29 December 2011

Filipino activists call end to military atrocities in West Papua

PHILIPPINES - Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) and Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) solidarity activists today held a silent protest in front of Indonesian Embassy in Makati City in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of West Papua's declaration of independence from the Dutch rule.

Fifty years ago on the 1st of December 1961, in the then Dutch colony of West New Guinea, The West Papuan flag, also known as the Morning Star was flown for the first time officially beside the Dutch Tricolour. History narrates that the Dutch was about to give the West Papuan people their freedom, but it is one of the great tragedies that at their moment of freedom it was brutally crushed and West Papua was handed over to Indonesia in 1963.

Mining, plantation disputes to intensify

Jakarta Post. Environmental groups predict that land disputes over mining and plantation activities will intensify throughout the country in the coming months and they have called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to immediately audit the operation of palm oil and mining companies.

The groups, including palm oil business watchdog Sawit Watch and the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) said that Yudhoyono should lead the cross-departmental audit, especially of the companies’ operating permits.

Freeport Link to Latest Anti-Mine Violence in Indonesia

A man who was seriously wounded during an anti-mining protest that turned deadly in Sape, West Nusa Tenggara, is taken for medical care on Saturday. (Antara Photo)

The Australian government has confirmed that it is aware of the shooting deaths of two Indonesians during a protest against the exploration activities of an Australian resources company on Sumbawa island over the weekend.

“The Australian Government is always concerned to see loss of life and injury,” said a spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a statement obtained by the Jakarta Globe. “We note that Indonesian authorities have ordered an investigation into the incident.”

At least two people were killed at Sape port in West Nusa Tenggara on Christmas Eve during a protest opposing the opening of a local gold mine project between an Indonesian company and an Australian company with ties to Freeport.

Nationwide Protests Decry Mistreatment of Civilians

Protesters march in front of Police Headquarters in Jakarta on Monday. They criticized the police’s shooting of and killing villagers who were rallying in Bima against a gold mining company. The protestors urged the president to remove Chief Police Timur Pradopo. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)

Jakarta Globe. Protesters in cities across the country on Monday continued to voice their outrage over police violence in the recent Sape incident. 

In Malang, East Java, hundreds of students originally from Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, rallied at the city’s main square before heading to the local City Council building to air their grievances. They carried a mock coffin to symbolize the death of human rights. 

The students also called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to dismiss the head of the National Police for what they said was negligence that had allowed the conflict to turn deadly. 

They demanded the resignation of Bima district chief Ferry Zulkarnaen, who had issued the mining exploration permit at issue in the Sape protest. They also called on the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to probe the incident and hold accountable the individuals responsible. 

Bima violent clash: The ‘hitman’ state and corporate greed

Moh Yasir Alimi, Semarang | Tue, 2/27/2011 8:41 

Jakarta Post-opinion. The nation watched another spectacle of police brutality unfold on Saturday, this time in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, when several hundred officers used force to dispel peaceful protestors occupying Sape port at 6 a.m. when many were still sleeping, praying or cooking.

Two people were shot dead and 31 were injured. The occupation was ended suddenly and brutally. Why did the police arm themselves to evict the protestors? Why didn’t they learn from the Mesuji tragedy? 

West Nusa Tenggara is a religious and cultured society. The police or the government could have requested the assistance of clerics or the “tuan guru” as mediators.

Officials should have responded to the key issue behind the occupation of the port: Bima Regent decree No. 188/45/357/004/2010, which authorized PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara (SMN) to operate in Bima and the ensuing failure of democratic channels to represent the voice of residents. 

Residents protested because mining might endanger their livelihoods as farmers and fishermen.

23 December 2011

Gender equality remains a challenge: World Bank report

Editorial: Unequal progress
The Jakarta Post | Thu, 12/22/2011 9:30 

Noble mothers, wives and workers, with no troublesome demands — this is what Soeharto’s New Order wanted of its female citizens. And every Dec. 22 has become the annual dismissal day of the New Order’s version of the historic Hari Ibu — originally the day in 1928 when dozens of women gathered for their first national congress. Under Soeharto, the meaning of ibu was no longer the neutral term for woman, but exalted motherhood within a submissive society.

