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Thursday, 06 April

23:42

1) TNI to Build Missile Detachment in Bintuni Bay, West Papua AWPA Sydney News







2) Dates for 48th PIF and Related Meetings Confirmed
3) Freeport wont reach for arbitration option

THURSDAY, 06 APRIL, 2017 | 17:32 WIB
1) TNI to Build Missile Detachment in Bintuni Bay, West Papua

22:00

Fun & games in Bougainville: The first time I met Michael Somare "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Michael Somare & schoolchildren 1974 [Veronica Peek]KEITH JACKSON

AT 3.45 on the afternoon of Tuesday 9 January, 1973 just before the regular afternoon thunderstorm moved through chief minister Michael Somare stepped off a flight from Buka at Bougainvilles Aropa airport.

Id never met Somare before and he was not in a good mood. The previous night in Sohano a Bougainville Copper company village relations officer had gate-crashed a cocktail party and taken the chief minister to task for refusing to officially open the copper mine at Panguna.

The culprit, who was to leave the company the following month, was ordered to fly to Kieta and apologise personally to Somare, and the chief minister didnt think that was much of a solution.

Somare settled into the Davara Motel at Toniva near Kieta and I sat down with him to discuss a press statement about his visit and to arrange a radio broadcast for later in the week. Having been a broadcaster himself, Somare was easy to work with and we soon had the statement worked out.

The next day I found myself reporting on a rally of 2,000 Bougainvilleans outside the Kieta sub-district office where Somare was meeting local leaders. The event lasted four hours and was at times fiery, but peaceful.

However it left officials on edge the next day, Thursday, when Somare visited the copper mine at Panguna.

Some 80 villagers bearing weapons approached a meeting place where the chief minister was due to address people from mine affected areas.

Everyone was on tenterhooks and, when Bougainvillean politicians John Momis and Paul Lapun expressed fears for his safety, Somare was flown out of Panguna by helicopter.

The villagers were upset, saying they meant no harm and the weapons they carried were symbolic. Reflecting on the incident later...

19:05

United West Papuan people launch the manual petition for an Internationally Supervised Vote "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

STATEMENT 5th April, 2017   United West Papuan people launch the manual petition for an Internationally Supervised Vote Today 5th April 2017 marks exactly 56 years to the day that the Nieuw Guinea Raad or New Guinea Council first met in West Papua and affirmed the fundamental right to self-determination of the West Papuan people. This

United West Papuan people launch the manual petition for an Internationally Supervised Vote was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

18:48

Pola hidup OAP Telah Tercemar oleh Gaya dan tradisi Orang Pendatang "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

Ya, benar, ini sebuah tragedi kemanusiaan yang telah menimpa salah satu kelompok manusia di muka Bumi, bernama bangsa Papua, ras Melanesia, yaitu bahwa "Pola hidup OAP Telah Tercemar oleh Gaya dan tradisi Orang Pendatang Melayo-Endo" Pertama, kita lihat dan kita alami setiap hari, dari apa yang kita makan,semua orang Papua hari ini makan nasi, IndoMie

Pola hidup OAP Telah Tercemar oleh Gaya dan tradisi Orang Pendatang was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

17:28

Rio Tinto walks away from environmental responsibility for Bougainvilles Panguna mine "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto was for 45 years the majority-owner of the Panguna copper mine in Bougainville, an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea (PNG). But now it has given up its 53.8 percent stake in the mine's operating company, Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), and announced it rejects any corporate responsibility for environmental damage wrought during operations from 1972 to 1989. The company believes it no longer has any obligation to address the mines environmental legacy because it adhered to PNGs laws of the day and was forced to abandon the extraction venture due to armed conflict. When BCL had to leave the site in 1989, we believe BCL operated Panguna in compliance with applicable laws and standards until 1989 when it was required to leave the country.....Given the lack of access since then, it has not been possible for Rio Tinto or BCL to confirm the nature, extent or cause of any alleged damage or pollution, a spokesperson for Rio Tinto at their London headquarters told Mongabay. The controversial open-pit mine, once one of the worlds largest, hit world news headlines almost three decades ago when indigenous landowners forced it to shut down. Angered about tailings and mine-waste contamination of agricultural land and nearby waterways, as well as inequity in revenue and benefit-sharing, landowners used a campaign of sabotage to halt operations in 1989, subsequently precipitating a decade-long civil war. [caption id="attachment_194639" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Silent rusting mine machinery litters the Panguna mine site, abandoned 28 years ago. Photo

