MAC/20: Mines and Communities

West Papua Freedom leaders reject Freeport's blandishments

Published by MAC on 2001-05-03


West Papua Freedom leaders reject Freeport's blandishments - May 3 2001

Statement by John Rumbiak, the West Papua Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELS-HAM), based in Jayapura, West Papua

Submitted at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. held in Wilmington, Delaware USA on May 3, 2001

Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me this opportunity. My name is John Rumbiak, working with the West Papua Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELS-HAM) in Jayapura. I have a few issues and concerns that I would like to raise in this Annual General Meeting of Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold, Inc. (Freeport)

First, Clarification of HAMAK (Foundation for Human Rights Anti Violence) foundation regarding U$ 248,000 grant offered by Freeport. On last April 20, Freeport issued a press release saying that it will contribute U$ 248,000 to HAMAK directed by Ms. Yosepha Alomang. As a board member of HAMAK I would declare that HAMAK rejects the grant offered by Freeport as it is against the principles of HAMAK.  Furthermore, according to Ms. Yosepha Alomang, she never sent a proposal to Freeport asking for such a grant. She said that she has been manipulated by collaborators of Freeport to accept the money.

Second, Freeport Supporting the West Papuan Independence movement is a Classic Politics of Freeport. It is no secret that Freeport is playing a deceitful game by contributing to the independence movement of West Papua when their real purpose is to pacify the Papuans.

Third, the 1 % Fund of Freeport has created a lot of problems. An assessment conducted by a US based NGO hired by Freeport last year on Lembaga Pengembangan Masyarakat Irian Jaya (LPMI) found that there has been a lot of corruption, unaccountability, and jealousy amongst the recipients (communities). This is proved in a protest by Kamoro tribe community leaders in March this year who criticized the management of LPMI as biased in tribal balance.

Fourth, the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Freeport and LEMASA.  The MOU signed between Freeport and Tom Beanal, commissioner of Freeport, ( who claimed to represent LEMASA) on July 13, 2000 was unknown by the people of LEMASA.  Many protests have occurred since the signing of MOU.  The people say that they have not been consulted.

Demands

As has been continuously raised by Ms. Yosepha Alomang, an Amungme woman leader and  human rights victim of Freeport who has just received the Goldman Environmental Prize 2001, Freeport has to stop all its deceitful and deadly games.

Freeport has to open itself for real independent investigation on human rights, environment, land rights and all other relevant problems that implicate the company.

If Freeport wants to continue operating in West Papua, it has to equally negotiate with the indigenous owners whose mountains and lands are exploited by the company.


The Wall Street Journal - May 3, 2001

Tribeswoman Won't Take Freeport-McMoran's Grant

Yosepha Alomang, an Indonesian human-rights leader, says she will not accept a $248,000 grant from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, a mining company she has repeatedly criticized for environmental and human-rights lapses.

source: TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

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