Today’s women have returned Dec. 22 back to its roots, a momentum to collectively take stock of the progress of Indonesian society, regarding how it values its female half. Addressing this issue and its solutions remains important for the country’s progress; despite defensive arguments for Indonesia’s positive image, the death of hundreds of thousands of women related to childbirth and pregnancy, last estimated at 228 per 100,000 — one of the highest in Southeast Asia, continues to stare us in the face. Such facts are a stark reminder of the absence of basic facilities, such as good roads to enable women’s access to clinics, and glaring lack of basic awareness of women’s health in families and communities.

Farmers from Java join forces to fight against injustice

Representatives of farmers from 10 regions across Java, attending a two-day congress in Yogyakarta, pledged Thursday to join forces and build solidarity to fight against what they considered injustice.

Via a declaration drawn up at the congress, the farmers said they were ready to fight against those people who made use of laws and regulations to justify social, cultural, economic and environmental destruction.

They also called on the state apparatus to stop committing any form of intimidation against, or repression and criminalization of, farmers and local people, as they possessed the highest sovereignty in the country, arguing that state officials were servants of the people, not of companies.

21 December 2011

Tired of Being Victimized, Some Women Fight Back

Activists rally in Jakarta in September after Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said women in short skirts invite rape. (JG Photo/Safir Makki) 
Kartika was waiting for a bus when a man shouted at her from inside a small food stall across the street, “Look at those boobs!” 

Knowing she was the only woman present and seeing that a number of men inside the eatery were looking at her, she crossed the street and walked into the place. 

“I was very angry and I demanded to know who shouted at me,” the 28-year-old photographer said. “Of course, nobody dared to speak. They all tried to look innocent.” 

It was not the first time Kartika was the target of such commentary. 

“Once I was in a hurry and walking past a group of men, car mechanics, on the street when one of them said something that made me turn around and give them a look that told them they were impolite,” she said. “To my surprise, one of the men yelled at me and started calling me animal names!” 

7 December 2011

Indonesia: Strikes and protests as discontent rises

Workers rally in Batam, Indonesia. November 23.
By Max Lane

Direct Action. The simmering discontent throughout Indonesia regularly overflowed throughout October and November. There were student protests against the Yudhoyono government, attacking corruption, economic injustice and political manipulation of local government, in cities including Jakarta, Jogjakarta, Cirebon, Samarinda (in Borneo), Makassar, Surabaya and Kediri.

There were also demonstrations in Papua, after an incident in which police disbanded a political meeting in Jayapura, killing at least six people. Hundreds of others were arrested, ordered to strip to their shorts and made to squat in the sun for a long period. Days later demonstrations demanded a referendum on the region’s status, including an option for independence.

2 December 2011

Solidarity Coins for Freeport Workers

Joint Solidarity Appeal - November 26, 2011

Dear friends,

Six thousand of our comrades at PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) have been on strike since September 15. They are demanding a wage increase to US7.5 per hour. The strike is a legitimate action under Indonesian labour laws (Law Number 13/2003 Articles 137-145). The Freeport management however claims that the strike is illegal and is refusing to pay the workers.

There are four basic reasons why workers' wages at Freeport must be increased:

1. PT Freeport Indonesia's contribution to Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) is well above the average of other companies affiliated with FCX. This can be seen from a comparison between Freeport production levels in Indonesia and those in America and Africa. It is clear that the main source of FCX's profits is from the operational revenue in Indonesia. In other words, the income generated by PT Freeport Indonesia exceeds that of other companies in the FCX group.

30 November 2011

Build a sovereign economy for the Papuan people

Joint Statement by Traditional Papuan Women's Traders - November 26, 2011

Long live the Papuan people... Long live Papuan women... Long live the urban poor

Papua is rich in natural resources, but it is not the indigenous people of Papua who own it. This can be seen from the character of economic development in Papua, particularly in and around the provincial capital of Jayapura, where the many shops, stalls and malls are not even owned by us, the people who own the land.

The reality at the moment is that the suffering experienced by traditional Papuan women traders -- referred to as mama-mama -- has been going on for some time. The mama-mama are steadily being pushed aside by residents who control large amounts of capital in Jayapura.

