Different approach demanded for injustice in Papua

Different approach demanded for injustice in Papua

Kompas 6 July 2009,
Translation by Tapol

Poengky Indarti, the external relations director of Imparsial has stressed the need for whoever is elected as president in the election this week to adopt a different approach to the question of reaching a solution to the Papuan question.

'This has nothing to do with disintegration, but it is much more a matter of the lack of justice in economic, social and cultural affairs,' she said. 'From this point of view, the Indonesian government have consistently failed to deal with the Papuan question.'

As a representative of an organisation that monitors human rights in Indonesia, she said that the organisation has frequently advised people in Papua not to vote for candidates whose track records have involved the use of violence in Papua.

'One case that is sill deeply felt by Papuans is the murder to Theys Hiyo Eluay, chairman of the Papuan Presidium Council (PDP) at the end of 2001.'

'The organisation has decided to adopt a position on this matter in view of the great enthusiasm among Papuans in the interior to take part in the election. This is also evident from the high turnout of Papuans during the legislative elections a few months ago, when more than 60 per cent of the electorate cast their votes in the election.'

'It has nothing to do with disintegration(of the Republic). 'If they really want to secede, they would not have so enthusiastically taken part in the election,' she said.

Research co-ordinator of the organisation Al Araf said they would send a statement to whoever is elected president to repeal Regulation 77/2007 which prohibits the flying of the Morning Star flag. 'The problem needs to be dealt with taking into account the root of the problem, namely the huge disparity in development that has been taking place. 'The massive amounts of money that have been allocated in the framework of special autonomy has done nothing to resolve the problem. 'In fact, the money has only created 'little kings' and spread the scourge of corruption.'

'The government seems to have done nothing, issued no directives about the use of all this money. The past five years are evidence of the failure of special autonomy. Education facilities in Papua are still very poor, and the number of women and other people dying of HIV/AIDS is very high.'

He said that the government should adopt a new approach towards seeking a solution to the Papuan question and this should include abandoning the military approach,' he said that efforts to improve the living conditions of the Papuan people must treat Papuans as the subjects, and put an end to treating Papua as nothing more than a source for exploiting the resources of the territory.'