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Why special autonomy cannot bring improvement to Papuans and why it cannot overcome separatism?

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Papuans rally against Special Autonomy in October 2011 (Jubi/Timo)

The Special Autonomy Law that implied to the implementation of the autonomy funds from the Government of Indonesia to Papua Province (yet it shared with West Papua Province that established in 2007) has been 17 years on 21 November 2018. However, many people claimed that some goals have not yet achieved during this period.

DR Agus Sumule, a team member who drafted the Special Autonomy Law, said overall it’s still under the expectation, though this law was stipulated for two reasons, namely to improve the welfare of people and to be against separatism.

“The improvement of people’s welfare can be measured using the modest method, and that also applies throughout the world, such as the Human Development Index (HDI). Meanwhile, the HDI in both provinces of Papua and West Papua is still the lowest. Although there are some efforts to scale up the HDI and the leap was considerably big, but it’s not big enough if compared to other provinces. The existing method is not effective enough. Therefore, it needs another breakthrough,” Sumule told Jubi by phone on Thursday, 22 November 2018.

“On the other hand, the Special Autonomy has been given with the expectation that the separatist movement will fade away. Therefore the Special Autonomy Law also includes some aspects such as the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and so on. Because it doesn’t work, so who knows that the threat has gone.”

Apart from claims of progress in many sectors, continued Sumule who’s also the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Papua, Manokwari, West Papua Province, until now the  autonomy policy still cannot overcome the problems of both provinces.

Education must start from villages

One of the main objectives of the Special Autonomy fund for Papua is to increase the human resources through education. Although some efforts made in increasing Papuan human resources have shown some results, these do not provide both provinces with better condition.

Then Sumule took an example that currently, the number of students in Papua and West Papua is approximately 800 thousand, which half (400,000) is indigenous Papuans. Of that number, more than 200 thousand are at the elementary school. However later, more than half do not continue their study to junior high school.

Furthermore, He said it needs a breakthrough in education, for example, improving primary education. “Many say that we need to construct a dormitory. How could it be? How can we build a dormitory for 800 thousand people? That’s impossible.”

To solve this problem, he suggested that villages should become a target for education rather than cities by providing schools from the lower to higher levels.

No stipulation for a 25-year period

In regards stipulation, Agus Sumule also corrected people’s assumption that the Law No. 21 of 2001 about the Special Autonomy for Papua will terminate after 25 years running.  He said it’s not true. This arrangement only applied for the provision of  (autonomy) funds, while the regulation will still there though there is no guarantee that it would stand onwards (though it can be changed if necessary). However, there is no article in the law stating that this regulation only valid for 25 years.

“What would be ended (25 years) is related to finance,” said Sumule.

If the Special Autonomy Fund discontinued, it must ensure that the availability of funds to continue development. However, if it continues, we should consider its distribution due to nowadays many indigenous Papuans have become a minority in many regions of Papua and West Papua provinces. If there is no change in the allocation of funds, the beneficiaries who might receive compensation (and benefits) must be not indigenous Papuans.

He also maintained if the central government is willing to continue the provision of the special autonomy funds, how can they assure that the funds do not become ‘sugar’ that attracts more migrants to Papua. “That’s the question. Surely this is a big problem,” he said.

Papua’s Special Autonomy leaves assignments 

Separately, Chairman of the Papuan House of Representative Yunus Wonda said the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua still gives uncompleted assignments to do.

According to him,  there are a few of policies covered in the articles of the Special Autonomy Law have not implemented yet, such as the recognition of local political party, the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commision and the human rights court as well.

“The appointment of 14 representatives of indigenous Papuans in the Papuan House of Representatives has done, but not other things. Until now the central government has not seriously resolved many cases of alleged human rights violations in Papua by establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said Wonda.

Moreover, he said that the main issue in Papua is the human rights violation because it has a tremendous impact on other issues. Hence, its resolution could bring a sense of justice to both victims and their families. Both the settlement process and resolution of human rights violations have become an international concern, so the Government of Indonesia must take this seriously.

“This is a crucial agenda that needs to address, and we count on the president elected for the next period,” he said.

Meanwhile, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe in the commemoration day of the Special Autonomy Law held in Gedung Olahraga Cenderawasih, Jayapura, Papua on Wednesday (21/11/2018) said during its 17-years journey in Papua, the Special Autonomy Law is still not perfect as expected by many people, due to its weaknesses and limitation. To mention one, he exemplified that Papua never had a proper grand design from the beginning. (*)

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor : Pipit Maizier 

 

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The story of illegal logging from the forests of Papua

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Illegal timbers – an illustration. -Tempo.co

Jayapura, Jubi – Tempo journalist Avit Hidayat shared his experience in doing an investigation about the circulation of illegal timbers from Papua’s forest as a resource person for the discussion about “ Papua’s Forest and Logging Disputes”.