17 November 2011

Demanding referendum, thousands of Papuans protest in Jayapura

TEMPO/Jerry Omona
Detik News - November 14, 2011

Tuntut Referendum, 1.000-an Warga Papua Unjuk Rasa  detikNews. Senin, 14/11/2011

Chazizah Gusnita, Jakarta -- Thousands of Papuans from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) demonstrated in front of the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building in the Papuan provincial capital of Jayapura today. The protesters demanded an end to violence in Papua.

1 November 2011

Jakarta wants Freeport mine open

Armed police officers patrol the streets of Jayapura, Papua, on Monday. National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo admitted on Friday that his officers in the restive region receive funds, which he dubs as 'lunch money,' from PT Freeport Indonesia. (Antara Photo)
The government is sending the deputy minister for mineral resources to Papua with orders to get the Freeport mine operating again before dealing with the demands of striking workers or calls to renegotiate the company’s terms of operations.

Widjajono Partowidagdo said his first priority would be to improve the security situation at the US-owned gold and copper mine and get it working again.

“Essentially [the company wants] security to return to normal. I will go to Papua this week,” Widjajono said.

31 October 2011

Movement against Freeport is set up by students

Bintang Papua - October 28, 2011

A number of UNCEN student organisations along with the KNPB, the National Committee for West Papua, have announced the establishment of a movement to oppose Freeport. They regard this company as having been the cause of many problems in Papua. The students unfurled two banners, one of which depicts the US flag intertwined with the logo of Freeport.

The new organisation is called People's Movement Against Freeport Crimes - Gerklaf. The coordinator of the new organisation is Fanny Kogoya and Bovid Defa is the secretary. At the end of the ceremony, the US flag was set on fire. This opposition movement regards the presence of Freeport as having come about as the result of a political contract between the USA and its allies in order to ensure the continuance of Papua within the Unitary Republic of Indonesia.

29 October 2011

Indonesia 'should be ashamed of failure to reduce poverty'

Jakarta Globe - October 27, 2011

Aguis Triyono -- The combined wealth of Indonesia's 40 richest people is equivalent to that of about 60 million of its poorest citizens, a nongovernmental organization said on Wednesday.

"In 2010, we noted that the wealth of these 40 people had reached Rp 680 trillion [$76.8 billion]," said Setyo Budiantoro, the executive director of the Center for Welfare Studies (Prakarsa). "This is about 10.3 percent of Indonesia's entire gross domestic product."

That Rp 680 trillion, Setyo said, also represented the wealth of about 15 million of the country's poorest families, or about 60 million people. "The economy is now dominated by a group of super-rich people who number very few," he said.

27 October 2011

Occupy Jakarta, an awareness building movement for social change

Pelita Online - October 21, 2011

Occupy Jakarta, Gerakan Penyadaran untuk Perubahan – Pelitaonline.com. Jumat, 21 Oktober 2011

Jakarta -- The Occupy Jakarta movement inspired by Occupy Wall Street in New York continues to reverberate with no end in sight in the midst of the controversy surrounding the cabinet reshuffle and rampant corruption in Indonesia.

Aside from being a symbol of the fight against the capitalist system, the action is also being used as a platform for social awareness building to highlight that 1 percent of the population dominates economic life in Indonesia.

25 October 2011

44 years of theft, 44 years of state protection, end the violence and close Freeport now

Joint statement in solidarity with Freeport Indonesia workers - October 20, 2011

PT Freeport Indonesia,  a subsidiary of Freeport McMoran Cooper and Gold – of which 90.64 percent of the shares are owned by Freeport CEO James R. Moffet – is the largest mining company in the world. Freeport contributes 95 percent of the entire production of gold by Freeport McMoran and a significant percentage of its copper production.

The controversial corporation obtained the exploration and mining rights through Work Contract I, several months before the enactment of Law Number 1/1967 on Foreign Capital Investment and Law Number 11/1967 on the Basic Provisions of Mining during the rule of the New Order regime of former President Suharto. Odd but true!

Occupy Indonesia has started and continues

Occupy Jakarta protest say capitalism has derailed national development

Metro TV News - October 19, 2011

Occupy Jakarta Tolak Ekonomi Kapitalis - Metrotvnews.com. Rabu, 19 Oktober 2011

Jakarta -- In concert with the Occupy Wall Street movement that is calling for reforms to the United States' economic policies, a similar movement has emerged in Indonesia. The Occupy Jakarta group has been holding protest actions at the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) building on Jl. Sudirman in Jakarta.

