Benny Mawel, 300,000 – Four tribes in Keerom regency, Papua, have handed over 10 hectares of land to the Indonesian Military (TNI), paving the way for the construction of a new headquarters for the area's military command post (Korem).
Aside from receiving financial compensation, the tribes also asked the military to prioritize their children in enlistment.
The heads of the Keret Tafior, Kiryar, Kyawoy and Girbes tribes officially gave parts of their land in Yummua village, West Arso district, to the area's Korem commander, Col. Binsar P. Sianipar, during a ceremony on Jan. 16.
Keerom Customary Council chairman Servo Tuamis said the tribes had agreed to give up the land last year but the necessary paperwork was only signed recently.
The Keerom administration agreed to compensate Rp 2 billion (US$146,399) for the 10-ha land. As the tribes feel that the number is too small, they have demanded another form of compensation.
"As we were born here in Keerom, we demanded the military to enlist our children as their personnel. The council will give them recommendations on being enlisted in the military," Servo said.
He claimed the military had agreed to grant the request, as long as the recommended people were healthy and did not consume any narcotics and alcoholic beverages.
Korem commander Binsar appreciated the indigenous tribes for handing over their land to the force.
"We will take care of this land and use it for the residents of Keerom. We will help the regency to become an economic center, which will later improve residents' welfare," he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Naome Kwambre, the daughter of the former Keerom Customary Council chairman, lambasted the handover.
"As part of the younger generation [of tribe members], I deplore the handover of the land because it should be our source of livelihood for generations to come," Naome said. (kuk)