Auriga Nusantara, Eyes on the Forest, Tempo Institute, Free Press Unlimited, and Tempo Media Grup held this forum in Jakarta, Monday, 28 January 2019 and attended by other resource persons, such as Laode M. Syarif (KPK commissionaire), Rasio Ridho Sani (Gakkum-KLHK), Hilman Nugroho (PHPL-KLHK) Muhamad Kosar (JPIK), Timotius Murib (Majelis Rakyat Papua) and Papuan stakeholders from indigenous peoples, Papuan Parliament and Papua Provincial Forestry Office.

In the discussion, Avit said it is essential for the public to know about the situation in Papua. “The tropical forests in Papua are the last (forests) in Indonesia, while the Merbau wood which is the Papuan endemic trees have been becoming the target of the international market,” he said. 

Furthermore, Avid said he conducted the investigation in many different places and interviewed many resource persons; and in Papua, the Tempo team went further to the logging sites. There, they witnessed how the workers who come from other regions carried out the illegal logging activity. They also met transporters, woodmasters, drivers, and logging company staffs.

“And the most important thing is we met the supplier. The supplier is a mediator of the logging companies who play a role to bargain with ‘ondo’—the tribal chief–for compensation. For example, if in a village there are common indigenous lands, the supplier comes to measuring the areas, and give payment to indigenous peoples.”

In their investigation, the Tempo team also met the owners of a logging company who later admitted about the illegal logging activity.  However, they called it the unregistered community logging.

Meanwhile, in Aroba Sub-district of Teluk Bintuni, Papua Barat, the team went to the forest areas of the company who received the Business License for the Utilization of Natural Forest and Timber Product (IUPHHK-HA) that formerly known as a Forest Concession Permit (HPH). There, the team found the manipulation of a wood barcode. For instance, the barcode for ketapang wood is used for Merbau wood.

Moreover, the team also investigated the primary industry in Papua, Surabaya, Lumajang, Gresik by tracing the distribution of logs. Here, they found another finding, namely the fake transport data and officials’ involvement, whereas the illegal retribution practice has also become their another concern.

In their journey from Sarmi to Jayapura Municipality, the team discovered 25 retribution posts that consist of the indigenous institution, police (military) and Forestry Office. “This is the fact that we found, but I couldn’t capture it because it was too risky. We even witness a military truck used to transport the logs.”

Furthermore, the Tempo team met the export logging companies and found those companies able to export up to 6,000-meter cubic annually, while based on the Forest Product Information Management System (SIPUH), they only allowed to export around 100-meter cubic.

“In Surabaya, we went to a barge and talked with an officer. He said not all logs are given barcode. A few logging companies intentionally inserted non-barcode logs or illegal logs in there. They are mostly the HPH holders, and they even put the timbers between the logs.”

However, all these findings did not include in the audit industry report registered in the Timber Legality and Verification System Legality and Verification System (SVLK) which consist of the Assessment Agency for Sustainable Forest Production Management (LP-PHPL) and Timber Verification Agency (LV-LK). Both agencies are responsible for assessing the sustainable forest product management and verify the legality aspect of timber based on the system and standards set by the government.

“We also got the information about the involvement of LV-LK and LP-PHPL, which means they play around with such companies and culprits from the forestry office. I think the KPK has identified these cases.”

In the meantime, a resource person from the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) acknowledged that there were bribery practices in the LV-LK. The audit report had often finished before the field assessment.

Meanwhile, the participants appreciated the findings of Tempo’s investigation. They expected the government to find a solution immediately, whether it’s a regulation or supervision and law enforcement.

On the other hand, a representative of LV-LK objected this report regarding the bribery practices in his institution. But Avit said until now none of the resource persons withdrew their statements and opposed the result of the team’s investigation.

Meanwhile, Agung Wijaya, Avit’s editor for this covered story, said he was worried about Avit’s safety during the investigation. But finally, this report was completed and published.

He further said Tempo had traced the case of illegal logging since 2017. Thus, publishing the investigation report becomes a moral burden for Tempo. Therefore Tempo will continue to monitor this issue and welcome other stakeholders who attended this forum for further discussion.

Through this coverage, Tempo attempted to look the case thoroughly even though it might not give a solution because the solution is actually in the hand of all of you (who come to this forum).” (*)

 

Reporter: Timoteus Marten

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway

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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. (*)

 

Source: Radionz.co.nz

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Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport

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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. (*)

 

Source: Radionz.co.nz

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