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Do not force Governor's office construction on ancestral lands of Walesi and Wouma, Jayapura Bishop says

Tabloid Jubi - February 3, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura Bishop Mgr. Yanuarius Theofilus Matopai You stressed the need for careful consideration in building the Mountainous Papua Governor's office on the ancestral lands of Walesi and Wouma, as it would disrupt and take away the livelihoods of the indigenous communities there.

"The community's land is being disturbed and I will not stay silent. The people have been using that land for gardening for a long time. We reject the use of that land for an office, but it does not mean we reject development," he said.

From October 4 to 6, 2023, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) monitored and investigated the construction plan for the Governor's Office. The results concluded that the planned construction on the ancestral lands of Walesi and Wouma violates human rights and is likely to cause conflicts. He suggested that the construction site should be relocated to another district.

"There are still locations in other areas, why should it be forced? Why not in Yahukimo or Tolikara, for example?" he questioned.

The Bishop of Jayapura stressed the need for collective discussions regarding the matter. "It must be collectively approved in an honorable forum with regents, the Papua Legislative Council,, and traditional leaders. Find a suitable place that does not cause conflicts. If it brings conflicts, it should not be forced," he added. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/do-not-force-governors-office-construction-on-ancestral-lands-of-walesi-and-wouma-jayapura-bishop-says