Eight months sentences for military culprit the fishermen shooter: It’s not fair

Military culprit, the defendant of fishermen shot entered the trial court – Jubi/Dok.

Jayapura, Jubi –Father John Jonga, Yap Thiam Hien Award winner 2009, said the military judge’s verdict to sentence 8 months prison to the First Sergeant Yusuf Salasar in a military tribunal held in Jayapura on Tuesday (20/03/18) was not fair.

According to him, the act of Salasar who’s Deputy Commander of Intel II Military Resort Command 174 Timika could not be justified. He fired a gunshot during a quarrel between traditional and migrant fishermen in KP3 Office Pomako Port Timika on 9/8/2017. As a result, it caused the death of a traditional fisherman Theo Cakatem, while other fishermen, Rudolf Saran and Gabrial Nawipo were injured respectively in their arm and left palm hand.

“The verdict of 18 months sentences is embarrassed. It is not a new case; this kind of shooting case is about human’s life. It’s not professional if it has done by a military officer,” Father John Jonga told Jubi on Thursday evening (22/3/2018).

In addition, Jonga said, this verdict signified that the Military Tribunal is very unfair. His self-defense reason when firing a gun cannot be an excuse. “If he said he did it for self-defense, what for?”

A human right attorney Gustaf Kawer, in the press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (21/3/2018), said considering the legal process to the verdict, it assumed that law enforcement officers who involved in this trial already had a ‘design’ to protect the defendant.

Firstly, from the process of investigation to the trial, all were handed over to the court for about six months. It is considered to violate the principle of a fast and low-cost trial.

“Secondly, this case was not conducted at the scene or in Timika. It should be conducted in the location nearby to the victims’ families in order to guarantee a sense of justice as well as to facilitate the presence of victims to witness in the court. So the trial is supposed to be done in Timika,” said Kawer. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

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Kanaky ( New Caledonia ) to vote on Independence in 2018

Islands Business Magazine Published in 2018 March

by Nic Maclellan

 

‘At the dawn of a new day’

FLNKS Congress calls for “full sovereignty”

AS New Caledonia’s FLNKS independence movement met in congress last month near the northern town of Poum, the theme highlighted the importance of the coming year: “Yet Tim Men Ta Yabwat” (At the dawn of a new day). After decades of campaigning, a decision on New Caledonia’s political status is looming.

The exact date is still to be announced, but New Caledonia’s referendum on self-determination must be held before the end of the year, after a 20-year transition established by the 1998 Noumea Accord. Opponents of independence believe that they will win the vote and retain their current status within the French Republic. After generations of settlement and migration, the indigenous Kanak people are a minority in their own country, so mobilising independence supporters in the lead up to the referendum is all the more important. The 36th Congress of the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS) met at Arama on 3-4 February.

The meeting provided a crucial opportunity for delegates and activists to build common understanding on issues that have long been debated within the broad independence coalition. For many years, there have been internal tensions over leadership, how to negotiate with conservative pro-French parties and the best path for a transition to a new political status. But with only months remaining until the referendum, there is a need to promote unity amongst the four political parties that comprise the FLNKS: Union Calédonienne (UC); Parti de Libération Kanak (Palika); Rassemblement Démocratique Océanien (RDO); and Union Progressiste Mélanésien (UPM). The first President of the FLNKS, JeanMarie Tjibaou, was assassinated in 1989 and the position was later filled by Palika’s Paul Neaoutyine and UC’s Roch Wamytan. But since 2001, the independence coalition has been unable to agree on a President.

To avoid potentially divisive debates over leadership, the Arama Congress decided to leave the position vacant and instead appointed UC President Daniel Goa as its official spokesperson within New Caledonia, the region and internationally. Debating the path forward As the largest and oldest member of the independence movement, UC has long called for the adoption of full, sovereign political independence.

The other FLNKS members have been more open to variations of political status. Palika President Paul Neaoutyine has declared his party is open to discussing “l’indépendance avec partenariat” (independence with partnership), which would establish New Caledonia as an independent nation but with an ongoing relationship with France. Despite these differences, the FLNKS congress “reaffirmed its objective to have the country accede to full sovereignty in the referendum scheduled for this year 2018.”

If New Caledonia’s Congress cannot agree on a date for the referendum by May this year, the French State must hold the referendum at least six months before next Congressional elections in May 2019. For this reason, everyone is gearing up for a referendum in late October or November, preparing for a public campaign in the months before the vote. One of the central concerns for independence supporters has been to meet the legal requirement that potential referendum voters must be registered on the general electoral roll.

The Congress called on independence activists appointed to the Special Administrative Committees which register voters “to maintain the greatest possible vigilance during the forthcoming work to update the special lists and especially those for the referendum.” The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation is expected to send a mission to New Caledonia this month, to monitor the work of these Special Administrative Committees, as they finalise the voting roll that will be released publically in August. The FLNKS Congress reaffirmed its call for automatic registration of all indigenous Kanaks of voting age, echoing a central concern of the Rassemblement des indépendantistes et nationalistes (RIN).