The Occupy Jakarta group comprises university lecturers, non-government organisation activists and people working in the arts. They expressed the view that Indonesia has unknowingly been coopted by capitalist economic ideas like the US.

19 October 2011

INDONESIA: Security forces open fire at Third Papuan People's Congress

(Hong Kong, October 19, 2011) At around 3pm today the security forces surrounding the Third Papuan People's Congress in Indonesia opened fire and dispersed the event. Possible casualties are not known as of now. Several persons are reported to have been arrested, including Forkorus Yaboisembut and Edison Waromi, indigenous political leaders.

The AHRC has received reports from several credible sources about the violent intervention by the Indonesian military (TNI) and the mobile brigades of the police (BRIMOB) at the Tunas Harapan field in Abepura, Papua, where the event took place. See our earlier press release in which the AHRC reported the military and police’s aggressive approach to the event. Some reports allege that several persons have been killed.

18 October 2011

Yogyakarta protesters demand nationalisation of Freeport

KRjogja.com - October 13, 2011

Laskar Tambang Tuntut Nasionalisasi Freeport - KRjogja.com. Kamis, 13 Oktober 2011

Yogyakarta -- Scores of demonstrators from the People's Mining Militia held a free-speech forum in front of the Gedung Agung Presidential Palace in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Thursday October 13. They were demanding the return of the nation's sovereignty through the nationalisation of the foreign mining industry, in particular PT Freeport Indonesia, under the control of the people.

11 October 2011

People's Liberation Party chronology of Freeport shooting

Tribunnews.com - October 10, 2011

Kronologi Bentrok PT Freeport versi Partai Pembebasan Rakyat - Tribunnews.com. Senin, 10 Oktober 2011 15:37 WIB

Jakarta -- The People's Liberation Party (PPR) reports that a person was shot dead by security forces during a clash with thousands of PT Freeport Indonesia employees at the Gorong-Gorong bus terminal in Timika, West Papua, on the morning of Monday October 10.

In addition to one fatality, nine other people had to be rushed to hospital suffering injuries inflicted by security forces. "The dead victim's name was Petrus Ayamsemba", said PPR national spokesperson Budi Wardoyo when contacted on Monday afternoon.


10 October 2011
The Indonesian authorities must immediately investigate the use of deadly force by police at a mining protest, Amnesty International said today after one protester was killed and at least six injured.

Indonesian security forces opened fire on striking workers of a gold and copper mine in the eastern province of Papua run by US company Freeport-Mcmoran on Monday. Some 8,000 workers at the mine have been on strike since 15 September, after demands for a pay rise reached a deadlock.

Protester Dies in Indonesian Freeport Demo: Union Official

A demonstration involving thousands of mine workers at Freeport-McMoRan in Indonesia turned ugly on Monday, with police firing warning shots and one protester killed, a union official said. 

The demonstration involving disgruntled workers seeking better pay and conditions was at East Timika, in West Papua province. 

“The victim is dead in the regional government hospital,” said Virgo Solossa, a union official. 

He did not say how the protester had died. 

On the struggle of Freeport Indonesia's workers

Freeport workers in Indonesia vow to halt production

Agence France Presse - October 7, 2011

Workers at one of the world's largest gold and copper mine in the remote Indonesian province of Papua vowed on Friday to paralyze production, as their strike over pay enters its second month.

Workers at the Grasberg mining complex run by US giant Freeport-McMoran began a month long strike on September 15, demanding at least an eight-fold increase in the current minimum wage of $1.50 an hour.

8 October 2011

Solidarity for PALEA Workers' struggle in the Philippines

PALEA at SONA, Manila 2011

Long Live the struggle of anti contractualisation! 
Long live PALEA!
It has been a tremendous struggle organised by PALEA against contractualisation all these years. It has been very determining and should have been inspiring the struggle against contractualisation of all workers. We are here in Indonesia, working together with different trade union who fought against what we called outsourcing workers, which more or less similar with contractualisation here. What make it similar is the fact that the workers in Indonesia and Philippines, even workers around the world, are threatened by non permanent, precarious, insecure work and working condition. Not to mention the degradation of living standard and wage freezing which had been forced us to evermore tightened our belt. 

