Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Papuan political prisoner serving 20 years dies

The following information has been received from a reliable source in Papua:

This is to inform everyone who struggles consistently about the problem of human rights in the Land of Papua that one of the Papuan political prisoners, Kanius Murib, died on 10 December. He died at his family home in Hokilik Village, district of Wamena, Papua.

He had been suffering from 2010 up until December 2011. The prison authorities reached an agreement with his family that, in accordance with the family’s wishes, he would be able to stay with the family so as to ensure that he died surrounded by his family because of his physical condition as well as the fact that he had become mentally unstable.

1. Kanius Murib was serving a sentence of twenty years.

2. The government paid little attention to his state of health and just allowed his condition to linger on.

3. None of his children have been able to go to school.

The way he was treated is extremely unjust. This is the way all Papuans are being treated. The Indonesian government has ignored the recommendations made during the Universal Period Review, while the Co-ordinator Minister for Politics and Human Rights said while on a visit to Papua in 2012 that there are no political prisoners in Papua.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

The Ten New Tribes

Kleisthenes instituted a crucial reform, the reorganization of the citizenry into new administrative units called phylai (tribes). In his attempt to break up the aristocratic power structure, Kleisthenes abolished the use of the old Ionian tribes and created in their stead ten new ones. All citizens were assigned to one of these tribes, which were made up of members from each of the three geographical-and traditionally rivalries of Attica: plain, coast, and hills.

Political rights and many privileges depended on membership in one of the new tribes. Citizenship in Athens required prior enrollment in one of the tribes, and such membership was hereditary. A man served in the Boule (Senate) as a member of a tribe, and fought in the army -- where his life literally depended in part on the shield of the next man in line -- in a tribal contingent. Competitions in theatrical and athletic events were also carried out in tribal units.


More go HERE

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Boothill’s Tribal Democracy

 Articles  -  Islam and Politics 

Wednesday, 17 Rajab 1428


He asked, “Are you a Muslim or a terrorist?” I was talking with a group of villagers, all Africans, while sitting under the tent erected outside a home in Boot Hill when a young Indian man joined us and posed that question to me. It could have been a deliberate and maliciously conceived act of grave provocation or, perhaps, it was nothing more than the frivolity of one who turned in worship in the direction of Washington. But the villagers responded to the question with fury. They insisted that it was an insult, and that I should not answer the question. Instead they demanded that the young man apologize for his insult, and they persisted until he eventually apologized to me. That was a taste of Boot Hill’s tribal democracy that brooks no tribal injustice. Politicians and political scientists of this country would do well to study Boot Hill’s tribal democracy.


I went back to Boot Hill (a nickname for St. Thomas Village, Chaguanas, in my native island of Trinidad), my childhood hometown, to offer my sympathies to Kenneth Valley whose son had been shot and killed two days earlier in the nearby village of Felicity. It was a killing that provoked significant tribal protest from Boot Hill’s African villagers that quickly erupted in dangerous street demonstrations. It even provoked acts of violence against Felicity villagers. Some of them were beaten and a vehicle was destroyed.


Felicity is tribally homogeneous with the overwhelming majority of residents being Indian and Hindu. And while the shooting death in Felicity of the young African from Boot Hill may not have been caused by race, it certainly provoked a violent racial response. Indeed I fear that the die has, perhaps, been cast, and that the dangerous new stage now reached in tribal rivalry can eventually include the entire country in a fatal grip. Hence this timely essay! 

 Rivalry between the two main tribes of this country continues to be provoked by the tribal nationalism that has infected Trinidad and Tobago’s politics for the last fifty miserable years, and tension between the two main rival tribes has long been simmering. Indeed the violence that so spontaneously erupted in Boot Hill and in Felicity is, perhaps, a case of “chickens coming home to roost”. A corrupted political system that divides the tribes rather than unite them, is itself a Sign of the Last Day. 


We are in fact poised on the brink of a pit of fire with the eventual likelihood of tribal segregation of the island’s population, and yet all that the establishment has to offer is an “Imperial Presidency” as an answer to the failed political system.


