PT Kristalin Eka Lestari first arrived in Nifasi, in the ancestral land of the Wate people, in 2007, but left after exploration did not yield results. PT Kristalin then made an agreement with the Makimi indigenous group in 2012. There has been no activity between 2012 and 2016.
PT Tunas Anugerah Papua made an agreement with the people of Nifasi in 2014 and started operations. This included corporate social responsibility activities, which included setting up bank accounts for each household, paying for education, health, religious facilities and even a motorbike for each head-of household, as well as distributing basic foodstuffs each month paid from production profits.
The Mosairo River forms the boundary between the two blocks, the Makimi Block and the Nifasi block.
The main issue
Arriving as a contractor to PT Tunas Anugerah Papua in early October 2016, PT Kristalin came to Nifasi village and set up their outpost next to PT Tunas Anugerah Papua’s basecamp. They took over a community outpost and replaced it with a military post. As there was no response from the Nifasi indigenous people PT Kristalin Eka Lestari rallied around 30 members of the military (Yonif 753 Raider) and several Papuans from the highland Dani tribe to secure the location so the company could mine it. A military post was set up directly, displaying a sign reading NKRI Harga Mati: “Unified Indonesia or Death”.
To provide cover for this plan, the local unit commander sent a letter to the district commander in Paniai asking to use the area as a training ground (letter reference B/621/X/2016, dated 17th October 2016), but this is just a pretext to remain in the area for an indefinite time. Each time they bring fuel or food they say it belongs to the Regional Military Commander.
This situation has made the Wate people in Nifasi anxious, as they are continually being questioned by members of the military. On 7th October the military also conducted a sweeping operation, looking for foreign workers.
Another impact is that PT Tunas Anugerah Papua’s work is disrupted, which has meant that corporate social responsibility activities have been disturbed, such as a prayer meeting with the local community which was blocked by army forces. The security forces intimidated employees and were believed to have taken material belonging to PT Tunas Anugerah Papua.
Efforts at mediation.
On 27th October, mediation which took place at the Nabire police headquarters produced agreement on six points: to stop work on the mining site which is currently disputed, both sides should supply a maximum of 50 litres of fuel to workers in both companies, both parties agreed to hand over documents concerning their permits by 2pm on 30th October 2016 at the latest, neither side can make any kind of threat, both sides are agreed to use security to guard company assets and finally, if one side violates the terms of the agreement then a legal process will be brought against it.
It is also believed that violence or human rights violations could occur in this situation. Because of this, in accordance with law 39/1999 on human rights, law 44/2009 on mining and Law 21/2001 and special local regulation (Perdasus) 23/2008 concerning indigenous cultural communities and individual rights of indigenous people, we declare that PT Kristalin has never given the compensation which should be paid to the people of Nifasi under those laws. The acts of intimidation and requisition of the community’s camp by members of the military battalion 753 AVT Nabire constitute a human rights violation, and they have also taken advantage of our brothers the Dani people from the central mountains, in a conscious attempt to pit one group of Papuans against another, which could potentially create horizontal conflict in Nabire. Such methods are in clear violation of Law 39/1999 on Human Rights.
We wish to state that:
1) The Cenderawasih military commander should order his personnel to return the post which was built by and belonged to the community, but which is currently occupied by army batallion 753 Nabire (as security guards for PT Kristalin Eka Lestari), take procedural action against soldiers involved and remove the local unit commander of 753 AVT Nabire.
2) The Military Commander should withdraw all members acting as company security guards in Nifasi
3) Police Chiefs at the provincial and regency level should arrest actors that wish to create conflict between the Wate and Dani indigenous peoples in order to ensure that PT Kristalin Eka Lestari can continue to work.
4) Seeing as PT Kristalin has not carried out any work in the last four years, we request that Nabire local government revokes PT Kristalin’s mining permit.
5) Place boundary markers around each mining block so that the boundary is clear to the community and companies.
JOHN NR GOBAI
Secretary II DEWAN ADAT PAPUA