3 October 2011

The state is obliged to protect striking PT Freeport Indonesia workers

Statement by the Coalition for the Freeport Indonesia Workers' Struggle - September 28, 2011

We fully support the strike by PT Freeport Indonesia workers for better wages and conditions. The government must guarantee legal protection to the workers and protect them against intimidation and threats while they are on strike and conducting negotiations with the company in accordance with Law Number 13/2003 on Labour.

The strike by around 8,000 PT. Freeport Indonesia employees in Timika, West Papua, is to demand that the management bring their wages into line with PT Freeport Mc Moran wage standards in other countries. Freeport currently pays its workers as little as US$1.50 and hour and workers are demanding that this be increased to US$3 (25,000 rupiah) an hour. Freeport workers in other countries currently receive an hourly wage of US$15 or 128,250 rupiah per hour.

1 October 2011

Indonesian feminists: 'Don't blame the victim!'

Vivi Widyawati & Zely Ariane*

Around 100 women and men took part in a rally named Mini Skirt Protest - Women against Rape at Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, Thamrin, Jakarta, on Sunday September 18th 2011. Dozens of women, including several activists from Perempuan Mahardhika, wore miniskirts,  as a  statement that rape has nothing to do with the way women dress. 

The demonstration was a protest against the reaction of Jakarta’s Governor Fauzi Bowo (nicknamed Foke) to the recent case of a young female student, Livia, who had been raped and killed in a public transport. He said: “Imagine if someone sits on board of a mikrolet (minivan) wearing a mini-skirt, you would get a bit turned on”. Women, he said, “must adjust to their environment so that they don’t provoke people into committing unwanted acts”.

28 September 2011

Letter to Pakistan Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia

To: Mr. Sanaullah
Ambassador of Pakistan
Jalan Mega Kuningan Barat Blok E.3.9 Kav. 5-8, Mega Kuningan Jakarta Selatan Indonesia
Phone: +62-21-57851836-8
Fax: +62-21-57851645
Email: pakembassyjakarta@gmail.com
Website: www.mofa.gov.pk/Indonesia/default.aspx

Dear Sir,

We are writing to ask for your urgent intervention with the government of Pakistan to secure the release of Mr Baba Jan and five other political prisoners currently detained in the region of Gilgit-Baltistan. Mr Baba Jan is a leader of both the highly respected Labour Party Pakistan and the Progressive Youth Front in the region.

27 September 2011

The endless fight for land in Indonesia

Jakarta Post - September 24, 2011

Muhammad Ikhwan, Jakarta -- Indonesia will commemorate the 51st National Farmers' Day on Sept. 24. Over the years, we have witnessed the same demand from the farmers on the street: The right to land.

For many decades, farmers have lost in what I have called the fight for land. History tells that our farmers were brutally exploited in the cultuurstelsel era. Farmers were forced to plant export commodities like coffee and sugarcane. For those who owned land, 20 percent of it should be allocated for those aforementioned commodities. Those who did not, they had to work 75 days in a year for Dutch estates.

Jakarta rapes bring calls for renewed efforts to combat sexual assault

Jakarta Globe - September 25, 2011

Fidelis E. Satriastanti -- In the wake of the rapes of two female passengers on public transportation in recent months, the National Commission on Violence Against Women said the government had a long way to go in meeting its responsibility to protect citizens.

The commission, also known as Komnas Perempuan, outlined recommendations on Friday that ranged from improving security for women on public transportation to toughening the way sexual assault is treated under the Criminal Code.

Andy Yentriyani, head of public participation at the commission, said the legal system did not provide sufficient protection for women against sexual assault.

25 September 2011

Jakarta protest over rape statements: don't blame the victim!

On Sunday, September 18, around 100 women staged a lightning protest in Jakarta’s main thoroughfare, Jalan Thamrin, to protest statements by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in response to rapes that have taken place in public transport. He said: “Imagine if someone on board a mikrolet (minivan) sits wearing a mini-skirt, you would get a bit turned on”. Women, he said, “must adjust to their surrounding environment so that they don’t provoke people to commit unwanted acts”.