12:37

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

060417MOMIS ON MINSTERIAL RESHUFFLE
By Aloysius Laukai

ABG President Chief DR.JOHN MOMIS yesterday announced in the ABG House a mini reshuffle of his cabinet following the resignation of his vice President, PATRICK NISIRA to contest the National Government elections.
The Ministers are, Vice President, RAYMOND MASONO who is also the Minister for Mining, former finance Minister ALBERT PUNGHAU has been changed to head the PEACE AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION that covers REFERENDUM,VETERANS AND PEACE plus Autonomy Implementation Ministry, ROBIN WILSON the former Minister for Mining is the new minister for Finance and Treasury, ROBERT HAMAL SAWA also becomes the Minister for Personal Management and Administrative Services.
The other Ministers not mentioned remain in their respective Ministries.

Ends

12:36

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

060317SOLAR BATTERY THIEF JAILED
By Aloysius Laukai

The Buin District Court today sentenced NIVEN PAIS to jail for 12 months for removing a Solar battery from the Maternity ward at the LENOKE SUBHEALTH CENTRE.
The Magistrate in handing the sentence said that Education and Health Centre facilities are there to serve the people and persons damaging them should face the full force of the law.
The incident happened on Sunday 11th of September, 2016 between SIX PM and Twelve midnight.
Senior Magistrate Bruce Tasikul said that the people must protect such facilities that are there to serve the communities.

Ends

12:35

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

060317MAGISTRATE EXPLAINS THE NEW FAMILY AND CHILD PROTECTION ACT
By Aloysius Laukai

The new law recently passed by the National Government is to protect the families who have been suffering from domestic violence for many years.
Senior BOUGAINVILLE MAGISTRATE, BRUCE TASIKUL made these comments when explaining on the new law on New Dawn FM today.
He said that the law is to help people who have suffered under marriages as the PNG Custom says that you can beat your wife if you had paid the Bride Price.
MAGISTRATE TASIKUL said this is no longer the case under the new Family and Child Protection act.
He said if a husband beats his wife or vice versa, the perpetrator will have to face the law and be charged for his actions and the court fine can be up to Five years in prison.
Magistrate TASIKUL called on the victims especially the wives to get help from the courts.

Ends

12:34

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

060317 CALVARY BASIC EDUCATION CENTRE
By Aloysius Laukai

The Director of the CALVARY BASIC EDUCATION CENTRE, JOHN KINANI says that his school since its establishment in 2013 has progressed and produced students who have moved on to further their education.
He told New Dawn FM that the school was initially established as an Adult Literacy Centre but went into Early Childhood study centre and now are teaching Primary School subjects up to Grade Four.
MR. KINANI said that his School since its establishment has not received any assistance from the Government or other organizations like the NGOs.
As such the school charges fees and raises its own funds to run the School.
Currently it is charging ONE THOUSAND KINA per student payable through instalments.
The school is located at KUGUMARU village on the Buin to Arawa highway.
This years enrolment has gone over SIXTY students.

Ends

12:31

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Caption..counting of Ipilai ward votes in progress by Aloysius Laukai

20170405_142419

12:27

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

060417RIGO NOT HAPPY
By Aloysius Laukai

A woman leader from RIGO ward one which covers Kaitu and Turutai villages in the Konnou Community Government is not happy at the way polling was conducted today at the Mongai Polling Booth.
THERESIA IRISIA told New Dawn FM that the polling officials left early and did not wait for the people who had to walk from Kaitu and Turutai villages because of restrictions by Meekamui soldiers.
On the winning woman candidate, MRS IRISIA said that the winner does not come from the ward and will not truly represent the wishes for her people.

