The Elected Bupati and vice-Bupati of Intan Jaya Regency, Natalis Tabuni, Ss, Msi and Fr. Yan Kobogayau, Sth, M Div have stated that they are “able to develop and unearth Intan Jaya’s natural potential”. Natalis Tabuni’s statement to journalists which was reported in rthe print and eletronic media Bintang Papua and Papua Pos Nabire is a unilateral claim because the population of Intan Jaya in general depends on the natural environment and rivers such as Wabu, Kemabu,Mbiabu for their livelihoods, and the location of Intan Jaya is extremely unsuitable for a mining company’s operations.
Most people in Intan Jaya live along the aforementioned rivers. If a mining company manages to force its way in, the mine waste would clearly be disposed of in Intan Jaya’s rivers. Meaning that water, land, the environment and the people would all be affected by this chemical waste which will result in the slow but sure extinction of local ethnic groups.
PT Freeport, which through PT Minersave has been operating in Wabu Sugapa Intan Jaya in recent years, and is still active in the area, is what has become of John Cutts’ strategy of taking advantage of the local people’s limited understanding.
PT Freeport commenced operations on 28th September 1991, but until the present day customary land rights holders have not granted their agreement to co-operate. Until today people are still seeking redress for the damage to the flora and fauna, especially for the pollution of water resources and illegal logging.
The people are asking for PT Freeport to be stopped, because the company has not made agreements with community leaders, indigenous leaders, church leaders, women leaders, youth leaders or intellectuals and students from the Moni people who inhabit the land between Mbulu-Mbulu and Anepone-Sanepone.
The people of Intan Jaya are in general agreement and spread the word from church to church, from village to village and in every district of Intan Jaya to stop the mining company on their territory. So, whoever it is that is that is letting the mining company force its way into Intan Jaya, whether for exploration or exploitation, should stop right now. If any permissions have been given they should be immediately revoked, because it constitutes an attempt to kill and wipe out the people of Intan Jaya, whether directly or indirectly.
People will be killed directly as a result of the security operations around the mining area, keeping indigenous people out so they cannot disturb mining, which will surely end up with people being imprisoned and killed, as well as provoking wars between tribes and clans who will end up killing one another as the riches of nature that indigenous people can access disappear into nothing. [translator’s note: all of this already happens on a regular basis around Freeport’s existing mine near Timika.]
Indirect killing comes neatly packaged, structured and planned and is divided up between government, NGOs and churches, alongside the effects of alcohol, HIV/AIDS and chemical waste polluting Intan Jaya’s rivers.
We often read in the print and electronic media about protracted conflicts caused by mining. The evidence shows there is a high risk of conflict in mining areas the world over. These conflicts are deliberately created by people with vested interests in the natural riches belonging to the indigenous people, but once they start it is difficult for anyone to stop the conflict.