The statement came after reports of a number of rapes over recent weeks, including the gang-rape of a woman in a public transport minivan and the rape and murder of a university student. Three cases of rape in public transport have been reported during the last week. The National Commission on Violence Against Woman (KOMNASPER) has recorded 3753 rapes in 2011, while the Jakarta police have received 41 complaints, compared to 40 for all of 2010. KOMNASPER has also received 105,103 complaints of violence against women.

22 September 2011

Solidarity Statement: Free Baba Jan and all political prisoners!

Free Baba Jan and all political prisoners!
Reparations for the victims of police violence!
Reparations for the victims of the landslide of July 4!

Last August 11, Pakistani police used live bullets against people demanding payment of compensation allowances following a devastating landslide which had happened a year before in the valley of Hunza, on July 4, 2010. This landslide, in the region of Gilgit-Baltistan, destroyed several houses and important roads. De local administration abanoned the affected community and pocketed compensation payments intended for several affected families.

29 August 2011

On Tiaka Violence

Police launch investigation into deadly oil field riots
Jakarta Globe - August 24, 2011
Palu, Central Sulawesi -- Police in Indonesia say they have launched an investigation into the deaths of two demonstrators and wounding of five others, allegedly by police officers during an attack on the Tiaka oil field in Morowali, Central Sulawesi, over the weekend.
"We have to see if the actions taken by our officers were right or wrong," Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brig. Gen. Dewa Parsana said, adding that the investigation would be conducted by an independent monitoring team.

24 August 2011


On Saturday 20 August 2011

Peoples from several villages in Mamosalato and Bungku Utara sub district did protest action against Medco Energy, which  involve youth and students in the action, the so-called of this protest action is Student Alliance and Care for the People of North Bungku and Mamosalato with demands: The fulfillment of the rights of the community since the company (Medco)  manage oil and gas in this region, such as fund for Community y Development (CD), Local Workforce Empowerment and Educational Fund.

This action was followed by hundreds of peoples by taking the route from the village of Kolo Bawah in Mamosalato sub district towards the oil refinery in Tiaka which belongs to PT Medco Energy. Initially this action is safe to walk because the target of an action does not exist at all the security forces so that the protesters just doing speeches and requested to the PT Medco to engage in dialogue with the manager of PT Medco, the staff just said that their Manager is not in the area but in Jakarta. Because the public disappointed, they dismantle Security Postal and holding a company-owned Speed BOAD.

21 August 2011

Indonesia risks downgrade of its democratic rating

Endy M. Bayuni*, Jakarta Post
Unbeknown to many in Indonesia, international public opinion of their country has taken a turn for the worse this past month following a series of media reports that could just lead to a downgrade of its credentials as the third-largest democracy in the world.

While it never exactly enjoyed a “Triple A” rating for its democratic standing, Indonesia has come 
a long way since the demise of the Soeharto dictatorship in 1998 to earn its place among democratic nations. 

Not only today is it recognized as the largest democracy in the world after India and the United States, Indonesia has also come to be described as the largest democracy among Muslim-majority nations.

5 August 2011

Indonesian activist in solidarity with Papuan demonstration in Jakarta.

Surya goes into the police van

The following essay by  Surya Anta was written in response to a series of questions, I emailed him yesterday, August 4, 2011 [Max Lane]
"I am here to give solidarity, not as a provocateur”Surya Anta, Jakarta, Indonesia

On August 2, 2011 I and Kholis Annasir from the student group Pusat Perjuangan Mahasiswa untuk Pembebasan Nasional (PEMBEBASAN – LIBERATION) attended a meeting to organize an action on the issue of Papua. The action was being organized by the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat – KNPB). We were invited to attend by Okto, the coordinator of the planned action. I was representing the Peoples’ Liberation Party (Partai Pembebasan Rakyat – PPR). I learned from the aksi coordinator after I was released that we were the only ones there providing political and organizational solidarity. Tommy from the human rights group Kontras was there to monitor the action.The theme of the KNPB action was “In support of the High Level International Lawyers Conference for West Papua (ILWP) in Oxford, UK for the independence of the West Papuan nation.” The KNPB is an alliance of Papuan liberation groups formed in 2009. Its earlier name was West Papuan Peoples National Action Committee.