Ends
Caption is the crowd at the Ipilai Polling Booth by Aloysius Laukai

Crowd ipilai

11:50

1) DAINIUS PURAS TO INDONESIA GOVT: AMBITIOUS GOALS CAN BE REACHED ONLY IF CHALLENGES ARE ADDRESSED AWPA Sydney News


2) Three points not open to negotiation with Freeport, official says
3) DPR PAPUA NOTIFY DUTCH AMBASSADOR ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN PAPUA
-


1) DAINIUS PURAS TO INDONESIA GOVT: AMBITIOUS GOALS CAN BE REACHED ONLY IF CHALLENGES ARE ADDRESSED

06:28

Canadian miner urged to condemn violent evictions in PNG "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

Radio New Zealand | April 6, 2017

A US human rights community says a Canadian mining company must condemn the violent eviction of villagers near its goldmine in Papua New Guinea.

A local human rights organisation, the Akali Tange Association claims police raped and assaulted villagers and burned down houses during an operation near the Porgera Mine.

The association has also accused the mine co-owners Barrick Gold of ordering the operation late last month.

The company has denied any involvement but Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic Director Sarah Knuckey said it must go further.

The company Barrick Gold must immediately make a statement condemning the violent evictions and especially the practice of burning down homes and the alleged assaults. And then it should suspend its support for the police units involved, said Sarah Knuckey.

Sarah Knuckey said their needs to be a truly independent investigation into the operation and its findings must be made public.


...

06:15

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

040417STRINGS OF UNITY IN BUIN
By Aloysius Laukai

New Dawn FM will be running a StringBand competition, STRINGS OF PEACE in Buin Town on Saturday 22nd, April 2017.
Only two songs are to be presented to be judged.
First song will be about life and in Telei language whilst the second song will be in pidgin and about the Bougainville Referendum.
According to the Organizers of this competition a registration of K100 will be required and the first Prize would be TWO THOUSAND KINA.
The competition will be held during the day only.
Judges have being identified from Buin musicians and judges decision will be final.
There will be Second, third and fourth Prizes with extra consolation prizes for participating bands.

Ends

06:12

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Accidents do happen as this caption...Raibro Roller rolled over and crashed into this building in Buin yesterday.

Raibro 2

06:09

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

030417MEMBER QUESTIONS EDUCATION MINISTER
By Aloysius Laukai

The Member for South Bougainville, TIMOTHY MASIU questioned the Education Minister to explain if the National Governments free education was still on and if Schools have been paid already.
In response the Minister for Education, NICK KUMAN said that Schools have been paid already and should not get any extra fees from the parents.
The member then wanted to know the breakup to Bougainville Schools, especially the South Bougainville Schools.
His question was interrupted by Member for ORO who said that the Education Policy on Free education was a failure.
The member for South Bougainville wanted to find out if Schools had received assistance from the Government under its Free Education Policy.
The member for South Bougainville is in Port Moresby attending the last sitting of the National Parliament before they rise to enter the 2017 National Election.

Ends

06:08

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

030417MASIU TALKS TO HIS PEOPLE
By Aloysius Laukai

The ABG Minister for Police and Justice and member for Konnou, WILLIE MASIU last night talked to his people to elect good educated leaders in the wards for the Community Government elections 2017.
He called from Buka and encouraged the members of three community governments in his constituency, KONNOU, WISAI and TONOLEI to choose wisely for Konnou to move to another level in quality leadership.
MR. MASIU said that today is technology age and our people must choose wisely leaders that he can work with as their constituency member.
He called on the people of Konnou to help him move Konnou into a progressive Constituency.
MR. MASIU also wanted his people to maintain Peace and Unity in the constituency.

Ends

06:06

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

030417PERI SAYS SHARE WORK WITH ROOTS
By Aloysius Laukai

The Public servants have been called on to share work especially during the coming elections.
A chief, MATHIAS PERI told New Dawn FM that the chiefs are not happy as youths especially Grade twelve and Ten leavers in the villages can be utilized to work during the elections.
He said that the public servants must leave their office like what is happening with the Community Government elections.
MR. PERI said that youths as partners of development and change must be utilized in public activities such as elections by the Government of the day.
Otherwise youths are mentioned as partners by leaders who do not put money where their mouth is.

