Indonesian police captain Kiki Kurnia told West Papuan independence leader Victor Yeimo, “We are ready to wreak havoc and clash with all of you,” during Yeimo's arrest at a protest in Jayapura on December 1. Security forces blocked the West Papuan “independence day” march and arrested two other independence leaders along with Yeimo for organising the rally, West Papua Media said on December 2. The three were released the next day.
Sydney's prestigious Hilton Hotel hosted the “PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Investment Conference” over December 3-5. The event summed up the nature of the resource industry in PNG. PNG Mine Watch said on December 1: “The Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Conference in Sydney will be a room full of white men dicing and slicing PNG’s assets with little or no participation or informed consent from the people of Papua New Guinea.
A United Nations review into its handling of the Sri Lankan government's war against Tamils in 2009 has revealed the UN deliberately ignored Sri Lanka's huge-scale human rights violations. Up to 50,000 Tamils were killed by Sri Lankan military forces in the final stage of the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and armed Tamil independence groups, the most prominent of which was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). After the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, about 300,000 Tamils were forced into prison camps, where mass executions, torture and rape allegedly took place.
Israel's latest attack on Gaza killed about 32 times more Palestinians than Israelis killed by Palestinian rockets. But few who followed mainstream media reports would realise this fact. When the ceasefire was announced on November 21, 161 Palestinians and five Israelis had been killed in the attacks, CBSnews.com said. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said that by November 20, 66% of Palestinians killed were civilians. Of the more than 900 Palestinians injured, 97% were civilians.
Dredd/strong> Directed by Peter Travis Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey & Wood Harris In cinemas now As far as action movies go, Dredd deserves to be praised as an enjoyable example of the genre. However, the only way progressive-minded people will be able to stomach it is to avoid thinking about the political implications of the world of Judge Dredd (played by Karl Urban).
British oil giant BP has signed a deal with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for a $12 billion expansion of the Tangguh liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in occupied West Papua. The deal is typical of West Papua's exploitation at the hands of Indonesia and Western companies, who have pillaged the area's resources and abused its people for decades. Papuans have the lowest standard of living in Indonesia, despite the huge amount of wealth the area creates.
Protesters confronted Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his visit to Britain on October 31. They were angry at Indonesia's ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua. Australian-born activist Peter Tatchell was arrested for holding a West Papuan independence flag near Yudhoyono's car, the Jakarta Globe said on November 1. Yudhoyono was feted by Britain's political elites, including a private lunch with the Queen, Reuters said on November 1.
The Papua New Guinean government has been forced to reconsider a deep-sea mining project off the PNG coast due to community concerns over environmental destruction. About 24,000 people signed a petition against the Solwara 1 project in the Bismark Sea. The petition was handed to mining minister Byron Chan on October 23, said AAP. The project is run by Canadian company Nautilus Minerals and will mine for mostly copper and gold 1.6 kilometres under the seabed.
Indonesian security forces attacked West Papuan independence rallies in several cities on October 23. West Papua Media (WPM) said the worst violence took place in Manokwari where four people were shot by army soldiers and many others were beaten. There were fears a massacre would take place during a confrontation between protesters and security forces, after authorities blocked people's attempts to protest. Eleven student activists were arrested, including some who had been injured, Jubi said on October 24.
The ongoing siege of Gaza by the Israeli government looked set for a worrying escalation following a visit to Gaza by the emir of Qatar. Just three days earlier, Israel's navy had boarded a Gaza aid ship and used tasers on activists. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani entered Gaza via Egypt's Rafah border crossing on October 23. Israeli leaders condemned al-Thani's visit, the first by a foreign head of state since 1999. Al-Thani promised $400 million in aid projects to Gaza, undermining Israel's economic blockade.
Indonesia has further intensified its repression of West Papuan independence activists, in an apparent response to independence leaders speaking to foreign media. Eight independence activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNBP) were arrested in Wamena on September 29 and accused of bomb-making and treason, West Papua Media (WPM) said on September 30. The operation involved the notorious Australian funded and trained Detachment 88 anti-terrorist unit.
The Australian government's support for Indonesia's occupation of West Papua reached absurd levels on September 12. Labor and Coalition senators voted down a Senate condolence motion for late refugee advocate and Papuan solidarity activist Vikki Riley on the basis that it contained the words “West Papua”. The Don't Say These Words? blog said on September 13 that Country Liberal Senator Nigel Scullion told the mover of the motion, John Madigan of the Democratic Labor Party, that he would support the motion if the words “West Papua” were removed.
The Occupy movement held rallies across the United States on September 17 to mark the first anniversary of the protests that attacked the corrupt and abusive rule by the richest 1%. With the protest camps having been broken up by police months ago, the movement has sought to find new ways to fight the gross social injustice that pervades US society. Wiki.Occupy.net listed actions in 28 US cities and in at least 10 other places around the world on September 17.
The governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have gone to great lengths to control information about the ongoing uprisings in their countries. This is part of their efforts to crush the democracy movements that have sought to overthrow the ruling monarchies. The protests are part of the Arab Spring uprisings that began in Tunisia in late 2010 and spread across the Middle East and north Africa.
Quebec’s student movement has claimed a victory with the toppling of the right-wing Liberal government in the September 4 election. The opposition Parti Quebecois (PQ) looks set to form government, winning the most seats ahead of the right-wing Liberal Party who had governed for the past nine years. Quebec's largest pro-independence party, the PQ has, in government, also implemented neoliberal policies.
The Australian government has come under pressure over its role in funding Indonesian counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88, after ABC’s 7.30 highlighted the unit’s role in repressing independence activists in occupied West Papua. Detachment 88 has been implicated in several killings and the torture of Papuan activists. A prominent recent case was its alleged involvement in the assassination of West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) leader Mako Tabuni in June.