Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Wednesday, June 20, 2010

-- President should return home to solve Papuan conflicts:
-- Govt has been talking to Papuan separatists
-- SBY handling of human rights violations disappointing
-- Police share blame in Mesuji killings
-- Lesson of Indonesia’s democratic experience

President should return home to solve Papuan conflicts:
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 06/19/2012
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (JP)A human rights activist said on Tuesday that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should immediately return to Indonesia to solve the escalating conflicts in Papua.
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) coordinator Haris Azhar said that Yudhoyono, who is currently attending the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, should “unravel the Papuan conflicts with his own hands.”
“The President should come back to Indonesia in the next few days to organize a conflict resolution team for Papua as soon as possible,” Haris said as quoted by “He [Yudhoyono] should also start dialogues with related parties.”
Haris said he was pessimistic about the dialogue between the government and Papuan community members, saying that Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto had a tendency to defend the security officers, particularly in the killing of Papua independence activist, Mako Tabuni.
“He [Djoko] should have listened to the opinion from eyewitnesses in the community first, but he went on to defend the law enforcers instead,” said Haris.
Commenting on this, Haris said that it was about time Yudhoyono took on Papuan matters by trying to hold dialogues with the Papuans.
Tabuni died an hour after he was shot by law enforcers last Thursday.
The police claimed that they had to shoot Tabuni because he was violently resisting the officers who were trying to arrest him. Tabuni was reported to have been involved in a number of provocative and violent incidents. (asa)

Govt has been talking to Papuan separatists since December: Djoko

Bagus BT Saragih, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 06/20/2012
The government says that it has been in talks with the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) since last year — months before the start of the latest wave of violence in Papua that has killed 17.

The talks with the OPM began in December and had not been easy, as members of the group had to be coaxed to “leave the mountains and join society,” Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Air Marshall (ret.) Djoko Suyanto said on Monday.

“The government has continued to approach the OPM by sending a delegation,” Djoko told reporters in Jayapura on Monday as reported by Antara news agency.

The delegation, which includes several high-ranking military, police and intelligence officials, left Jakarta for Jayapura on Monday.

Among the delegation are Djoko, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo, Indonesian Military
(TNI) chief Adm. Agus Suhartono, and National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Lt. Gen. Marciano

The government has continued to blame the OPM for the deteriorating security situation in Papua while declining to provide concrete evidence of the group’s complicity in the violence that has wracked the province in recent months.

Police officers, for example, shot and killed Papuan activist Mako Tabuni in Waena on June 14 for allegedly resisting arrest for his supposed involvement in seven violent attacks.

Mako was deputy chairman of the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB), which supports a referendum on Papuan independence.

Tabuni’s supporters retaliated by setting ablaze dozens of vehicles and properties in the city.

The incident was the latest in a series of bloody incidents involving civilians and security officials.

The delegation from the central government held a closed-door meeting with religious and tribal leaders soon after their Indonesian Air Force Boeing 737 landed at Sentani Airport in Jayapura, Papua, on Tuesday.

Also in attendance at the meeting were Papua Legislative Council speaker Jhon Ibo, Papuan People’s Assembly speaker Timotius Murib and Interim Papua Governor Syamsul Arief Rivai.

Djoko and his entourage then met with members of the Papua General Elections Commission (KPUD).

Local politics have been touted as one potential cause of the renewed violence, following the
postponement of the provincial gubernatorial election.

The officials left Jayapura for Timika later on Tuesday and are expected to arrive in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua, on Wednesday.

Djoko has said his agenda in Papua was part of the government’s commitment to promote dialogue to address the situation in the region rather than stepping up security measures.

Contracted separately, Haris Azhar, the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), said he welcomed the government’s initiative to promote dialogue.

Haris, however, said that the security and intelligence officials had picked the wrong time for the meeting, as many Papuans remained angered, fearful and on edge over the violent attacks.

“Papuans are now psychologically uncomfortable. Papuans are still losing confidence to the
government, particularly following the amateurish actions of the National Police and TNI troops,”
Haris s
SBY handling of human rights violations disappointing: Kontras
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 12/29/2011
Many victims and their family members of human rights violation cases expressed their disappointment in the way President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) administration has handled human rights violation cases.
“We are deeply disappointed with President SBY, who did not deliver on his political commitment to resolve past gross human rights violation cases,” Indria Fernida, deputy coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) said as quoted by on Thursday.
Kontras gathered victims of gross human rights violations and their families during an event titled the “Year End Message from Human Rights Violation Victims” at its office in Jakarta.
“Cases of gross human rights violations such as Trisakti, Semanggi I and II (took place in 1998-1999 respectively), the May 1998 incident and the kidnapping in 1997-1998, Talangsari, and Wasior-Wamena of Papua (2001-2003 respectively) are all stuck at the Attorney General’s Office (AGO),” said Indira.
In the midst of uncertain legal processes regarding those human rights cases, the president has even encouraged non-legal settlements, such as a national consensus.
Police share blame in Mesuji killings:
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Thu, 12/15/2011
Police contributed to the mass killing in Mesuji, Lampung according to the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras).
“We suspect there was collaboration between the plantation company, security forces and PAM Swakarsa [civilian militia] to deal with local people. In the last two years there were many cases that were reported but [have been] neglected afterwards. Even if [the police] responded,
it was only on the surface,” Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said Thursday as quoted by
Lampung residents made allegations of the brutal killings in Mesuji, Lampung to members of the House of Representatives’ Commission III on Wednesday.
Thirty people were killed after violence erupted when a Malaysian-based company, PT PT Silva Inhutani, took the residents’ land in 2003 to plant rubber and palm.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Saurip Kadi, a member of Mesuji residents’ advocacy team, said the company sought help from the police and established a private militia to cast out the residents from their land.
He said the private security force was established to do all the dirty work, primarily intimidating locals, right under the police’s nose.
“Police should be held responsible over this incident. Why did they back up and let the [private militia] commit the violence. If the police punished only officers for shooting charges and punished them with only 21-day suspensions then it looks like the police want only to cover this for awhile,” he said.
Lesson of Indonesia’s democratic experience

