Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Timor and West Papua - September 2014 West Papua Report

West Papua Report September 2014 

CONTENTS

This month's PERSPECTIVE is by ETAN's John M. Miller. It looks at differences and similarities in the historical experience of Timor-Leste (East Timor) and West Papua.

French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois
currently under arrest in West Papua. Photo: AFP
UPDATE examines the potential impact a Joko Widodo administration may have on West Papua, noting high expectations for a new focus on the "neglected region." Two French journalists have been detained by security authorities in West Papua; this action may be intended to challenge President-elect Widodo who has spoken of his intention to open West Papua to international media scrutiny. "Development" plans in the Bintuni Bay area appear to be ignoring the voices and interests of local Papuans. Security forces have detained and beaten two Papuans in Manokwari. Widodo plans to establish a human rights court are encouraging, but it is not clear whether the court will address the extraordinary abuses of the 1965-66 period or the systematic abuse of human rights in West Papua extending back even further.

CHRONICLE highlights appeals to President-elect Widodo by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch regarding the need to make human rights a priority. Both appeals include a focus on West Papua. A comment by Pat Walsh offers the view that the Widodo administration may offer the "best prospect" for progress on the decades-old "Papua problem."


Tangguh LNG plant at Bintuni Bay, West Papua. Photo: Tempo.

Coming New York Events by ETAN


Saturday, September 27, 2014, 6:30 pm
exhibit on display until Sunday, October 5

Timor-Leste Past and Present: Talks and an Exhibitwith Frederic Durand, Charles Scheiner and Jill Sternberg

The Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
nearby subways: A, C, G (Hoyt Schermerhorn);  2, 3 (Hoyt St.);  2,3,4,5 (Nevins St.), F, G (Bergen)

Frederic Durand, an historian who has focused on East Timor (Timor-Leste) for many years, has put together an bilingual (Portuguese and English) exhibit on Timorese history that has not been shown yet in the U.S. titled "Timor-Leste: A New State with Century-Old Roots in World History." He is flying over from Paris to introduce the exhibit, which will be on display at The Brooklyn Commons for a week following his talk on Saturday night. Charles Scheiner and Jill Sternberg are long-time East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) activists; they recently returned to U.S. after years of living and working in Timor-Leste. They will speak about current issues and challenges a dozen years after independence.
Contact ETAN or 718-596-7668 for more info.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1470640623220795/

-----------------------------------------

Thursday, October 2, 2014 7 pm - 10:30 pm

He's Back! Demonstrate against Henry Kissinger!
92nd St. Y, 92nd Street and Lexington Ave. in Manhattan

Kissinger has another book to hawk. Join ETAN and other organizations in protesting Kissinger's appearance at the 92nd St. Y.

Come and remind people about Kissinger's sordid history concerning Timor-Leste (East Timor)West Papua, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Chile, Cyprus, Bangladesh, Angola and elsewhere.

Call the 'Y and ask them why they are hosting an accused war criminal and treating him as a respectable commentator on international affairs. Urge them to cancel the event. Call the Y: 212-415-5500.

On December 6, 1975, then Secretary of State Kissinger and President Gerald Ford visited Jakarta. At their meeting, Ford gave Indonesia's dictator Suharto an explicit go ahead for the invasion of East Timor and Indonesia invaded the next day. According to East Timor's Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) up to 180,000 died as a direct result of the illegal invasion and occupation. Declassified and leaked documents show that Kissinger understood that Suharto was balking at invading, concerned that the U.S. would cut off its supply of weapons and military training. Kissinger guaranteed continuation of weapons shipments. According to Timor-Leste's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation as many as 180,000 people died as a result. For more on Kissinger's role in East Timor click here. Kissinger is currently out promoting his latest book World Order92nd St. Y event page ishere

In addition to ETAN, initial sponsors of the protest include War Criminals Watch, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and NYC War Resisters League. Let us know if your organization would like to sponsor.

