November 12, 2011
Indonesia is addressing problems in Papua without prodding from other parties, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michael Tene told the Jakarta Globe on Friday after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized human rights abuses in the region.
He said Indonesia had taken steps to resolve problems in the province. “We are doing the best [for Papua] for our own interests, not for anyone’s else,” he said.
Clinton, who arrives next week for a regional summit in Bali with US President Barack Obama, said Washington had “very directly raised our concerns about the violence and the abuse of human rights” in Papua.
“There needs to be continuing dialogue and political reforms in order to meet the legitimate needs of the Papua people, and we will be raising that again directly and encouraging that kind of approach,” she said at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii.
The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) recently highlighted incidents of abuses in Papua.
“The list is long,” Komnas HAM chairman Ifdhal Kasim told the Jakarta Globe earlier.
He said incidents included people being shot in the leg, whipped with a rattan rod and hit with rifle butts. He added that there were several reports of people being tortured.
At least 11 people were killed last month amid a strike at a mine owned by US company Freeport-McMoRan and clashes with security forces at a pro-independence rally.
Presidential spokesmen Teuku Faizasyah, however, rejected allegations of human rights violations in Papua.
“As far as the politics of Papua go, we’ve already made it clear that there are no systemic human rights violations in Papua. There are only isolated incidents. They are not the norm,” he said.
Michael also said the government had tried to improve conditions in Papua.
(Oh oopsey!! Bung Mikey obviously has got himself a case of "lange tenen" or his shoes are a size too small by letting the cat out of the bag when he replied "We are doing the best for our own interests, not for anyone’s else,” -- slightly edited-- How true!) siK.