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Jakarta | Opinion | Thu, 04/15/2010

On behalf of the government and people of Indonesia, I am pleased to extend a very warm welcome to all of you to Jakarta. This is a very impressive gathering of the members of the World Movement for Democracy.
We see a positive trend of significant expansion of democracy, particularly in the second half of the 20th century. Democracy expanded in many regions of the world. It also swept Indonesia in 1997 – and changed us for good. As a result, the political map of the world was significantly changed, with all its strategic, geopolitical, economic and social consequences.
But at the same time, we also see a parallel trend of democracies in distress. Military coup, political instability, constitutional crisis, divisive polarization, violent conflicts, the return to authoritarianism and failed states.
Democracy, as we all know too well in Indonesia from experience, is never easy, never smooth and never linear. It always involves a painful process of trial and error, with many ups and downs.
I have no doubt that the future belongs to those who are willing to embrace pluralism, openness and freedom. I say this based on the Indonesian experience. For decades, when we experienced high economic growth in the 1970s and 1980s, Indonesians found convenient cover in our “comfort zone”, an authoritarian system that sought stability, development and national unity at all costs.
It was widely held that democracy would lead to national regress, rather than progress. Thus, our political development had to proceed through a very narrow and rigid corridor. Certainty was much more preferred than uncertainty.
Yes, it took some noisy soul searching and fierce public debate about the form and pace of democratic change. But 10 years after we held our first free elections in 1999, democracy in Indonesia is irreversible and a daily fact of life.
Indonesia’s democratic experience is relevant also in another way. For decades, we lived in environment which argued that we had to choose between democracy and economic growth. I do not wish to prejudge my predecessor. But I can tell you that such is no longer the case of today’s Indonesia. Today, our democracy is growing strong, while at the same time, Indonesia is registering the third highest economic growth among G20 countries, after China and India.
Indonesia’s democratic experience is also relevant if you consider the doomsday scenario about it. Indonesia was in total disarray. Our economy contracted by 12 percent. Ethnic violence flared up. East Timor seceded from Indonesia. Terrorist bombs were exploding. Constitutional crisis seemed endless. Even Thomas Friedman called Indonesia, like Russia, “the messy state – too large to work, too important to fail”. Many predicted Indonesia, after East Timor’s secession, would break apart into pieces. Some even talked about us becoming a failed state.
But we proved the skeptics wrong. Indonesia’s democracy has grown from strength to strength. We held three peaceful periodic national elections: In 1999, in 2004 and in 2009. We peacefully resolved the conflict in Aceh and pursued political and economic reforms in Papua. We made human rights protection a national priority. We pushed forward ambitious decentralization. Rather than regressing, Indonesia is progressing.
One of the key lessons for us is that democracy must connect with good governance. In the early years of our transition, this was one of the hardest things to do. We were so consumed in the euphoria of our newfound freedom that there was a time that governance suffered.
I can tell you that one of the key challenges for our democratic development is how to minimize and ultimately do away with “money politics”. Money politics can seriously undermine democracy because it induces elected leaders and politicians to serve their pay masters at the expense of the public good. It also produces artificial democracy, one that betrays public trust and crushes the democratic ideals and conscience.
I believe that the more money politics prevail, the less the people’s aspirations will be heard, and the more democracy will suffer. Certainly, fighting money politics will be a short, medium and long term challenge for Indonesia’s democracy.
This is why in our democratic development it is extremely critical to build lasting institutions. In the past 10 years, this is precisely what we have done. Our periodic elections ensure political accountability and peaceful changeovers. The office of the President is no longer the all-powerful dominant executive that it once was. The military and police no longer intervene in politics. The Parliament is vibrant and completely independent, and so is the judiciary. The constitutional relations among them are clearly defined. And the rule of law reigns supreme in our land.
All this is important because leaders may come and go, but the system must remain and democracy must go on. One of the reasons our democracy has held up is that it is completely homegrown. Yes, our democracy came out of a political crisis that was triggered by the 1997 financial crisis, which originated from outside our borders. But the desire to get rid of corruption, collusion and nepotism came wholly from within.
Thus, if we in Indonesia have made the right turns in history, it is only because that power of judgment rests at the hands of the good people who exercise it with great caution. That is why the most terrible thing to waste in a democracy is the mandate from the people, and the most precious asset to keep is the public trust.
Indeed, I see democratic development as a constant process of expanding opportunities and empowerment of the people. It is a process to promote gender equality and bring more women into politics. It is a process to reach out to those that are still marginalized. It is a process to prevent a tyranny of the majority, and build a national consensus on the future direction of a country. It is a democracy where every citizen can become a stake-holder.
We in Indonesia have shown, by example, that Islam, democracy and modernity can grow together. We are a living example that there is no conflict between a Muslim’s spiritual obligation to Allah SWT, his civic responsibility as a citizen in a pluralist society and his capacity to succeed in the modern world.
This brand of moderation, openness and tolerance in Indonesia and in other societies around the world is the seed of a 21st century world order marked by harmony among civilizations.
It is a sad fact that humanity has never had the good fortune to enjoy a century without conflict or contest between civilizations and cultures. But the 21st century can be different. It need not be a century of clash of civilizations. It can be a century marked by the emergence of global conscience across cultures and civilizations, working together to advance common cause of peace and progress.
Finally, it is time for us to build on this solidarity across cultures to promote a confluence of civilizations and make the 21st century the best century in the history of mankind.

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