Ends
Caption Commissioner George Manu shaking hands with the two Ipilai ward winners picture by Aloysius Laukai

Ipilai winners

06:03

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

KONNOU COMMUNITY GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS OK
By Aloysius Laukai

Election in the trouble spot KONNOU is progressing well with nearly all wards declared according to the Assistant Returning Officer, JUSTIN KENKUA.
MR KENKUA told New Dawn FM this afternoon that all wards have been complete and only one ward remaining that is the NAKATU Ward 3.
He says he is hopeful they will conduct polling there before polling ends on the 27th of this month.
Meanwhile, the Acting Electoral Commissioner, GEORGE MANU who visited polling at MONGAI this afternoon was happy that voting in this part of South Bougainville went well without trouble.

Ends
Caption OBEC Commissioner George Manu( in red) with Konnou Officials at Mongai Polling Boot Picture by Aloysius Laukai

Konno

06:00

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

050417 Bville CG Elections progressing well
By Aloysius Laukai
THE Bougainville Community Government Elections is progressing well according to the acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, Mr George Manu.
He says polling has commenced as scheduled in South Bougainville as well as in some of the districts in Central and North Bougainville.
MR. MANU says he is happy Bougainville Community Government Election is progressing smoothly since polling started on Monday this week.
Mr Manu, who is currently visiting South and Central Bougainville to observe the elections there as well as providing moral support to election officials, said he was very pleased with the turnout of voters.
He said that some ward assemblies that he visited in South Bougainville, he has seen that more than 200 voters have registered and voted. This again is another positive sign that many people are taking part in this community government election.
Provisional declarations have already been made in the ward assemblies that have already observed their elections.
These results are classified as provisional, as formal declarations of these elected ward assembly members will be made by Mr Manu after the completion of the community government election.
This afternoon Commissioner GEORGE MANU witnessed voting at Mongai for Wards in the Konnou area and later witnessed the declaration of the two winners for the Ipilai Ward in the LULE Community Government.
Ends

Elect 1

05:58

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

020417 CAPS to provide security during the Bville Community Government Elections
By Aloysius Laukai
THE Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner is engaging the Bougainville Community Auxiliary Police (CAP) to provide security during the Bougainville Community Government Elections.
The decision to engage the community auxiliary police personnel was made at a meeting between the acting Bougainville Electoral Commissioner Mr George Manu and the Chief of Police in Bougainville, Deputy Police Commissioner Francis Tokura and his deputy, Assistant Police Commissioner Joan Clarkson early last week.
The decision to allow the CAPs to provide security shows the trust and confidence that both commissioners have towards their ability in providing security during the elections.
The community auxiliary police personnel in Bougainville have always been engaged in previous elections and they are well versed with the roles and responsibilities relating to the provision of security to polling officials and the general public during elections.
The regular police personnel in Bougainville will not be engaged in the community government elections as they are preparing for the National Elections however they will be on standby to assist the CAPs if need arises.
The Bougainville Community Government Elections started today Monday 3rd April and will end 27th of April, 2017.

Ends

05:27

Bougainville #BCL Mining News : Seven reasons why : BCL no longer the devil-we-know, but the devil-we-own "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Bougainville News | April 6, 2017

As the devil-we-own, and one that is subject to the very tough requirements of the Bougainville Mining Act, BCL is now required to seek new investors into some sort of partnership with BCL, and come up with a deal acceptable to the landowners and to the ABG.

At this stage it is a decision that will be subject to the powers of the mine lease landowners under the Bougainville Mining Act to veto the project if they are not satisfied with the conditions for re-opening.

In addition, it will be subject to the ABG being satisfied on behalf of all Bougainvilleans that the project conditions are just and equitable.

As well as other Bougainvilleans may want to understand better why I announced ABG support for BCL. There are several separate but powerful reasons.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis

The Autonomous Bougainville Governments decision to support Bougainville Copper Limiteds proposal for reope...

