Provincial governor calls for dialogue

Provincial governor calls for dialogue

Bintang Papua, 22 January 2010


The governor of Papua, Barnabas Suebu has spoken about the need for dialogue as the way to reduce the level of conflict that continues to occur in the region. He was speaking at a regular coffee morning with journalists in Jayapura on Thursday.

'We must together deal with the conflicts between Papuans, and between Papuans and the security forces and government in order to build unanimity between us and hold dialogue to find a resolution to all the problems,' he said.

He stressed the need for upholding democratic principles within Papuan society in order to turn Papua into a Land of Peace, an idea that was launched several years ago by the Papuan community.' He said that a Zone of Peace was one of four agendas that must be achieved during the course of 2010. 'Papua as a Zone of Peace means that it must become a place of peace, security, order and discipline, where basic human rights are respected and democratic principles are upheld.'

With regard to democracy in Papua which so often becomes a sources of conflict between the security forces and the community, the governor said that it was necessary to reach a common understanding. He said that we all know that there are two types of voters here, from the viewpoint of the situation in the mountainous region.

[The idea of two types of voters was not further elaborated; was he referring to Papuans on the one hand and migrants from Indonesia on the other?]

He said he recalled a book he once read called 'Noken and the Betrayal of Democracy'. The book described the way democracy was being implemented in the interior which involved many violations.

Returning to the issue of dialogue and unanimity in the context of human rights, he pledged that this would be his focus during the year, in order to fully resolve the issue.

The essence of the problem, he said, is building unanimity, upholding the rule of law and respecting human rights.


Translated by TAPOL