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Friday, 18 December 2015 - 19:01 WIB

“Expel Freeport, Save Papua,” Students Demand

Jayapura, Jubi – At least 50 Papuan students from Timika held a peaceful rally in front of Papua Parliament Office in Jayapura on Thursday (17/12/2015).

Carrying banners and pamphlets “Expel Freeport, Save Papua”, they demanded PT. Freeport Indonesia fulfill their obligations to the customary landowners in gold and copper mining areas, including the tenureship payment amounted to Rp 400 trillion.

If not, the Freeport’s contract should not be extended for third time and this American company should check out of Papua, the protestors said.

Protest Coordinator Robert Natikime said in his speech that since the first contract, Freeport has not brought benefits to the landowners and communities around its mine are still living in poverty.

“When the first contract was signed in 1967, Freeport’s representative Forbes Wilson fooled our grandparents. He promised a lot of things but nothing been materialized. The third contract could not be executed if it wasn’t involved the landowners and Freeport must pay penalty on tenureship,” he said.

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He said Freeport comes not to welfare the landowners in general and Papua in particular. But it presents to destroy the customary landowners to take control on their natural richness.

“Papua Legislative Council to immediately form a Special Committee on Freeport’s Contract. Freeport is responsible to the entire human rights violations occurred in Papua generally and in particular in Mimika since it’s been operated in 1967. Freeport’s Headquarters must be in Papua, instead of Jakarta,” he said.

The students were met with the Chairman of Papua Legislative Council, Yunus Wonda; the Chairman of Commission I of Papua Legislative Council, Elvis Tabuni, Papua legislators Laurenzus Kadepa, Kusmanto and Wilhelmus Pigai.

“We have not been able to determine the next step if we don’t know where we stand. We are waiting for Freeport’s respond. Sometimes ago the Papua Provincial Government proposed 17 points. It should be followed up first befire the new contract. The 17 points are to facilitate the interest of indigenous Papuans, in particular seven tribes of landowners,” said Wonda in front of protesters.

After the rally, Papua legislator Laurenzus Kadepa told Freeport to not only give a promise, but it has to have commitment to build the human resources of local community, besides paying compensation Rp 400 trillion to the landowners.

Now, two mountains at hundreds meters of height of Cartenz, Erstberg (1967-1987) and Grasberg (1988-2041), have damaged. While the law land of Amungsa Land (Mimika) is continuously containing the mining waste or tailing. But the polemic on Freeport’s contract and shares is continuously happened in Jakarta.

Ertsberg has been transformed into a lake named Wilson Lake after Forbes Wilson, the expedition leader of Freeport 1960 with the late Amungme leader Mozes Kilangin whose name given to the Timika International Mozes Kilangin Airport.

Forbes Wilson didn’t deny the role of Amungme leader in Freeport’s expedition along Amungme people to guarantee the expedition run smoothly and safety without the escort of the Dutch Army. The local people were simply tackling the security of Dutch and American expedition team for more than a month in April 1960.

Forbes Wilson wrote in his book “The Conquest of Copper Montain” confessed that Mozes Kilangin was a navigator as well as good negotiator and also kept monitor and escort him during the climb expedition to Erstberg.

If he was still alive, what would he said about the renegotiation of Freeport’s contract to extend their exploitation of copper, gold and silver mining at the Grasberg and Ertsberg in Papua until 2041.

All parties in Jakarta seem not paying attention and care about the Papuans, especially Kamoro and Amungme people. It’s similar with Freeport that doesn’t care about it at all since they have been operated in this land and after being expelled from Cuba when managing the sculpture mining. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

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