My father had the foresight to oppose the PNM’s tribal nationalism. (PNM is the People’s National Movement, which is the ruling political party in Trinidad and Tobago.) He paid the ultimate price for that opposition. But that is another story. He must have had strange feelings in his Boot Hill grave when one of his children eventually rose to hold the highest office in the public service of the country.


My Indian Muslim family lived in Boot Hill for more than a hundred years until my widowed mother, worried by tribal nationalism and by mysterious changes that were slowly creeping upon the country and the village, moved us a mile away when she built a new house in midtown Chaguanas. But even then I continued to work as a teenaged teacher at the Chaguanas Government School where my father had spent the last years of his life as Principal. The children of the village thus became attached to me, as they had been to my father before me, as their own hometown native teacher.


Many tribes were represented in that tiny village that nestled so peacefully right next to the bustling town of Chaguanas. The tribes all lived with each other in a state of harmony, with recognition of tribal equality, and with respect for tribal identity and for differences in tribal culture and religion. Each tribe possessed autonomy and the right to preserve its tribal identity and to regulate its life in accordance with its own system of values and tribal genius. More than that, Boothill hosted the Chaguanas Government School as well as the Chaguanas cemetery, as a consequence of which the village became the educational home for thousands of children from far and wide, and the final resting place for all who died. Neither the living nor the dead, coming from far and wide, ever felt discomfort in Boot Hill’s tribal democracy.


I would always remain grateful to Allah Most High for the good fortune that I had to grow up in a Boot Hill whose tribal democracy stamped itself upon my teenaged consciousness. It was that very tribal democracy that I offered to the nation in my address on “Islam and a Tribal Democracy” in our Muslim Consultation on Constitutional Reform that was held at the Jama Masjid San Fernando.


The proposal for a ‘tribal democracy’ that would resolve dangerous rivalry and contain the tribal nationalism that has corrupted Trinidad and Tobago’s politics these last fifty years provoked an enthusiastic response from men like Congress of the People’s leader, Winston Dookeran and University of the West Indies academic, Prof. Dr. Brinsley Samaroo who attended the Consultation. It even earned the quiet respect of Attorney Rajiv Persad who had worked long and hard on the Principles of Fairness draft constitution, and of Ambassador Patrick Edwards, both of whom also attended the Consultation.


There was a Portugese man living in our midst in Boothill. “Bosey” Vasconcellos lived obliquely opposite our home and was the owner of a big oblong concrete building where his family produced wine. That misfit of a building still stands to this day. “Bosey” had married Doris, an Indian woman, and all three of their children looked more European than Indian. There was also Eric Maingot, a Frenchman who married an Indian woman from the village. They had a houseful of children who easily found a natural place in village life. And then there was a Spanish woman who lived in the village just a few houses away from us with her Indian husband, Clifford Imamshah. They also had a houseful of children who all looked far more European than Indian. Even the elderly Mr. Kidney, whose property was next to our home, was of English stock.


All these Europeans and their Euro-looking children were accepted in the village and lived in complete harmony with all other villagers. Yet the amazing thing about Boot Hill was that Europeans resident in the village were not recognized to be in any way superior to the rest of the villagers. Tribal equality was not imposed upon the village. It emerged naturally. Nor did the Euro-families segregate themselves. They lived harmoniously among the villagers.


The Chinese were prominently represented in the middle of Boothill by the Chong Kai Mee family who ran the only village shop. When Mee Zin’s husband died she persuaded her brother, Ato, to come all the way from China to live with her to help run the shop. Her daughter, Millie, made friends with the village girls (my elder sister claims that Millie was her only real friend) and was slowly becoming a part of village life when she had to leave for Hong Kong. But the villagers were predominantly African and Indian with quite a few of mixed tribal descent. The Africans were almost all Christians, and the Indians were almost all Muslims.


What was most remarkable about Boothill fifty years ago was the harmony with which it managed its tribal diversity. No tribe looked down upon or felt threatened by another tribe. No tribe discriminated against another tribe. We all lived as a family. And when a villager was in distress or in need, the village would assist without any tribal discrimination. The poor of the village, to whichever tribe they belonged, would all flock to the Masjid for alms on the day of Eid. And alms would be given to all. The tribes lived together without even a whisper of residential segregation between tribes, or between the rich and the poor.


