Ash Pemberton

GLW author Ash Pemberton

West Papua: Independence activists arrested

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.

Papua New Guinea: Resource colonialism bleeding people and nature

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.

Sri Lanka: UN review reveals state war crimes, international complicity

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.

Media largely ignores Israeli crimes

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.

Dreddful politics in enjoyable action film

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).

'West Papua can win', exiled activists say

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.

Indonesia's president faces protests over Papua crimes

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.

Papua New Guina: Public opposition delays deep-sea mine project

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.

Israel's cruel Gaza siege could escalate

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.

West Papua: Independence marches defy fresh attacks

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.

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