The RIN is a loose network outside the FLNKS that includes more radical proindependence groups like the Parti Travailliste (PT), Dynamique Unitaire Sud (DUS), the USTKE trade union confederation and individual activists. UC President Daniel Goa has floated the idea of re-incorporating all pro-independence forces – including political parties, trade unions and churches – within the FLNKS. However this idea was not accepted by Palika and UPM at the Arama congress. Instead, the congress resolution called on “independence supporters, progressives and nationalists to support the planned accession to full sovereignty and to re-join the structures created by the FLNKS to undertake a campaign at local level.”

This aims to reinforce the “Comités Nationalistes et Citoyens” (CNC), a network of local action groups in tribes and towns across the country. The CNC were created in 2016 as a structure for independence supporters to campaign together at the grassroots, regardless of political affiliation. Young people share their vision This spirit of cooperation was evident amongst young Kanaks at the Arama meeting. A key feature of the congress was the strong presence and coordination of young people, who have not been involved in longstanding political jousting amongst their elders, often dating back to the 1970s. Each of the FLNKS member parties has a separate youth wing, but younger delegates caucused together and issued a joint statement from the congress.

The youth declaration called for “a sovereign Kanaky-New-Caledonia, as a multicultural, secular, democratic and united republic.” The united youth network will organise a series of cultural and sporting events during 2018, so that “young New Caledonians, whoever they may be, can join the movement for national unity so our country can access full sovereignty.” New Caledonian leaders across the political spectrum will meet with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and other representatives in March for the next Committee of Signatories to the Noumea Accord.

This meeting, one of the last before the referendum, will address outstanding issues over the referendum process, as well as the transfer of the remaining “Article 27” powers from Paris to Noumea (including control of the university, TV and radio, as well as the ADRAF land reform agency currently managed by the French State). To continue the momentum towards the vote, the FLNKS will hold a national convention in April.

This meeting will see the formal launch of the independence movement’s campaign, in the lead up to a scheduled visit by French President Emmanuel Macron. Since last year, the FLNKS has been developing a proposal for “a sovereign Kanaky-New-Caledonia,” with ideas for economic, political and cultural reform that will be the centrepiece of the referendum campaign. Beyond its mobilisation on the ground, the FLNKS congress resolutions highlighted the importance of international solidarity, including the “historic and ongoing support of the Melanesian Spearhead Group,” support from the Non-Aligned Movement as well as churches, NGOs and trade unions (a notable omission from the list is the Pacific Islands Forum, given the rapprochement between France and key Forum member states like Australia). To mobilise international support during 2018, the FLNKS will soon name overseas representatives as official spokespeople in Europe and the Pacific islands.

The movement will also send a team to build support for independence and sovereignty in French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna (key constituencies, given the large Tahitian and Wallisian populations living in New Caledonia). Soon after the congress, FLNKS delegates travelled to Port Moresby for the MSG summit. As a signal to the host government, the Arama congress “reaffirmed its unshakeable support for the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) in its combat for human rights and the right to self-determination in West Papua.” The FLNKS congress also resolved to support nationalist movements in Corsica, Catalonia and French Polynesia – signalling their support for allies in the debate over autonomy, decentralisation and independence that is raging around the globe, from Spain to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, from old Caledonia to New Caledonia.

4 out of 10 West Papuan women found to have been subjected to Indonesian state violence

4 out of 10 West Papuan women found to have been subjected to Indonesian state violence

October 19, 2017

Research by the Papuan Women’s Working Group together with the Asia Justice Rights (AJAR) has revealed shocking levels of Indonesian state violence being committed towards West Papuan women. Of the representative 170 indigenous West Papuan women surveyed between 2013 and 2017, 64 of them (4 out of 10) had been subject to violence committed by Indonesian state authorities.

Some of the violence the West Papuan women testified experiencing included: Shootings, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, husbands/family members lost or killed, husbands/family members detained, and property which was stolen or damaged.

When releasing the research results on 18th October, Selviana Yolanda, from AJAR stated that util now, there has been no consistent effort from the Indonesian state and civil society to restore and empower victims of state violence and human rights abuses. In fact, Selviana said, they now have no access to health and other public services because they have been labeled as part of the Free West Papua movement. She added that in one village in Wamena, a group of widows whose husbands were killed during the 1977-1978 massacres were forced to live together in very isolated conditions. According to Selviana, the unresolved continuing impact over the years has left West Papuan women who are the victims of violence; marginalized from all walks of life, sick and living in poor conditions. They lost their wealth and livelihoods due to the conflict.

“Women who suffered torture, sexual violence we find from the 70s or 80s whose children were shot, tortured and so on are still alive; but living in discrimination because there is a stigma attached to them”. She added, “So for us the violence is not over.”

Systematic Indonesian state violence against women in West Papua has continued unabated ever since Indonesia invaded West Papua in 1963. In a public report to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in 1999, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women concluded that the Indonesian security forces used rape “as an instrument of torture and intimidation” in West Papua, and “torture of women detained by the Indonesian security forces was widespread”.