Tribal harmony grew into a veritable symphony when it came to selecting the Boot Hill cricket team or the Globetrotters (football) team. The marketplace of sports was a tribal democracy of the purest form. If you could play well you could get selected and even become the captain of the team – it did not matter to which tribe you belonged. I had the honor of being selected on a few occasions as 12th man of the cricket team and had to ‘tote’ my fair share of cricket gear.


The village Masjid was one of the earliest to be built in Trinidad. Indeed, for almost a hundred years it was the only Masjid in the greater Chaguanas area, and Muslims came from far and wide to offer prayers in our Masjid. The Anglican Church is still located across the road from the Masjid and the mutual respect and cooperation which characterized Christian-Muslim relations in the village named after St. Thomas Aquinas, reflected yet another dimension of the village’s tribal democracy. My father and Rev. Lamont even exchanged cars on occasions – something that provoked many a smile in the village.


Most remarkable of all, the village demonstrated great tolerance of inter-tribal marriages. In addition to the Portugese-Indian, French-Indian and Spanish-Indian marriages, there were quite a few African-Indian marriages. The Mackintosh family was a case of an African-Indian marriage that was totally accepted by the village. And then there was Orin - a thorough gentleman - who, with his quiet dignity and good manners earned the respect of all. When Orin, the African villager, married the Indian Imam’s daughter, he remained dearly beloved to all. They had many children. Those children, like all the other mixed race children in the village, never suffered from identity problems – not in Boothill.


My own Indian father dearly loved an African woman and longed to marry her. But in the end religion stood between them and they had to sorrowfully give up on marriage since she adamantly insisted that any children born to them would have to be raised as Christian. And so my father sacrificed the love of his life so that his children could be raised as Muslims, and so that this son of his could eventually disseminate Islam in this country and in many other parts of the world.


I was pleasantly surprised when the villagers gathered at the Valley residence gave me a warm and loving welcome as a long-lost son of the village. After all, I had left the village more than forty years ago and during that time I had become a part-time Trinidadian. My happiness was complete when Kenneth Valley himself reminded me that I was his teacher at school. As we sat discussing Boot Hill and its tribal democracy the villagers urged me to write this piece and to publish it so that the country might benefit from what Boot Hill still has to offer to this day.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fw: [wp] Indonesian Police's Pot of Gold in Papua

Papua Tribesman,,,
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Mail: Papua Press Agency, International Desk,
c/o 54 Evora Park,HOWTH, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland
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Subject: [wp] Indonesian Police's Pot of Gold in Papua

Indonesian Police's Pot of Gold in Papua
John McBeth - Straits Times | September 20, 2012

It is time for the critics to forget about the Indonesian military's businesses for a moment and look at the money-making ventures of the national police that assumed responsibility for Indonesia's internal security over a decade ago.

During that time, the police have taken over many of the privileges and patronage systems which formerly earned the military some of its off-budget income but without earning any of the public trust the military still retains to a large degree.

By failing to investigate police generals with million-dollar bank accounts and only reluctantly intervening in yet another open war with the Anti-Corruption Commission, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appears to have defined the limits of the war on graft. Just as disturbing is a less documented development thousands of kilometers away in Papua, where the police have become the central player in the territory's lucrative artisanal gold-mining industry.

The police and the military initially shared the spoils of the $100 million-a-year panning operation in the river-borne rock waste from Freeport Indonesia's giant Grasberg copper and gold mine. Now the police are reportedly in total control.

Panners first appeared in the waste in 2004, at the same time the police took over guard duty at the mine, which had been the army's job since riots in 1996 led to the government throwing a security cordon around what it regards as a national asset.

For all the controversy that continues to surround the world's most profitable mine, there is a marginally effective government administration in the Mimika region where Freeport has made its home for the past four decades.

Not so in a remote corner of Paniai district, 100 km to the north-west. There, poorly trained local police are acting as a private security force for non-Papuan bosses controlling an alluvial gold rush along the Degeuwo River.

