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Special autonomy law will be amended

Jakarta Post - May 30, 2013

Nethy Dharma Somba, Jayapura – The Papua provincial administration and the central government will revise Law No. 21/2001 on Papua Special Autonomy and deliberate the Papua Administration Law, says a presidential special staff member.

The Papua Administration bill is currently being deliberated between Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and his aides, the Papua Legislative Council (DPRD), the Papuan People's Council (MRP), regents and mayors from across Papua and academics in Jayapura on Wednesday and Thursday.

Presidential special staff member for regional development and regional autonomy, Velix Wanggai, said the amendment on the 2001 special autonomy law was called for because during its 12 year implementation, despite the fact that many positive things had been achieved. a lot of issues still needed to be addressed.

"The 12 year period is part of a process that is sufficient to amend a law," he said on Wednesday. He added that the new law was necessary to boost the identity of Papuans, accelerate development in every aspect as well as to resolve social and political issues for political reconciliation.

In a larger context, in the next five years, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hopes for a permanent and fundamental resolution to political conflict, social inequality and armed conflict. "The conflict resolution will be achieved democratically," said Velix.

The change in the law, he added, was a sign of goodwill from the president. The conflict would be resolved within the context of a new development direction for Papua, including political reform.

The outcome of the discussion in Papua is expected to serve as an input prior to the passage of the law.

Separately, Lukas said he expected the reconstruction of the special autonomy law would contain improvements for the sake of Papuan people's welfare. "So far, the people have held the view that special autonomy has failed, so with the amendment, the failure could be resolved," said Lukas.