Indigenous tribes such as the Kamoro and the Amungme have been claiming their communities have been afflicted with poverty, violence and mostly environmental degradation since the Grasberg mine operated by PT Freeport Indonesia began its activities 48 years ago.
On 1 January following the shooting of two police and one security staff of Freeport, police arrested 13 people and detained them at Mimika police station (polres). Their initials are: KW, KMW, DT, JK, MLW, PM, AW, DW, SM, MIW, MRW, KM and NW. They are currently detained in Mimika police station.
Intan Jaya Regency is a new administrative region which split from Paniai Regency in 2008. Until that time, Sugapa, Hitalipa and other areas were still under the administration of Paniai Regency.
The story begins in 1989 - 1990 when several westerners arrived, calling themselves the Survey Team. They were accompanied by a missionary from District Hitalipa, who had been given the friendly nickname of Jani Mala by local people. His real name is John Cutts, a foreigner who was born and raised in Intan Jaya.
Kontras, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence has condemned the shooting of Freeport workers who were seeking negotiations with the management of the company. Since the commencement of the strike on 15 September there has been no sign that the management is seeking to provide the space for dialogue which could accommodate the interests of the two sides.
As the much-heralded visit of President Barack Obama draws near, it is worth remembering that, unlike any other US president, Obama enjoys a special affection among Indonesians.
Most Indonesians know that he spent several years in Indonesia as a child and probably still remembers the language he used when he played on the streets with local children. For Indonesians, a US president who can actually speak their lingo is indeed a novelty.
Bulletin no. 182