What has been called a struggle against separatist rebels is, in fact, mostly violence associated with 15,000 panners who in the mid-2000s began flooding into an area reachable only by helicopter or after a five-day trek from Enarotali, Paniai's capital.

The lack of genuine law enforcement means mercury is being used to separate the gold, causing serious health problems for the miners and their families, and poisoning the environment.

In the midst of all this is Australian company West Wits, working to establish a hydraulic alluvial operation along a stretch of the river where the miners have so far extracted 2,835 kg of gold, employing only primitive techniques. Apart from drilling farther afield for the hard rock source of the alluvial deposit, the firm plans to be producing 567 kg a year by 2014.

A new International Crisis Group report says police in neighboring Nabire restrict access to the Degeuwo workings. The police impose fees on the flow of goods and take protection money from the bars, karaoke joints and shops along the river.

The violence stems largely from the struggle for control of the trade and disputes with indigenous landowners who, on occasion, have sought help from ragtag Free Papua Movement (OPM) elements — even if they do engage in extortion and other criminal activity. OPM is a militant group coordinating the Papuan struggle against Indonesian rule.

That, in turn, has led to a disproportionate response called Operation Matoa, a major push against a handful of poorly armed rebels. Involving as many as 1,000 police and soldiers, some brought in from Jakarta and Jayapura, it saw over 10,000 ethnic Mee, Moni and Wolani tribesmen displaced. Only after a face-to-face meeting between President Yudhoyono and religious leaders was the operation called off last December.

Back in the New Order days, soldiers were often used to enforce land grabs by former president Suharto's grasping family members and his circle of business cronies across many parts of the country.

There are signs those days have returned. In April last year, police protecting a privately owned Lampung palm oil plantation were implicated in the deaths of seven local farmers, the latest victims in a long simmering land dispute dating back to 2009.

Last December, three people died and dozens more were wounded when police broke up a peaceful demonstration against the issuance of a mining exploration permit in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara.

In July this year, more than 100 police officers were questioned for their part in the fatal shooting of land rights protesters at a South Sumatra sugar plantation.

For a country rich in natural resources, all this is hardly surprising when market forces conspire to overpower the underfunded guiding hand of the state.
Reprinted courtesy of The Straits Times

rinted courtesy of The Straits Times

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Kampanye Papua Merdeka, IPWP dan ILWP

IPWP dan ILWP bukan Organisasian Perjuangan bangsa Papua, tetapi Wadah Pendamping Penyaluran Aspirasi dan Perjuangan Bangsa Papua


Semenjak pendirian International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) dan kemudian International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP), maka terpantul tanggapan pro dan kontra dari berbagai pihak yang mendukung Kampanye Papua Merdeka dan yang mengadu nasib dalam bingkai NKRI. Sejak penjajah menginjakkan kakinya di Tanah Papua, perbedaan dan pertentangan di antara orang Papua sendiri sudah ada. Yang kontra perjuangan Papua Merdeka menghendaki "Tanah Papua menjadi Zona Damai" dengan berbagai embel-embel seolah-olah mau mendengarkan dan menghargai aspirasi bangsa Papua. Sementara yang memperjuangkan kemerdekaannya menentang segala macam kebijakan Jakarta dengan semua alasan yang dimilikinya.

Baik IPWP maupun ILWP hadir sebagai wadah pendamping penyaluran aspirasi yang disampaikan para penyambung lidah bangsa Papua, yang telah lama dinanti-nantikan oleh bangsa Papua. Sudah banyak kali aspirasi bangsa Papua disampaikan, bahkan dengan resiko pertaruhan nyawapun telah dilakukan tanpa hentinya, dari generas ke generasi, dari waktu ke waktu, dari tempat ke tempat di muka Bumi. IPWP dan ILWP ialah organisasi asing, wadah yang didirikan oleh para pemerhati HAM, politisi dan pengacara serta aktivis bidang hukum dan politik yang tentu saja tidak didasarkan kepada sentimen apapun dan juga tidak karena perasaan ataupun belas-kasihan terhadap apa yang terjadi.

