Tag Archives: Indonesia

The Statement of the Indonesian Bishop’s Conference on Papua

Monday, 21 November 2011, 1:47 pm
Press Release: Indonesian Bishop’s Conference on Papua

Annual meetings of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, 07-17 November 2011

The Statement of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference on Papua: Stop Violence! Let Us Hold A Dialogue!

Violence in Papua continues to occur despite the fact that many parties have repeatedly called for resorting to peaceful means to solve Papua issues. People’s welfare can only be achieved if there is a peaceful atmosphere that allows all elements of a society work together peacefully. Violent ways are unlikely to solve so many social problems. Violence contra violence only gives birth to new violence and thus increases problems. It can be worse whenever public views and political statements expressed by the Papuans in a peaceful and transparent manner are again met with gunfire, arbitrary arrest, torture and killings. Herewith, we, the Indonesian bishops’ conference, express our deepest concerns and condemn violence acts that ostensibly do not promote human dignity and derogate the right to life, a God’s gift to every human being.

 

Violence and human rights abuses against the Papuans constitute a long story and history. The Papuan laments stemming from the history of mistreatment cannot be appeased or silenced merely with government statements and ad hoc government policies. The central government has to show the courage to change its attitude and to take a new approach and a new solution that specifically deals with the interests and the welfare of the Papuans. While reiterating its concerns and solidarity with all victims, the KWI conveys our appeals to the central government:

  • We encourage the central government to hold dialogue with the Papuans. President Yudhoyono’s commitment to solve Papua’s problems publicly expressed earlier during his presidential term needs to be realised. The method should be a way of dialogue. Impressive statements such as “to develop Papua with heart” should begin with a dialogue by heart. With an open heart, without any stigma, the government should listen to the Papuans’ laments and their history of suffering they have experienced since the integration with Indonesia.
  • To implement a constructive dialogue with the Papuans, we encourage the government to facilitate meetings among various elements of the Papuan society including the local government, the local parliament and the Papuan People Council (MRP) in order to accommodate their aspirations in regard to the means and substance of a dialogue.
  • Groups that have fought for Papua independence, either the OPM or any other names, either reside inside Indonesia or overseas, have to have a privilege in the 2 K 11 – 5 STOP VIOLENCE AND LET US HOLD A DIALOGUE!– Annual meetings of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, 07-17 November 2011 2 dialogue. To ensure that dialogue will be carried out in a dignified, fair, truthful and respectful, a trusted third party should be established to act as a mediator.
  • In regard to all forms of human rights abuses from which the Papuans suffer, the government has to uphold justice, offers an apology, recompenses and restores the rights of the Papuans.
  • The Special Autonomy Law is meant to provide protection and affirmative actions for the Papuans in developing their welfare. Yet many aspects have not been implemented. Due to the high cash flow in Papua, the spontaneous transmigrants continue to overwhelm Papua. In many aspects of the daily life, the Papuans have been marginalised by these transmigrants. We encourage the government to revisit the demography policy and to focus on developing local human resources to fill the existing employment.
  • The figures and types of the security forces deployed in Papua are far too many. They do not have programs to positively kill time and to benefit the locals. Their attitude and behaviour more frequently cause them an enemy of the local community rather than a provider for safety and security for them. We encourage the government to reduce the number of the Indonesian military and only deploy those who are mature enough and able to become part of the local community so that they genuinely become protection and safety for the people.

These are our appeals. Whilst we hope that the government will pay attention to our concerns, we express our strongest support to the inter-faith leaders and all parties who work for Papua Land of Peace. Jakarta, 17 November 2011

The Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, Msgr. Martinus D. Situmorang, OFM Cap Chairman Msgr. Johannes Pujasumarta Secretary General

This is an unofficial translation.

 For media contact: Father Benny Susetyo, mobile: +62-812-3542 153

Commission Calls for Consistent Australian Position on Human Rights

Monday 22 November 2010

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged the Prime Minister to adopt a consistent approach to promoting human rights and democracy in the Asia/Pacific region.

The Commission’s call comes in response to Prime Minister Gillard’s comments on the release of Burmese political leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that Australia should seek to apply the same human rights standards to all its neighbours including Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

“The Prime Minister welcomed the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, but called on Burma’s authorities to release other political prisoners and work towards free and fair elections and political reconciliation,” Mr Arndt said.

“We support those calls as they are consistent with a respect for the human rights of the people of Burma,” he said.

“However, we are concerned that Australia is not as strong an advocate of these values when it comes to other countries in the region,” he said.

“Why isn’t the Prime Minister publicly calling on Indonesia to release people in West Papua who have been jailed for flying flags and peacefully protesting?” he said.

