TNI says money problems behind separatism in Papua

TNI says money problems behind separatism in Papua

The Jakarta Post , 11th of March 2009
Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Djoko Susilo says the main reason for many Papuans wishing to separate from the Indonesian republic stems from a massive disparity in economic development between the provinces.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Indonesian Defense University on Wednesday, Djoko said the government had paid close attention to Papua by providing much-needed infrastructure and facilities. However, he said, the province had yet to see an even distribution of development projects.

“But I believe the population would not be as keen to separate from Indonesia if they improve their economy,” Djoko told Antara state news agency.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said separatist protests could perhaps be understood to be calls for government to focus on the even distribution of aid.

“Such separatist actions may serve as a tool to inform us that aid has yet to reach the needy,” he said. (ewd)