Contact ETAN - 718-596-7668 for more information or to help out.

more on Kissinger here

Sunday, August 10, 2014

latest West Papua Report for August 2014

Read here: http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/2014/1408wpap.htm

CONTENTS

This month's PERSPECTIVE takes the form of West Papua Advocacy Team's (WPAT) open letter to President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo urging him to address fundamental problems in West Papua.
Human Rights are not optional for West PapuaUPDATE notes that Widodo won substantial majorities in West Papua, but that many Papuans boycotted the election. A prominent Papuan activist fled West Papua to Australia following attempts to abduct her. The Asian Human Rights Commission called the President-elect's attention to outstanding human rights problems in West Papua and elsewhere. Leaders of the "Federal State of West Papua" were released after serving nearly three years in prison for their roles in the Third Papuan People's Congress. Planning is under way for a meeting of Papuan groups in Vanuatu. President-elect Widodo has criticized a deal with Freeport McMoRan signed by outgoing president Yudhoyono. West Papuan students staged coordinated protests in Java over the denial of Papuan rights, including the right to self-determination.Recent shootings have raised concerns over a possible "sweeping operation" as a retaliatory "collective punishment" response. The new Army Chief of Staff has a record of provocative statements which point to an intent to defame and persecute rights advocates.

CHRONICLE highlights a motion by the Green Party's Catherine Delahunty in the New Zealand Parliament concerning the absence of media freedom in West Papua. A new documentary reveals repression in West Papua. Amnesty International urged Widodo to address human rights abuses and security force impunity. A new article focuses on institutional racism in West Papua. Groups write urging Indonesia to implement the UN's Universal Periodic Review recommendations concerning West Papua.


Link to this issue: http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/2014/1408wpap.htm 
Back issues of West Papua Report


NZ Green MP Catherine Delahunty and Maire Leadbeater (West Papua Action Auckland)
 receive 
the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award,given annually
by the West Papua Advocacy Team. Photo by 
AWPA.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Statement on Human Rights Abuses in Papua and West Papua

Human Rights Abuses in Papua and West Papua 

Submitted by:
VIVAT International and endorsed by ETAN among others.

Read the whole statement and list of signers here: http://etan.org/news/2014/07vivat_etal_on_papua.htm.

The statement begins: 

"We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about the serious and ongoing violations of Human Rights that are taking place with impunity in the easternmost provinces of Indonesia Papua and West Papua. The violations of Human Rights have been well-documented and have been brought to the attention of Indonesia during the second round of the UPR process. Thirteen nations made recommendations to Indonesia with regard to the obligation to respect human rights in Papua and West Papua."

 keep up with news and views on West Papua



Read the West Papua Report 
(monthly news and analysis co-published by the West Papua Advocacy Team and ETAN)

Friday, July 11, 2014

ETAN Statement on 2014 Indonesian Election

ETAN recently issued a statement on the apparent election of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo as President of Indonesia.

The statement begins:
"The Indonesian people have voted. Although the results will not be finalized for several weeks, most "quick count" exit polls show that Jakarta Governor Joko (Jokowi) Widodo is the apparent winner of Indonesia's third popular election for President. Although his opponent former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto has yet to concede, barring fraud during the counting or coup, Jokowi will take the oath of office in October.
"Jokowi campaigned as a reformer, and most voters were not swayed by a massive smear campaign by supporters of his opponent or Prabowo’s nostalgic appeal to Indonesia’s authoritarian past. Many voted for Jokowi expecting a sharp break with that past. Whether their hopes are met will depend on consistent pressure from those who want positive change. The forces of the status quo - from oligarchs to the military - will certainly be urging him to maintain and expand their prerogatives. The fact that Prabowo came so close to winning despite his horrendous human rights record shows how entrenched this status quo remains more than 15 years after the end of Suharto’s dictatorship."
Read the rest here: http://etan.org/news/2014/07etan_on_election.htm .

Also see 
Yogyakarta voter. Photo by Angie Bexley/New Mandala