Jayapura, Jubi – Rev. Nataniel Tabuni asked Colonel Infantry Muhammad Aidi, spokesman of the Military Command Cenderawasih XVII to clarify his statement saying Tabuni has met Rev. Gimin Nirigi who reportedly killed by soldiers in Mapendupa, Nduga Regency and confirmed that the priest was healthy and fine.
In his statement to a media in Jakarta, the colonel made an impression that he talked directly with Rev. Nataniel Tabuni who then asked him to forward this information to media.
Then, an online media in Jakarta wrote,” The news of the murder of Reverend Gemin Nirigi whose body then burned by the security forces was a hoax. The hoax deliberately spread by irresponsible people,” said the Reverend Natatiel Tabuni via the Chief of Public Affairs of the Military Command Cenderawasih XVII, the Colonel Infantry Muhammad Aidi in Jayapura on Friday (1/11/2019).
“Nataniel admitted that he had met with Reverend Gemin Nirigi and confirmed that Nirigi was in good condition,” this colonel said.
In opposite, Reverend Natanile Tabuni told Jubi that he never said it to the colonel as reported by media.
“I never said that. Mapenduma is far away from here. I have never been there. If someone tells a lie like this, it’s not good, especially using my name,” said Tabuni to Jubi in Wamena on Tuesday (1/15/2019).
Therefore, he asked the colonel to immediately clarify his statement because it might risk his image as a priest who serves the church in Nduga. “I am a priest. If this information turns out that is not true, it’s also my sin. Don’t use my name to lie,” he said.
On the same place, Rev. Esmon Walilo, the Coordinator of Jaya Wijaya Kingmi Church said he had talked to Colonel Aidi regarding his statement. However, when he asked for further clarification, the colonel not answering and their conversation ended.
He further said the colonel must understand that any statement made by a priest is related to his church. Therefore he asked for further clarification from the military public affairs chief. “But until today, I have not received any answer. So who spreads the hoax, actually?” asked the priest.
Moreover, according to him, the information about Reverend Gemin Nirigi’s murder was obtained from Nirigi’s family.
On 19 December 2018, the Reverend Gemin joined the local people to flee from Mapenduma to Paro, but then he decided to return due to his long-suffering of knee-joint pain. However, his son Mincena Nirigi found his father’s burned body behind their house on 3 January 2019.
Reverend Gemin Nirigi was one of the church leaders in Nduga District and also known as a Bible translator into local language.
Unfortunately, due to limited access of transportation and communication to Mapenduma, the information about his death still cannot be verified.
“To have clear information about Reverend Nirigi’s murder, we recommend the authority to open all access to Nduga, especially Mapenduma, so that journalists, NGOs or church can verify whether it is true or hoax and who are spreading this hoax,” said Rev. Walilo. (*)
Reported by Victor Mambor
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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