Papuans rally for new province

Papuans rally for new province
, 22 June 2010

More than 3,000 people rallied for the creation of a new province in Papua during a demonstration in Timika, Papua, on Monday.

“Public response has so far supported the formation of the [proposed] province of Central Papua. We have been fighting hard for such a dream and the people are 100 percent behind us,” Hironimus Taime, the secretary of the Central Papua formation team, said at a media conference.

The team has proposed that Papua province be divided into two new provinces, Central Papua and Papua. West Papua was separated from Papua and made an independent province in 1999.

The team has actively garnered support for its proposal, he said.

“The rally seeks to create an impetus for the immediate endorsement of the [provincial] formation plan,” he said.

The region’s 10 regencies have written a joint letter of support, which includes endorsement letters from each local legislative council, he said.

The next issue to be discussed was a compromise on the proposed province’s capital city.

Representatives from Mimika, Paniai, Yapen, Waropen, Puncak, Intan Jaya, Dogiyai and Deyai regencies agreed that Mimika should be Central Papua’s capital city, while Biak and Nabire regencies are undecided.

The team will need to approach other parties to realize creation of the new province, formation team chairman Andreas Anggaibak said.

“I hope the formation of province of Central Papua will soon be realized. Support from people in
the region will significantly aid us in obtaining expected endorsements,” he said.

The rally followed a fact-finding visit to Mimika by House Commission II members.