Alasan utama keberpihakan masyarakat internasional terhadap nasib dan perjuangan bangsa Papua ialah "KEBENARAN YANG DIPALSUKAN", dimanipulasi dan direkayasa, terlepas dari untuk apa ada pemalsuan ataupun manipulasi dilakukan antara NKRI-Belanda dan Amerika Serikat berdasarkan "The Bunker's Plan". Saat siapapun berdiri di atas KEBENARAN, maka sebenarnya orang Papua sendiri tidak perlu mendesak atau mengemis kepadanya untuk bertindak. Sebab di dalam lubuk hati, di dalam jiwa sana, setiap orang pasti memiliki nurani yang tak pernah berbohong, dan memusuhi serta terus berperang melawan tipu-daya dan kemunafikan. Nurani itulah yang berdiri menantang tipu-muslihat atas nama apapun juga sepanjang ada lanjutan cerita sebuah peristiwa yang memalangkan nasib manusia.

Mereka tahu bahwa ada yang "salah",  "mengapa ada kesalahan", "bagaimana kesalahan itu bermula dan berakhir", dan "siapa yang bersalah". Mereka paham benar ada "penipuan", "manipulasi",  dan "rekayasa" dalam pelaksanaan Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat (Pepera) 1969 di Irian Barat, yang dilakukan oleh negara-negara yang konon menyodorkan dirinya sebagai pemenang HAM, demokrasi dan penegakkan supremasi hukum. Apalagi pelaksana dan penanggungjawab kecelakaan sejarah itu ialah badan semua umat manusia di dunia bernama Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa. Di satu sisi kita pahami jelas tanpa harus ada penafsiran hukum ataupun penjelasan pakar untuk menjelaskan apakah Pepera 1969 telah berlangsung demokratis atau tidak. Itu fakta, dan itulah KEBENARAN.

Karenanya, biarpun seandainya semua orang Papua ingin tinggal di dalam Bingkai NKRI, biarpun tidak ada orang Papua yang menuntut Papua Merdeka dengan alasan ketidak-absahan Pepera 1969, biarpun dunia menilai NKRI telah berjasa besar dalam membangun tanah dan masyarakat Papua selama pendudukannya sejak 1 Mei 1963, biarpun rakyat Papua memaksa masyarakat internasional menutup mata terhadap manipulasi Pepera 1969, biarpun begitu, fakta sejarah dan Kebenaran kasus hukum, HAM dan Demokrasi dalam implementasi Pepera 1969 tidak dapat begitu saja diabaikan dan dianggap tidak pernah terjadi. Kepentingan pengungkapan kebenaran ini bukan hanya untuk bangsa Papua, tetapi terutama untuk memperbaiki reputasi PBB sebagai lembaga kemanusiaan dan keamanan tertinggi di dunia sehingga tetap menjadi lembaga kredibel dalam penanganan kasus-kasus kemanusiaan dan keamanan serta perdamaian dunia, di samping kepentingan bangsa-bangsa lain yang mengalami nasib serupa. Maka kalau dalam sejarahnya PBB pernah bersalah dan kesalahannya itu berdampak terhadap manusia dan kemanusiaan bangsa-bangsa di dunia, maka PBB tidak boleh tinggal diam. Demikian pula dengan para anggotanya tidak bisa menganggap sebuah sejarah yang salah sebagai suatu fakta yang harus diterima hari ini. Ini penting karena kita sebagai umat manusia dalam peradaban modern ini menjuluki diri sebagai manusia beradab, berbudhi luhur dan bermartabat. Martabat kemanusiaan kita dipertaruhkan dengan mengungkap kesalahan-kesalahan silam yang fatal dan berakibat menyengsarakan nasib suku-suku bangsa manusia di muka Bumi.

