Papuan special autonomy needs to be reevaluated - Rights group

Kompas - The slow pace of development in Papua 12 years after
the implementation of special autonomy has lead observers to
believe that a reevaluation of the special autonomy law is
needed. They believe that the stipulations enacted in the 2001
law have lost their spirit, namely bringing prosperity to the
Papuan people.

Speaking in Jakarta on Thursday February 12, Poengky Indarti
from Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) said that between
2005 and 2009 Papua's human development index has been in 33rd
position out of the 33 provinces in Indonesia. 'Yet, every year
funds are poured into Papua in amounts reaching the trillions of
rupiah', he said.

Data gathered by Fransiskan International show that in 2004 as
many as 80 percent of the indigenous Papuan population was
living in poverty. In addition to this, as many as 36.1 percent
of the population have no access to healthcare facilities.

It appears that the massive exploitation of Papua's natural
resources has not had any significant impact on the progress or
prosperity of the Papuan people.

This still does not include the many cases of human rights
violations against the Papuan people that are yet to be resolved.

Quoting from a statement by a Papuan figure, Indarti said,
'Waiting for justice to come from the central government is like
boiling a rock'.

The situation has also been aggravated by the weak role played
by the Papua People's Council. (JOS)

[Translated by James Balowski.]