02:47

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HEALTH: INDIGENOUS PAPUANS ARE STILL DISCRIMINATED "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/un-special-rapporteur-health-indigenous-papuans-still-discriminated/

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HEALTH: INDIGENOUS PAPUANS ARE STILL DISCRIMINATED

AdminApr 05, 2017

UN Special Rapporteur on health, Dainius Puras when having a meeting with civil society in Jayapura, Friday (31/3/2017) Jubi/Benny Mawel

Jayapura, Jubi United Nations Special Rapporteur on health, Dainius Puras said distrust has make health problem in Papua become even more complicated.

In a press conference, Monday (03/04/2017) in Jakarta, Puras explained that health problems in Papua as a serious complexity. He cited the Family Planning (KB) clearly showing there is distrust between Papuan native (OAP) and the Indonesian government.

Even if the family planning program is run ethically and well, the Papuan people still think that KB aims to reduce the number of indigenous people, said Puras, as quoted in satuharapan.com.

Puras understood the difficulty, but he can ensure the family planning program is actually a good program. However, if executed by force, it violates human rights.

But if implemented in a good way, through responsible information, for not having a child every year, its good. However, in environments that have no trust to each other, it becomes a complication. So there must be a solution, said Puras.

Pur...

Wednesday, 05 April

23:51

1) Ambassador visited the Netherlands, the Office attended the Franciscan SKPKC intel at night AWPA Sydney News


2) Solomon Islands Seeks Balance in Relations With Indonesia and West Papua
3) Solomans defends Indonesia police deal
4) Freeport smelter to be built on 100 hectares of land in Gresik
5) Way forward found in Freeport dispute with Jakarta
6) Jokowi urged to honor promise to free up media access to West Papua
-
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
1) Ambassador visited the Netherlands, the Office attended the Franciscan SKPKC intel at night

Jubi | News Portal Papua No. 1, Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 12:48

...

23:08

Indonesia must lead for sake of its interests in South China Sea "IndyWatch Feed War"

Sydney | Wed, April 5, 2017 | 10:32 am

 

Over the past quarter century, Indonesia has sought to play the role of an honest broker in the South China Sea disputes, facilitating negotiations over a proposed Code of Conduct for claimants to the sea, and hosting workshops on technical issues and other barriers to cooperation. These efforts, though admirable, are no longer equal to the challenge presented by Chinese actions, which now pose a much broader risk to Indonesian interests.

Since 2013, Beijing has constructed three large air bases and four smaller islands on top of coral reefs in the South China Sea, and has begun to place military personnel and weapons systems on them. The total area reclaimed is 15 times greater tha...

23:00

PNG at 40: reflecting on the past to build a solid future for Papua New Guinea "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

By the global standards of newly independent nations, Papua New Guinea experienced a relatively smooth transition to nationhood and comparatively untraumatic, or at least peaceful subsequent years. Although some observers predicted turmoil and breakup of the country upon Independence from Australia in 1975, instead PNG has remained intact and sustains a vibrant democracy, despite ongoing stresses and some clear aberrations from most political norms (not least the pursuit of politics seemingly oversubscribed, and not entirely for altruistic reasons).

Although much has certainly been achieved in PNG over the past 41 years, the optimism that overtook much of the population around Independence has morphed for many into a level of disappointment and frustration over aspects of the countrys economic, social, political and cultural development.

Maybe the expectations at Independence were unrealistically high, and have been further fuelled by constant promises of wealth emanating from the countrys resources, which for much of the population (including those termed resource owners) have not converted into reality. Instead, access to economic opportunities and quality public goods and services has proven limited, especially in rural parts of the country seemingly deteriorated, whilst violent crime, and particularly violence against women and children, remain a constant threat in the major urban centres.

Often referred to as PNGs paradox of development, resource wealth and periods of strong economic growth have failed to date to deliver broad-based and sustained economic and social opportunities, including strong and satisfactory improvement in social indicators. PNG is not alone in experiencing such travails of development, aspects of which are sometimes termed the the Resourse Curse, but the country should be able to achieve more meaningful improvements for the lives of its population into the future without forfeiting its cultural or environmental heritage, which are featured strongly in the National Constitution.

The PNG at 40 Symposium was organised by the Institute of National Affairs (INA) to bring together a team of dedicated persons with an immense wealth of experience of policy making and its application in PNG, to reflect on lessons and experience from the past and to contribute to preparing for and addr...