3 August 2011

On the detention and released of our comerad Surya Anta

Surya Anta, a leading member of People's Liberation Party (used to be KPRM-PRD), was under arrest at Police Resort Metro Central Jakarta at noon 1st August 2011. He was arrested after given solidarity speech in protest action of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) this afternoon in front of Presidential Palace, Jakarta. This protes action was a support action to International Summit Conference of International Lawyers for West Papua: http://www.ilwp.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33:west-papua-the-road-to-freedom-2nd-august-2011-oxford-uk&catid=5:news&Itemid=9 , which will be held on August 2nd 2011, in London. The similar action was also held in several cities in Papua: http://westpapuamedia.info/2011/08/02/west-papua-indon-security-forces-fail-in-attempt-to-block-access-for-demonstrations-across-papua-militias-on-streets-in-jayapura/ today.

After at least 7 hours interogation Surya Anta was released at 09:41 PM Jakarta time. 
He was interrogated and also beaten as police found no basis for him to be detained. So he was put as witness and police warned him not to support any Papuan issues and actions anymore.  Police forced him to sign a letter for not making any provocation in Papua protest actions in the future. Surya himself has been more than 7 years involved in solidarity movement for democracy in Papua since he was still member of People's Democratic Party until now through People's Liberation Party-PLP. Together with other comerads in PLP, he participated in inititating several conferences and studies for Papua liberation and established solidarity group such as Solidarity for Aceh and Papua (2005), Solidarity for Papua (2010), etc.

We are glad he is being released and this will not happen without all supports from comerads (national and international level) especially comerads from The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS) who have given him assistance during the detention.
Struggle continues for Papua people's liberation.

Thank you very much for you immediate response.
Zely Ariane
International Relation Coordinator
People's Liberation Party.

27 July 2011

TNI to leave barracks to root out radicalism

Jakarta Post - July 26, 2011

Rendi A. Witular, Jakarta – Officials from the National Antiterrorism Agency (BNPT), the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police have agreed that the TNI must take the initiative domestically to curb religious radicals.

"We have demanded the TNI's participation through their vast network of territorial commands to persuade individuals or groups to abandon radical teachings," BNPT chief Ansyaad Mbai.

Activist urges reopening of probe into 'July 27' attack

Jakarta Globe - July 26, 2011

The statement by former general Slamet Singgih on Tuesday about a secret meeting to plan the infamous July 27, 1996, attack on the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) was applauded by local activists.

Mugiyanto Sipin, the head of the Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared, said that the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) should follow up on the revelation.

17 July 2011

The democratic struggle and the fight for socialism

Zely Ariane - May 20, 2011
"Thirteen years ago Suharto had to be overthrown. This decision was a brilliant move from a generation..." -- Nurul Khawari, one of those that took part in the overthrow of Suharto's New Order regime in May 1998, Solo Post, May 5, 2011.

Democracy is the mother of prosperity, justice, equality, culture and all forms of creativity beneficial for the future of humanity. But it was not just for the sake of democracy that the Indonesian people overthrew Suharto in 1998, but also for justice and prosperity. It was not for reformasi (the political reform process that began in 1998) that students and the people occupied the House of Representatives (DPR), but for an Indonesia free from the threat of the gun and military spies, free from corruption and nepotism, for a prosperity where basic commodities would be affordable. Democracy was the tool; democracy was the means, to achieve the aim of human liberation from oppression by other humans. Without democracy, humanity becomes black and white, colourless, and prosperity becomes a commodity owned by those in power.

Tifatul wants social media controls to avoid Arab spring-style uprisings

Jakarta Globe - July 14, 2011

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tifatul Sembiring said that the Indonesian government was obligated to serve as a gatekeeper for the Internet, including social media.

According to Tifatul, stricter controls were necessary to prevent Indonesia from suffering the same fate as Tunisia and Libya, where huge portions of those populations rose up to depose autocratic rulers.

"The government is obligated to control the Internet," he said on Thursday. "Don't let uprisings, like what happened to Tunisia and Libya -- who failed in controlling the social media like Facebook and Twitter -- happen to us,"

Protests outside Malaysian Embassy in support of 'Bersih' movement

Jakarta Globe - July 12, 2011

Ismira Lutfia -- In a show of solidarity with Malaysian activists calling for electoral reforms in their country, a number of Indonesian civil society organizations staged a rally on Tuesday in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta.

