Jayapura, Jubi – Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa has invited all men and women of all ages in Fiji to take concrete steps to accelerate the achievement of gender parity.
In her statement on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2017 today, Ro Teimumu encouraged all to pause and remember those who played a role with distinction in displaying the strength of women in every aspect of our society, and those who have turned another chapter in our history.
“I mention here Captain Selai Saumi who in 2015 became the first local female pilot to command one of our national aircrafts. Just today, WPC Vaseva Rokotiko takes a bow as the first female police motorcyclist. Hearty congratulations to these young women,” Ro Teimumu said.
“I wish to take this opportunity of honouring the lives of woman and girls adversely affected due to acts of sexual violence and physical abuse.
“We also remember those who became casualties of war. In addition, we especially remember the women of West Papua who paid the ultimate price in fighting for freedom. They all deserve a special place in our prayers.”
She said the theme for this year ‘Be Bold for Change’ not only highlighted the importance of recognising and respecting women, but also underscored the need to understand that more and more women were serious about advancing the interests socially, economically and politically of themselves and their families.
“Together we can change the narrative and make gender equality a reality for Fiji.” (*)
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. (*)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission might not be working in resolving human rights violations in Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – A human rights activist in Papua Iwan Niode said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission might be not useful in resolving the human rights violations in Papua due to the absence of regulation.
In the workshop ‘the settlement of Human Rights Violations in Wasior 2001 and Wamena 2004: “Opportunities and Challenges”‘ held by the Papua Democracy Alliance on Thursday (24/1/2019), Niode said the Constitutional Court had cancelled the Regulation No 27 of 2004.
“This is understandable why such a plan to resolve the human rights violations cases via the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has stopped until now. Although the Special Autonomy Law indeed recommended it, there is no specific regulation supporting the TRC to conduct its task,” said Niode.
Moreover, Niode said the TRC should not only support the human rights victims to speak but also to cover the whole stories of both sides, victims and perpetrators. That makes the resolution through the TRC never been successful.
Meanwhile, a lecturer of International Relations of the Faculty of Social and Politics Science of the University of Cenderawasih, Elvira Rumkabu, thought that besides it needs the judicial process enforcement, the settlement of human rights violations in Papua also need to bring justice to the victims, how they can get their rights for justice.
“If this injury remains not cured, it would spread anywhere towards many issues. The issue of personal identity, for example,” said Rumkabu. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Call for Pacific regional groups to investigate Papua chemical attacks
Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua is calling for Pacific regional groups to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in Indonesia’s Papua region.
The movement’s chair, Benny Wenda, said the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group should urgently send fact-finding missions to Nduga regency.
This comes after unverified reports of the suspected use of white phosphorus weapons by Indonesia’s military against civilians in Nduga.
Indonesia last month called the claims “totally baseless”.
But Mr Wenda said its security operations in Nduga had created a “humanitarian crisis”.
In a statement, he said Indonesia should also grant the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights access to West Papua to complete its own fact-finding mission.
Mr Wenda said humanitarian aid organisations should also be allowed in to Nduga to “relieve the suffering of West Papuans”.
A massive joint police and military operation has been underway in the remote Highlands regency, as well as neighbouring regencies, since December, in a hunt for members of the West Papua Liberation Army.
The armed group is responsible for the killings of at least 16 Indonesian construction workers and one soldier in November.
The joint operation has sparked sporadic shootouts between the Liberation Army and Indonesia’s military, with at least one soldier and one rebel fighter shot dead this year. (*)
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