“Why is there no decisive intervention to put an end to the brutal repression of Papuans who are not happy with the way they have been treated since Indonesia took control of the province in the 1960s?” he said.

“It seems to us that the Australian Government is equally reluctant to challenge the Sri Lankan Government’s treatment of the Tamil minority and its political opponents,” he said.

“There are long-standing concerns, both from inside and outside Sri Lanka, about the Government’s level of respect for human rights and democracy, but Australia seems more concerned with maintaining the on-going cooperation of the Sri Lankan Government in relation to stopping boat people coming to Australia,” he said.

“The legitimate concerns of indigenous West Papuans and Tamils should not be ignored if we are genuinely committed to human rights,” he said.

“People who are locked up or mistreated because of their political views in Sri Lanka or West Papua deserve the same strong advocacy as is being given to Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people,” he said.

“At the same time, we should always be looking at our own human rights record and seek to address those issues where we have failed to respect the dignity of vulnerable people in our own land,” he said.

Mr Arndt said the Commission would continue to speak to the Government and local MPs and Senators about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, West Papua and in our region.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Mandate which enables it to speak in its own right.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Death Row Prayers Continue as Final Appeals Lodged

Monday 16 August 2010

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is calling on Catholics to continue praying for the three members of the Bali Nine who have now all lodged their final appeals against their death sentences to Indonesia’s Supreme Court.

The Commission has held an annual Good Friday prayer vigil for those on death row around the world since 2008 and has started an additional monthly prayer vigil this year in the Brisbane Parish of Corinda-Graceville, the home parish of Scott Rush, one of the three Australians on death row in Bali.

Scott Rush lodged his final appeal against his death sentence in July and the other two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, lodged their appeals last Friday.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, urged Catholics to pray for all three Australians and their families.

“Whatever their wrongdoing, they all have a right to life and should not face execution as punishment,” Mr Arndt said.

“All these men and their families are facing enormous stress and pain and need our prayers,” he said.

“One of the Indonesian lawyers lodging the appeals last week said that the death penalty on his client violated his right to life which is guaranteed by the Indonesian Constitution,” he said.

“We strongly oppose these death sentences for the same reason,” he said.

Church Teaching effectively rejects the use of capital punishment as a violation of the right of every human being to God’s gift of life,” he said.

“Our Commission will also be urging our Federal politicians to do everything they can to support these three men and to encourage the Indonesian Government to abandon its use of the death penalty,” he said.

The Commission’s next prayer vigil will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, Churchill Street, Graceville, next Tuesday 24 August at 7 p.m.  All are welcome to join with the Commission and the local Parish community in prayer for the three Australians and all those on death row around the world.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.
NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Mandate which enables it to speak in its own right when required.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

Commission Vows to Continue Action to Abolish Death Penalty

Monday 10 November 2008

 

 

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has vowed to continue its work to promote the universal abolition of the death penalty in the wake of the execution of the three Bali Bombers yesterday.

 

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the execution of the three Indonesians had done nothing to resolve the problems which caused the killing of 202 people in Bali in 2002 nor to heal the immense pain caused by the terrorist attacks.

 

“The grief and pain suffered by so many survivors and families of those killed in the bombings makes what the bombers did an immense wrong,” Mr Arndt said.

 

“However, State-sanctioned killing does not make things better,” he said.

 

“The psychological and physical damage of survivors and families of victims is still there from all we have heard,” he said.

 

“The unrepentant commitment of the Bombers themselves to violence may have been silenced, but their supporters are still voicing the same hateful ideas,” he said.

 

“The Bombers will now never have a chance to understand the pain they have caused and the victims will never have the opportunity to hear words of remorse from them,” he said.

 

“There will be no chance for reparations to be made by the Bombers to the victims,” he said.

 

“We are still faced with the threat of more violence and terror hanging over our heads and the prospect of other people being killed and families suffering dreadful loss,” he said.

 

“Killing is not the answer to killing,” he said.

 

“Our Commission will continue to promote universal abolition of the death penalty,” he said.

 

“Our Federal Government needs to have an uncompromising commitment to this goal and we will do what we can to encourage this,” he said.

 

“In relation to the threat posed by violent religious extremists in our own region, there needs to be a stronger commitment to supporting inter-religious dialogue and action to respond to this problem,” he said.

 

“It is good to see that some work is being done in this area and we will do what we can to support it,” he said.

 

“We urge Catholics to continue to keep the survivors and victims’ families in their prayers,” he said.

 

“We ask them to also pray for an end to all forms of violence and to support action which promotes peace and universal respect for the dignity of every human person,” he said.

 

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

 

NB  This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right.  The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.