



Pupils at schools in outreached Papua. – Jubi/Dok

Jayapura, Jubi – Education, in Papua today is still a sad story since many schools in outreached or border areas have to struggle to continue their activities even without adequate support from the government.

An educational activist Agustinus Kadepa said the education in Papua, especially in the border and outreached areas, is a complex issue, from the lack of teachers’ attendance to lack of teaching facilities that hampers the learning activities at school.

“This is complicated. Furthermore, we know that a good and qualified educational education could exist when it gains support from many aspects, namely the economy, educational facilities, public awareness of education and so on. Therefore, I think these factors have made many teachers prefer to live in town rather than in those remote areas,” said Kadepa on Thursday (24/1/2019).

Another factor is when teachers apply for the position of civil servants. It has an indirect impact on the number of teachers staying at schools, especially in remote areas. Because most of those teachers would accept the new position as a civil servant and choose to live in town rather than continue teaching in remote areas.

Meanwhile, this problem also considered by the village chief of Kampung Moso, Muara Tami Sub-district of Jayapura Municipality, Agus Watapoa. He said that all the time the primary schools of the Indonesian and PNG border have not a sufficient number of teachers. Therefore, the children are neglected and cannot study at school.

“Teachers who teach in this school village come late to school, at 10 in the morning. So this school is not well running. It’s still open but just not running very well because we only have two classes with a roof,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Agus Pabika

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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