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Indigenous Peoples of Papua

Cultural Destruction, Land Conversion Threaten Indigenous Papuans



Indigenous peoples of Papua - Jubi

Indigenous peoples of Papua – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The destruction of Papuan culture is gradually happening and is threatening the lives of indigenous people, a student group said.

The issue at heart is not the reduced number of Papuans, or a number of birth and mortality. But the most important is the lost of cultural values, replacement pattern (ignoring the sacred land), a ban to used the local languages in some urban schools, as well as the lost of local content education in school, said the Chaiman of Papua Highland Student Association in Indonesia (AMPTPI) for Eastern Indonesia Region, Natan Naftali Tebai.

He said the most crucial is the lost of tenure rights on land, water and the values of life. “The process of land conversation such as the sago forest was destroyed becoming the oil palm plantation was counted as the process of the extermination towards the values and heritage plant in Papua,” Tebai said in Jayapura on Monday (19/10/2015).

According to him, once Papua was recognized as the sago barn but it is now recognized as the oil palm barn. During the time the number of population in Papua is still politicized by some bureaucracy elites, therefore the population of Papua blooms up to more than three million.
“The Papua Provincial Government should be firm and realistic about the population number of indigenous people. The Regional Parliament, Papua Representative Council, Papua’s People Assembly and Papua Provincial Government do not stay still and watch the reality of genocide,” Tebay said.

He added they must establish the strategic stages, such as forming the Special Regional Regulation, establishing the particular institution to manage the migrants and provide sanctions over them if necessary.

“This is also prohibiting the development process. The Central Government also implements several policies that are not synergy with the Governor’s policies. Thus the regents and majors must observe this situation, therefore they shouldn’t necessarily ask the Central Government for supports,” he said.

It could be seen through several oil palm plantation companies, illegal logging and illegal fishing were happened without prior communication with the Provincial Government.

Further he asked the Papua Governor to immediately issue the regulation about the population restriction and form a special body about the population issue in Papua. He also suggested the requirement of the regulation of local transmigration regulation both people and government officials.

Earlier, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the transmigration program in Papua initiated by the Minister of Village, Rural Development and Transmigration Marwan Jafar was a depopulation threat for indigenous Papua.
“We have rejected the transmigration program from the Central Government. If still want to realize it, it should be a local transmigration instead of replacing people from Java or other regions to Papua. Replacing poor people to Papua means taking a problem to Papua. It’s not only related to the economy or the employment or the social problem, but I do worried that the program would reduce the number of indigenous Papua on this land in ten or twenty years; depopulation of indigenous Papua,” Enembe told Jubi at his official resident on Saturday evening (17/10/2015) in Jayapura.

Further he said until today no institution has the valid data about the number of indigenous People. So how could we protect the indigenous Papua of the transmigration is still running without knowing the accurate data on the number of indigenous people. (Abeth You/rom)


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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