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MRP dualism threatens the existence of the Papuan people

Bintang Papua - June 23, 2011

Pastor Jonga: 'MRP has now become a mechanism for the government's splitting tactics.'

The controversy about the setting up of an MRP for West Papua had continued to rumble on and is likely to last for a long time. There are people who now claim that having two MRPs will threaten the existence of the indigenous Papuan people.

This was the theme of a seminar held by the Students Executive Council (BEM) on Wednesday this week.

The controversy emerged when the governor of West Papua, acting on behalf of the Minister of the Interior, announced the creation of the West Papua MRP. The seminar was held at the auditorium of the Cenderawasih University, and was attended by about a hundred people.The main speakers were Fadhal Alhamid of the Papuan Customary Council (DAP) and Pastor Jong Jonga, representing the religious community The moderator was Laus Rumayon.

Fadhal Alhamid said that the danger posed by MRP dualism was that the standard set for basic human rights of Papuans living in the province of West Papua would be different from those set in the province of Papua. In addition, the creation of the West Papua MRP was to promote certain vested interests, part of a conspiracy between the governor and the vice-governor of West Papua. "The MRP reached an agreement regarding cultural and economic unity. But if there are now two MRPs, there is the danger that this unity will disappear." He also said that responsibility for creating the second MRP rests with the MRP itself. "We should raise the question of whether they were the ones responsible for creating the second MRP."

He also drew attention to the position of people in the leaderhip of the Papua MRP and the West Papua MRP. "The fact that Ibu Dorkas is the chairman of the Papua MRP and is also the vice-chairman of the West Papua MRP has led to a great deal of confusion."

The other speaker, Pastor Jong Jonga, dealt more specifically with his own experiences with congregations living in the district of Keerom. "In my opinion, special autonomy (OTSUS) has failed to provide protection, tranquillity and security indigenous because its benefits are only being enjoyed by people living in the vicinity of the district capital.

"These were precisely the regions where the percentage of indigenous Papuans is very low as compared to the percentage of newcomers or migrants. What they were hoping for, he said, was that the MRP which had been intended as a unifying body would now become a means for splitting the Papuan people."

During questions and answers that followed the speeches, the students focused primarily on OTSUS. Many said that OTSUS had become nothing more than a mechanism to prolong the sufferings of the Papuan people.

OTSUS has become the long arm of the central government. "What was needed now," the one questioner said, "was for the DPRP to take action to disband the West Papua MRP." Many in the audience shared these views.