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28 April 2019


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A Fairsay

Franzalbert Joku from Sentani, Papua Indonesia, died in Jayapura aged 66 on 28 April. He was married with a daughter and two grandkids.

At aged 17 in 1967 Franz entered PNG as a refugee from Papua because of the fighting between OPM and the Indonesian military.

He went to Rabaul International School and studied professional journalism at Stanford University, USA. His political view was ‘liberty, justice and prosperity for all mankind’.

In December 2018 he was awarded the Companion of the Star of Melanesia (CSM) for his contribution to PNG print media, public policy development of the early government of PNG and promotion of a peaceful relationship between Papua & Indonesia.
(Em TV on Youtube : )

Franz worked for the Post Courier from 1975 to 1992, that's 17 years. He then worked as a secretary in the Prime Minister's Department before becoming Chief of Staff.

He worked for two Deputy PMs and three Cabinet Ministers. He was also Chief of Staff for the PNG Opposition Leader.

In 2007 the Governor of Papua on a visit to PNG asked the people of Papua to return home which Franz decided to do.

Franz and Nick Messet were senior campaigners for the OPM but, after returning to Indonesia, they both began working as advisors to the Politics and Security Ministry.

Franz may have concluded that an armed struggle for Independence would be very costly in human lives and bring misery, and most likely not succeed.

Instead Franz wanted Indonesian laws passed to protect Papuan land and custom rights to give political, social and economic empowerment as indigenous people of their region.

Franz said concerns about human rights issues in Papua expressed in Pacific Islands regional forums were welcome but the Melanesian Spearhead Group, (MSG) and the Pacific Islands Forum should not speak for Papua as its leaders could do that on their own.

A greater share of local resource extraction projects is a positive outcome of Franz's advocacy.

Mr Widodo is in the process of divesting 51 percent of Freeport gold and copper mine its shares in Papua to Indonesian entities.

Papua will get 10 percent, seven percent goes to Mimika Regency where Freeport's Grasberg mine is located, three percent goes to the provincial government.

This deal offered to resource owners is one of the best in the Pacific countries.

Franzalbert Joku has made a contribution to PNG development and in Papua, the land of his home and people, he has made a impact and mark in its future development. RIP.

(from indonesian Wikipedia)

Lindsay F Bond

Tweet by Johnny Blades @JGBlades: “Franz Albert Joku, a West Papuan leader who controversially advocated autonomy for Papua within Indonesia rather than independence, has died aged 66 in hospital in Jayapura.”

Whither options for governance of PNG where, it seems, a prevalence of indifference of folk, rural and remote?


Aha! Hasn't this lot been in team O'Neill from day one?

Didn't they change the law of PNG and bring in new legislation to defraud the people of PNG?

Didn't they enjoy cash bonus as a token of appreciation and support for team O'Neill.

Didn't they help ruin this country by sharing the loan money got on behalf of the country?

Their move now is self-serving and not for the country.

Philip Fitzpatrick

My thoughts entirely Chris.

There is no such thing as a government in PNG, democratic or otherwise. Neither is there an alternative government or opposition. There are just factions of the same mass jockeying to either conserve their place at the trough or step up to take their place.

The recycling of politicians is a real art in PNG. One week they are deadly enemies of the prime minister and the next week they are in bed with him.

You can count the number of real politicians with a concern for their people on one hand.

This little lot has sniffed the possibility of blood in the wind and are positioning themselves to take advantage of it.

They are all hypocrites of the worst kind.

Chris Overland

It takes an heroic level of optimism to believe that O'Neill will be brought down or, in the event that he is, anything really changes for the better.

The people referred to in Keith's article have been an integral part of the O'Neill regime for virtually its entire existence.

They have, whether actively or passively, played a major role in further entrenching corruption and incompetence within PNG.

Why should anyone now believe that they offer any solutions to these problems?

I am deeply sceptical of politicians, in PNG or anywhere else, suddenly recanting from their previous behaviour and indulging in blatant virtue signalling.

This just looks like a falling out between mob bosses to me, because the current Boss of Bosses has reneged on the distribution of the profits of their business activities.

Faith in our democratic institutions has been gravely damaged because our politicians have, to varying degrees, failed to govern in the national interest, preferring instead to govern for the interest groups that fund them or those who can shout the loudest.

Little wonder that, in an era when a serial liar and fraud can be President of the United States, many people now believe that the correct position for any voter about all politicians is one of undisguised cynicism and contempt.

Sadly, in PNG, voters have very many reasons for making the same assumptions.

Papua New Guineans can start to believe that something can change for the better when a new PNG government brings into law the establishment of a well funded, powerful and extremely active ICAC to root out and smash corruption in PNG in all its forms.

Until then, they can assume that the statements attributed to those now abandoning O'Neill are maus wara tasol.

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