For more information on violence against women in West Papua, please read this very informative article in the Guardian. 

Indonesia seizes illegally logged wood from Papua

 

http://www.tampabay.com/indonesia-seizes-illegally-logged-wood-from-papua-ap_worldcf9cf9ff573e4ef5ab6fec4b56cecd0e

2) Indonesia seizes illegally logged wood from Papua

Published: March 9, 2018

 

 

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities foiled the shipment of 21 containers of prized ironwood from Papua, highlighting what environmentalists say is a rampant illegal trade in the country’s easternmost region.

The Forestry and Environment Ministry’s law enforcement agency said the wood from the Kaimana tropical forest was processed and ready for shipment to Surabaya when seized. The city has a major port and is a center of Indonesia’s wood furniture manufacturing and export industry on the island of Java.

Greenpeace Indonesia said the confiscation, which was made Tuesday and announced Thursday, is small compared with long-standing smuggling from Papua where no “big actors” have been prosecuted. The region has Indonesia’s largest remaining tropical forests and is seen by logging and palm oil companies as a new frontier for exploitation after the stripping of most of Java, Sumatra and Borneo of natural forests.

Indonesia was admitted in 2016 to an EU arrangement that makes it easier for Indonesian wood producers to export to the bloc if they’ve been certified by Indonesia’s new Timber Verification and Legality System, known by its local acronym SVLK.

Some environmental and civil society groups have said the system, meant to provide certainty about the origin of wood, could easily become a conduit for illegal timber from a country where tropical forests have been cut down at an epic rate.

The ministry said investigations by police and its staff in Papua revealed a scheme for transporting and processing the wood and then shipping it once the desired quantity had been accumulated in warehouses at a West Papua port. Apparently falsified documents were to be used for the transport of the illegal wood.

It said police have arrested a suspect, who is a director of one of the companies involved, who could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $140,000.

Ironwood is prized for its beauty and strength and is used as flooring and in joinery.

Greenpeace Indonesia forests campaigner Charles Tawaru said weak supervision is one factor why the illegal timber trade continues to flourish in Papua and a significant amount of wood is shipped out without verification.

On the ground, oversight through the timber verification and legality system had weakened because of the absorption of the district forestry service into the larger provincial apparatus, he said.

Earlier this week, the U.K. ambassador to Indonesia, Moazzam Malik, said the SVLK system had provided a major boost for Indonesian wood exporters.

“The SVLK standard that Indonesia created, actually with an enormous U.K. investment over a 15-year timeframe, is something that’s given Indonesian wood exporters access to the European market on a no restrictions basis,” Malik said at a Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club event.

“A world first, really a very major boost and that industry is responding really well,” he said.

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Solomon Islands Deputy Prime minister seeks apology

http://www.solomonstarnews.com/index.php/news/national/item/20179-dpm-says-fiji-should-apologise

 

06 March 2018

 

DPM says Fiji should apologise

 

Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Fijian PM Frank Bainimarama should apologise to MSG member countries.

 

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Manasseh Sogavare says Fiji Prime Minister (PM) should apologise to the member countries of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) for admitting Indonesia as an associate member.

 

Speaking on the floor of parliament yesterday, DPM says Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama should apologise to the MSG member countries for admitting Indonesia as an associate member which was totally un-procedural.

 

“There was no consensus in the admission of Indonesia by member countries.”

 

He said Fiji PM solely made the decision to admit Indonesia into MSG and forced the member countries to endorse it.

 

But DPM revealed that when it comes to the application for membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) into MSG, Fiji PM talks about the strict criteria to be followed to become a member.

 

“Which continue to be a difficulty for ULMWP to become a full member of MSG,” said the DPM.

 

Sogavare said the application by ULMWP is consistent with that of the Socialist National Liberation Front (FLINKS) of New Caledonia when they apply for membership.

 

DPM was speaking during the question and answer session in Parliament when Member of Parliament (MP) for Aoke/Langalanga Matthew Wale asked PM Rick Hou to answer the questions related to his apology MSG member countries for the sour relationship over the past years.

 

He said, MSG is a purely political body to free Melanesia from colonisation but this is not the case today as their interests have been shifted from its fundamental purpose that establish the organisation.

 

Mr Sogavare said, if MSG stands on the very purpose and the founding principles upheld by the MSG leaders who started the organisation there should not be any difficulty in admitting ULMWP full membership.

 

He said ULMWP is a political entity representing the indigenous people of West Papua who a Melanesians, so there is no problem to admit them full membership in MSG.

 

Arguing that MSG has been shift from its original purpose to protects the rights and freedom of Melanesia from colonialism.

 

“Close association of Fiji with Indonesia is sabotaging the work of MSG and their membership in MSG is not political but economic interest.”

 

He concluded that Fiji and Papua New Guinea strongly allied with Indonesia therefore their relationship continues to sabotage the work of MSG to uphold its purpose.

 

By AATAI JOHN LAUNGI

 

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