23:00

Paraka says GRUF will field 111 candidates & offer 100 policies "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

Paraka_PaulKEITH JACKSON

THE controversial lawyer Paul Paraka has decided that his dealings with politicians should turn a new page as he makes his run for parliament in June-Julys national elections in Papua New Guinea.

Mr Paraka has established his own party, the awkwardly named Grassroots United Front, or GRUF.

He says that when writs for the election are issued on 20 April, GRUF will showcase its 111 candidates, the most fielded by a single political party in a PNG election.

As Sean Dorney wrote in The Interpreter a year ago:

It is now two-and-a-half years since a case of alleged corruption began against the head of one of Papua New Guinea's biggest legal firms, Paul Paraka of Paul Paraka Lawyers.

In 2013, Paul Paraka was arrested and charged with 18 counts of receiving about AUS$30 million in allegedly fraudulent payments from the PNG Finance Department for legal work his firm claimed it had performed for the PNG Government.

The following year he was hit with another 32 charges of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and misappropriation.

Paraka contests the charges and is still out on bail. In fact, he is now claiming even many more millions from the PNG Government in interest charges for money he says his firm is still owed. Lawrence Stephens, chairman of Transparency International PNG, says the bills for legal work arose out of what was touted to be fee-free.

GRUF will open its headquarters and launch its campaign in a three-day spectacular later this week that will feature singsings, inspirational addresses...

22:02

West Papuan people unite under ULMWP to support the global petition Free West Papua

Today around 1000 people gathered in Waena in Port Numbay/Jayapura, the capital city of West Papua to launch the manual petition for West Papuan self-determination, supporting the online version. The 5th April 2017 marks exactly 56 years to the day that the Nieuw Guinea Raad or New Guinea Council first met in West Papua and affirmed the fundamental right to self-determination of the West Papuan people.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) states: The three main Independence organisations within West Papua: the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL), the Federated Republic of West Papua (NRFPB) and the West Papua National Parliament (PNWP), were all represented under the umbrella of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). All three organisations stood together to declare their support for this petition, thereby supporting the Westminster Declaration for an Internationally Supervised Vote for West Papua. The vote itself is to be held in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions 1514 and 1541 (XV)).

Speaking on the petition launch, ULMWP Spokesperson Benny Wenda said This is a truly historic and important moment for the people of West Papua as it is the first time the three main Independence organisations have signed the petition calling for an Internationally Supervised Vote in West Papua. I emphasise the need for unity among all West Papuan people and organisations to support this petition. We are united as one in our struggle for our fundamental right to self-determination.

He also said We hope that this will also encourage further international solidarity for West Papua, at a parliamentary and grassroots level. The time is now. I appeal to everyone around the world to support the West Papuan peoples campaign for self-determination. Let West Papua Vote.

...

22:00

Rediscovering Papua New Guinea aboard 'Pacific Aria' "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

Trobriands - two ex PIR soldiers meetTERRY EDWINSMITH

WHILE with the Pacific Islands Regiment in Papua New Guinea, Id been denied a long-held desire to visit Wewak because of the tragic crash of an RAAF Caribou on 28 August 1972.

The transport aircraft crashed into a hillside, killing its Australian crew and most of its passengers, high school students coming home from a cadet camp. It was the RAAF's worst peacetime air crash, claiming the lives of 25 of the 29 people on board.

I did not have another opportunity to get to the Sepik until last year, when I learned of a P&O cruise to PNG which included Wewak as a port of call - a rare occurrence. 

So my wife and I joined former members of the Pacific Islands Regiment and their partners on the cruise which departed Brisbane on 10 February.

Most of the 900 passengers came from southern Queensland and northern NSW and appeared to have some connection with PNG as residents or workers. In Rabaul, I overheard a man in his late thirties tell a local employee that he had been born in Rabaul and had returned with his young family so they could get a taste of life in the tropics.

Coastwatchers Memorial MadangThe ship, Pacific Aria was not the Queen Mary but it was a friendly, happy vessel with a hard working crew and excellent entertainers. That there was no bad...