ILWP secara khusus tidak harus berpihak kepada bangsa Papua dan perjuangannya. Ia lebih berpihak kepada KEBENARAN, kebenaran bahwa ada pelanggaran HAM, pengebirian prinsip demokrasi universal dan skandal hukum dalam pelaksanaan Pepera 1969. Untuk mengimbangi ketidak-berpihakan itu maka diperlukan IPWP yang secara khusus menyoroti aspirasi politik bangsa Papua yang didasarkan pada prinsip-prinsip demokrasi sebagaimana selalu dikumandangkan dan diundangkan dalam berbagai produk hukum internasional maupun nasional di muka Bumi.

Dalam perjalanannya, ILWP tidak harus secara organisasi dan kampanyenya mendukung Papua Merdeka karena ia berdiri untuk menelaah dan mengungkap skandal hukum dan pengebirian prinsip demokrasi universal serta pelanggaran HAM yang terjadi serta dilakukan oleh PBB serta negara-negara anggotanya. Ini sebuah pekerjaan berat, universal dan bertujuan untuk memperbaiki nama-baik PBB dan para anggotanya, bukan sekedar mengusik masalalu yang telah dikubur dalam rangka mendukung Papua Merdeka.

Sementara itu IPWP bertindak sebagai wadah pendamping penyaluran aspirasi bangsa Papua dalam rangka pendidikan dan pembelajaran terhadap masyarakat internasional tentang kasus dan perjuangan bangsa Papua untuk merdeka dan berdaulat di luar NKRI. IPWP tidak serta-merta dan membabi-buta mendukung Papua Merdeka oleh karena sogokan ataupun berdasarkan pandangan politik tertentu. Ia berpihak kepada KEBENARAN pula, tetapi dalam hal ini kebenaran yang ditampilkan dan dipertanggungjawabkan oleh bangsa Papua. Dalam hal ini NKRI juga berpeluang besar dan wajib mempertanggungjawabkan sikap dan tindakannya di pentas politik dan diplomasi global tanpa harus merasa risau, gelisah dan geram atas aspirasi bangsa Papua. NKRI haruslah "gentlemen" tampil dan menyatakan kleim-kleim-nya secara bermartabat dan bertanggungjawab sebagai sebuah negara-bangsa modern, bukan sebagai negara barbarik dan nasionalis membabi-buta.

IPWP tidak hanya beranggotakan orang-orang pendukung Papua Merdeka, tetapi siapapun yang saat ini menjabat sebagai anggota parlemen di negara manapun berhak mendaftarkan diri untuk terlibat dalam debat dan expose terbuka, demokratis dan bertanggungjawab. IPWP bukan organisasi perjuangan bangsa Papua, tetapi ia berdiri sebagai pendamping dan pemagar sehingga tidak ada pihak-pihak penipu dan penjajah yang memanipulasi sejarah.

Point terakhir, pembentukan IPWP dan ILWP bukanlah sebuah rekayasa politik, karena rekayasa selalu ditopang oleh kekuatan dan kekuasaan. Ia dibentuk oleh kekuatan KEBENARAN MUTLAK, fakta sejarah, dan realitas kehidupan masakini yang bertolak-belakang dengan cita-cita perjuangan proyek Pencerahan di era pertengahan. Ia kelanjutan dari proyek besar modernisasi yang mengedepankan HAM, penegakkan supremasi hukum dan demokrasi. Sejalan dengan itu, para anggota Parlemen yang telah mendaftarkan dirinya, membentuk IPWP dan mengkampanyekan aspirasi bangsa Papua melakukannya oleh karena KEYAKINAN yang kuat bahwa Pepera 1969 di Irian Barat cacat secara hukum, HAM dan demokrasi, serta tidak dapat dibenarkan secara moral. Mereka bukan mempertaruhkan karier politik, nama baik, jabatan sebagai anggota Parlemen dan kepentingan negara mereka tanpa dasar pemikiran dan pemahaman serta pengetahuan tentang KEBENARAN itu secara tepat. Mereka bukan orang yang mudah dibeli dengan sepeser rupiah. Mereka juga tidak dapat diajak kong-kalingkong hanya untuk kepentingan sesaat. Mereka berdiri karena dan untuk KEBENARAN! Dan Kebenaran itu tidak pernah terkalahkan oleh siapapun, kapanpun, di manapun dan bagaimanapun juga.