Support the Calls for Dialogue

Support the Calls for Dialogue
21 January 2010

A strong desire for peaceful dialogue to resolve the long standing issue of West Papua has emerged in the last a year since two books were published:

1) Papua Road Map written by Prof. Murdian Widjojo from Indonesian Institute of Scientific Research (LIPI) in March 2009; and

2) Dialogue Jakarta-Papua written by Dr. Father Neles Tebay, Vice Bishop of Jayapura Diocese in 2009.

Both books have addressed in a comprehensive manner those key issues that dealt with the political and social issues that affected the life of the people of West Papua. Moreover, the book went on and then described in detail about how and why peaceful dialogue should be done.

Public response is enormous. For the first time, Commission I of the Indonesian Parliament that dealt with political and security issues, for example, gave a green light to the peace initiative. There is a great hope that such endorsement will have positive impacts on the view of people in the power circle within the Government and wider community.

To understand and follow by your self this great development, please read two articles below, which translated by John O Ondawame in Port Vila.



Papuan Dialogue is Urgently Needed
*Motioned by LIPI in Papua Road Map*
Kompas News, 19 January 2010

“The solution to the complex issue of West Papua, with regard to long historical background, needs peaceful dialogue, which must be built on trust towards each other. There is also urgent needed to have a full implementation of the Law Number: 21/2001 that dealt with Special Autonomy”.

This statement was stipulated during a meeting between Commission I of the Indonesian Parliament and Indonesian Institute of Scientific Research (LIPI) that took place in MPR/DPR building in Jakarta on 18th January 2010. Syamsuddin Haris, Muridan S Widjojo, Andriana Elisabeth and Amirudin Al Rahab represented LIPI’s team.

According to the research report, which submitted by the LIPI team, one of the root causes of the current conflict in West Papua is the problem of trust. The problem that created by the history of the forcible integration into the Republic of Indonesia has only mistrusted from the people of West Papua towards the central Government of Indonesia in Jakarta, but on the other hand, the Central government has also mistrusted towards the people of West Papua who are regarded to be supporters of the separatist elements.

Muridan acknowledged that dialogue between the Central Government and the people of West Papua will not be an easy task. Particularly when in West Papua has not have a political figure that can represent all resistant movements in the territory.

For this reason, today, through Papuan Peace Networks, there is making an effort to unify the Papuans and then determine peace agenda and their representatives. This dialogue is needed for the long settlement process. LIPI offers Papua Road Map or (see Graphics).

In the Papua Road Map, LIPI offers the settlement of Papuan conflict focusing into four key problems. Those four problems are the failure of development, marginalization and discrimination, history and political status, and state violence and Human rights abuses.

Amirudin convinced that dialogue must be organized as soon as possible. Reason is very simple. Any postponement will create a deep political fragmentation, resulting the difficulty to consolidate that may delay development process

According to the LIPI, both conflicting parties in the dialogue must accept each team dialogue. In this way, all aspirations of various groups could be delivered in a fair manner and can achieve a common consensus.

Completion of Autonomy Law
Syamsuddin Haris stated that Special Autonomy is a solution that today is regarded to be a perfect solution. In the future, according to him, Special Autonomy laws must be corrected.

He underlined the facts that “even though nine years ago Special Autonomy law was introduced, even billions of rupiah have been spent in West Papua, there are no development in the fields of education and health. Even though, Special Autonomy also gives many opportunities to Papuans, for example, to get highest political position”, said Syamsuddin.

The Commission I said the office accepted this LIPI’s input. The Chairman of the Commission I of the Indonesian Parliament, Kemal Stamboel, said on his side, dialogue without prejudice is key to resolve the conflict in West Papua. Kemal was also highlighted the importance of sharpening Special Autonomy laws in order to achieve a full implementation of the Special Autonomy.

”It must have a clear lines and applicable” said Kemal.

Member of the Commission I, from the PKB fraction, Effendy Choirie, stipulated that when Special Autonomy laws was introduced in Papua, the following changes were demanded: cultural representation through Papuan General Assembly (Majelis Rakyat Papua), name Papua and symbol of Morning Star.


The Central Indonesian Parliament (DPR) Recommended Papuan Dialogue with the Central Government

ANTARA News - Political and Security Issue, 14 January 2010

The Commission I of Indonesian Parliament in its latest report on a visit to Papua province, members of the Parliament had strongly recommended the significance of dialogue between the people of West Papua and the Central Government of Indonesia. According to them, the dialogue is importance to resolve many problems in West Papua in just, dignified and professional manners, but upholding within framework of the Republic of Indonesia.

This call was restated by a member of the Commission I of the Indonesian Parliament, Papuan origin, Hon.Paskalis Kossay,S.Pd. MM to ANTARA News in Jayapura on Thursday in a mobile phone interviewed in relation to final working report of the Commission, which was started from 7th -11th December 2009.

"The Commission I of the Indonesian Parliament recommended the significance of the Dialogue between the people of West Papua and the Central Government of Indonesia. The dialogue has been desired by the people of West Papua”, said Kossay.

In this way, many crucial problems can be resolved such as the aspiration of independence of the Papuans and the implementation of the Special Autonomy, which actually failed to address the development of the people and to create a prosperous society of the people of West Papua.

It is also dealing with other crucial issue. If the dialogue would not be taken place effectively and dignify manners, national unity of the Republic of Indonesia will break down a part.

Paskalis acknowledged that during their working visit in West Papua, representatives of the people of West Papua used this opportunity to express their inners feelings particularly from people on the grassroots, community leaders, traditional council, religious leaders, provincial government, youths and students and Papuan Indigenous Women.

The report of the members of the Commission I of the Indonesian Parliament concluded that dialogue between the people of West Papua and the Central Government of Indonesia is urgently needed if the Unitary state of Indonesia would like to uphold its status quo.

Responding to the above statement, Director of School of Catholic Philosophy and Theology "Fajar Timur”, Father Dr. Neles Tebay, Pr come up with an opinion that what was recommended by the Commission I of the Indonesian Parliament was certainly correct because the concern has been desired by the people of West Papua in the last 47 years.

"We must continuously promote peaceful dialogue in a dignified manner between the people of West Papua with the Central Government of Indonesia aiming to resolve many problems in West Papua. The dialogue must be just and have dignity for the improvement of living conditions of the people of West Papua and also the entire people of Indonesia, underlined Dr. Tebay.

Regarding the implementation of Autonomy Law Number: 21/2001, Dr.Neles Tebay have a view that it has been public knowledge that the Government has failed to implement the Special Autonomy in West Papua.

The status of the Special Autonomy in West Papua was given to Papuan province (which was also called Irian Jaya province) as a commitment and response of the Government of Indonesia to the demands for independence of the indigenous people of West Papua.

The Government introduced Autonomy Law number: 21/2001 for the Papuan province as an implementation of the decision of the Indonesian General Assembly Number: IV/MPR/1999 and Decision of MPR Number: IV/2000.

"We must acknowledge that on the side of the central Government and also the Government of Papua have strong desire to resolve the conflict in West Papua in a peaceful manner through dialogue. This means both sides have already expressed their constructive position, an attitude that urgently needed in order to move forwards in the process of peaceful dialogue in West Papua, said the writer of the book: Dialog Jakarta-Papua

This positive position has already explicitly stated in different occasions by various group, both in Jakarta and Papua through various public statements and media.