Jayapura, Jubi – Several journalists in Vanuatu have expressed interest to visit Papua and observe the current condition as they often received biased, unfair, and unbalanced news coverage of the Indonesian province, a noted academician stated.
“The journalists in Vanuatu seem to yearn to get firsthand information of the current situation in Papua as they have begun harboring doubts on the rampant and unfair coverage of information on Papua,” Pater Gregor Neonbasu, SVD, an anthropologist of the Widya Mandira Catholic University, noted here on Monday.
Speaking to Antara in connection with his recent visits to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji, Neonbasu revealed that the journalists had expressed their intent during a conversation with an Indonesian delegate and staff of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra at a luncheon.
The Indonesian Embassy’s representatives hinted that they would immediately respond to the journalists’ wish to visit Vanutua, Neonbasu said, adding that he had visited the three South-Pacific countries in his capacity as a Melanesian figure.
“My trip to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji is also a gift for the publication of my book titled ‘The Image of Cultured People: A Monograph of Timor in Melanesian Perspective.’ This book is published by Antara,” he remarked.
Neonbasu said although the news coverage of the country’s media on human rights issues in Papua had a tendency to oppose Indonesia by favoring the Free Papua Movement (OPM), he, nonetheless, had got ample opportunities during his visit to interview several people from the print media as well as radio and television stations in Vanuatu.
Neonbasu said he had an interesting discussion with people from Vanuatu’s media outlets following the interviews. A different way of viewing the Papuan issue was found in Fiji. The people he had met there generally had an open outlook towards Indonesia.
Fiji has adopted a wary approach in believing that the black campaigns launched by the OPM were to corner Indonesia on the human rights issues in Papua, he added. (*)
Source : Antara/Republika
Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway
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. (*)
Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport
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. (*)
A sad story of education from Papuan outreached and border areas
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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