Chanting the word "bersih," Malay for "clean," 20 protesters representing the Alliance of Civil Societies for Clean Malaysia tried to erect a banner reading: "Bersih Malaysia Bersih Indonesia," or "Clean Malaysia Clean Indonesia," at the embassy's gate.

The protestors also mimicked the act of cleaning the gate with mops and brushes. Some of the protesters were also wearing masks depicting characters from the popular "Upin & Ipin" animated children's show, which is set in rural Malaysia.

ICG urges Indonesia to delay controversial intelligence bill

Jakarta Globe - July 14, 2011

Jakarta/Brussels -- Indonesia should put the passage of a controversial intelligence bill on hold until there is a more comprehensive assessment of its security needs, according to a new report by the International Crisis Group.

"Indonesia: Debate Over a New Intelligence Bill" looks at the debate that the draft law has produced over the role of the intelligence services in a democracy, many of whose citizens are still sceptical that once repressive institutions have actually changed, a news release says.

15 July 2011

Call for Somyot's release

Prime Minister Ms Yingluck Shinawatra
c/o Government House
Pitsanulok Road, Dusit District
Bangkok 10300
Fax: + 662 282 8631/280 1589/629 8213
Tel. + 662 280 1404/3000

Your Excellency,

I write to inform you of the case of Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and ask you for his immediate release. Somyot was arrested on the 30th April 2011 as editor of the Voice of Taksin magazine and is currently being held at Bangkok Remand Prison, in Bangkok.

Somyot Pruksakasemsuk is a loyal Thai citizen who is strongly committed to Human Rights in his role as an independent journalist and labour activist promoting freedom of speech.
We understand that Somyot was arrested on a charge of defaming, insulting and threatening the King, Queen and heir apparent (Section112 of the Penal Code) a charge which he fully denies. He also was not aware that any arrest warrant had previously been issued and strongly denies any claim that he resisted arrest.

We understand that the Criminal Court agreed with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has extended the detention of Somyot without bail, something we believe to be an unacceptable abuse of Somyot's human rights. His case is due for review on the 24th July 2011 and we urge you to intervene and allow him to be released.

Yours faithfully

Political Committe of the Poor - People's Democratic Party 

Cc Mr Charupong, general secretary of Pheu Thai party, Dr. Jarupan Kuldiloke, Phua Thai Party MP

14 July 2011

Declaration says intelligence bill will revive New Order

Jakarta Post - July 11, 2011

Jakarta -- More than 70 noted experts and activists issued a declaration on Sunday condemning a House bill regulating the nation's intelligence agencies, saying it would return authoritarian rule to Indonesia.

The bill was premature and would lead to abuses of power similar to those that occurred under former president Soeharto's, according to the declaration.

"Lawmakers on the House of Representatives' Commission I overseeing defense must cancel deliberations of the bill, or possibly drop it," the statement said. "Lawmakers should first start collecting public opinion about an ideal bill before starting deliberations."

8 July 2011

Draft national security law smacks of New Order security approach

Kompas - July 6, 2011

Keamanan Nasional: Perspektif Lama Masih Menguat - Kompas. Rabu, 06 Juli 2011 <http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2011/07/06/02510322/perspektif.lama.masih.menguat.>

Jakarta -- Out-dated perspectives on viewing security problems are being strengthened through the Draft Law on National Security (RUU Keamanan Nasional).

Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) activist Indria Fernida, who was sought out following a public hearing with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I on defense, foreign affairs and communication on Monday July 4, explained that the approach used by the draft national security law very much prioritises a security perspective ala former President Suharto's New Order regime and overrides basic humanitarian principles.

5 July 2011

De-mystifying BERSIH 2.0

# 1                   BERSIH 2.0 is an independent coalition of non-government organsiations and is unaffiliated to any political party.

                        BERSIH 2.0 is the name of a group of 62 non-government organisations called the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections. It is a coalition of like minded civil society organisations unaffiliated to any political party. 

BERSIH 2.0 has invited ALL political parties to participate in the walk for democracy on 9 July.  However, BN component parties haverejected the invitation.