21:44

Pacer-plus deal does not benefit Pacific Islands "ConflictWatch Feed Indonesia"

4 April 2017: AFTINET has written an open letter to Trade Minister Steven Ciobo urging Australia not to proceed with signing the PACER-plus trade deal between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island countries.

The deal could be signed as early as April and without the two biggest Pacific Island economies, PNG and Fiji.

Papua New Guinea has withdrawn from the negotiations, citing a lack of economic benefits. Fiji is concerned about its ability to protect fledgling industries, says the deal is too one sided, and has not agreed to sign the final text.

Without these two countries PACER-plus has failed as a regional agreement and is of questionable value.

PNG and Fijis unwillingness to participate also demonstrates that the agreement is heavily skewed towards the interests of Australia and New Zealand - despite early rhetoric that the agreement was as much about development as it was about reducing trade barriers.

Many of the smaller economies in the Pacific have less negotiating power than Fiji and PNG. AFTINET is concerned about the pressure tactics employed by Australia and New Zealand to push vulnerable Pacific economies into a deal which ultimately may not benefit them.

Pacific island countries already have tariff free access for their goods in Australia. The main purpose of PACER-plus is to reduce tariffs on Pacific island imports and reduce the ability of governments to regulate foreign investment in services and other sectors.

Tariff reductions could lead to significant revenue losses for smaller Pacific Islands, and it is unclear how these losses can be offset. This could impact on the ability of these governments to provide essential services to their populations.

Trade in services rules could also reduce the ability of governments to regulate to provide equitable access to essential services for vulnerable populations.

Pacific island governments should not be pressured to finalise an agreement that is not in their interests.

Read AFTINETs letter to Steven Ciobo...

21:00

Momis says BCL must get landowner approval to resume mining "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

John Momis & micANTHONY KAYBING

THE Autonomous Bougainville Government has made an in-principle decision to support a proposal from Bougainville Copper Ltd to reopen the Panguna copper and gold mine.

ABG President Dr John Momis said, under the Bougainville Mining Act, the decision will be subject to the powers of the mine lease landowners, who can veto the project if they are not satisfied with the conditions for re-opening.

In addition, the decision will be subject to the ABG being satisfied on behalf of all Bougainvilleans that the project conditions are just and equitable.

Dr Momis explained that BCL is no longer owned by Rio Tinto. The ABG now holds over 33% of BCL shares and the PNG national government has promised that the 17.4% of shares it received from Rio will be transferred to ownership of Bougainvilleans, including Panguna landowners.

This means that BCL is now a different company. It is not a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. Instead it is majority owned by Bougainvilleans.

As a result, BCL is no longer the devil-we-know, it is instead the devil-we-own, Dr Momis said.

As the devil-we-own, and one that is subject to the very tough requirements of the Bougainville Mining Act, BCL is now required to seek new investors in some sort of partnership and come up with a deal acceptable to the landowners and to the ABG, he said.

Without such a deal, BCL will have little option but to cease existence to liquidate and to distribute its remaining funds to shareholders. At that point, Bougainville would be able to seek other potential developers.

Dr Momis said a second reason why the ABG supports BCL is that it still holds an exploration licence over the area of the former special mining lease. While it holds that licence, the ABG must deal with BCL. BCL also holds all the drilling and exploration data for the ore body at Pa...

17:56

Reporters Without Borders calls upon Indonesian President to allow journalists to work in West Papua Free West Papua

From Radio New Zealand. 

The international media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has called on the Indonesian President Joko Widodo to keep his election promise to allow local and international journalists to operate in West Papua without obstruction or surveillance.

Tabloid Jubi reported this call came after the expulsion of French journalists Franck Escudie and Basile Longchamp on visa violations last month.

RSFs Benjamin Ismail said the Indonesian president had undertaken to scrap the restrictions that obstruct the work of foreign journalists in West Papua.

But he said Jakartas repeated refusals to issue press visas and the growing number of journalists on its blacklist, shows it falls far short of qualifying as a country that supports freedom of expression and media freedom.

During his campaign for election as president in July 2014, Joko Widodo said he would allow journalists to visit West Papua freely, and raised hopes media freedom would be revived in the region.

Indonesia is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in RSFs 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

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