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Protests against Special Autonomy, creation of new provinces continue in Papua

Suara Papua - August 27, 2022

Reiner Brabar, Sorong – The Greater Sorong Papua People's Petition (PRP) is continuing to hold actions protesting the formation of new autonomous regions (DOB) in the territory of West Papua. The latest action was held in front of the Elin Sorong traffic lights on Thursday August 23.

During a break in the action, Greater Sorong PRP Coordinator Apey Taramy said that that the PRP continues to hold to the principle of opposing any kind of unilateral policies by the Indonesian government.

"The Papuan people, from Sorong to Merauke, the people who are oppressed and colonised, continue to firmly oppose any and all policies forced [onto Papuans] from Jakarta. Whether it is Otsus [Special Autonomy] or regional expansion, which is supported by the local political elite or a handful of Papuan figures, who have a mission to perpetuate the oppression of the Papuan people", said Taramy.

It is no longer a secret, said Taramy, that their hidden agenda, which has been known from the start, is a mission to control and exploit Papua's natural resources (SDA).

"Otsus and the creation of these new provinces have been forced through to pursue their agenda in the interests of investment, their political interests, in the interests of controlling Papua. All of this is nothing more than to exploit Papua's natural resources", he explained.

According to Taramy, the action is a follow up to earlier protests and is being held to respond to a visit to West Papua by the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission II to gather views related to deliberations on the Draft Law on the Creation of South-West Papua Province (PBD) at a meeting with the governor and greater Sorong regional leadership on August 23 which is being held at the Lambert Jitmau building in Sorong city.

"We can see that one of the regions included in the expansion of the PBD province, namely Maybrat, there is no other more pressing interest, other than the appointment of acting regent Bernath Rondonuwu who is not an original son of Maybrat, except for natural resources that are ready to be exploited. 78,000 hectares of cement mining land in Mare, timber in Aifat, and the potential of nickel in the South Ayamaru region are valuable assets for capitalists whose existence has been protected for exploitation in the near future", he said.

Taramy also suspects that the Home Affairs Minister's appointment of Rondonuwu is none other than an effort by the Indonesian governed to exploit natural resources in Maybrat regency.

Several speakers at the action reiterated the Papuan people's opposition to the creation of new provinces in Papua. Natex, one of the demonstrators, said that the Indonesian government does not have any good intent in developing Papua, except to exploit its natural wealth. "Jakarta's plan is so ruthless and terrifying", said Natex.

The Greater Sorong PRP read out a statement of demands at the action:

  • Revoke the draft law on the creation of South-West Papua Province.
  • Revoke the revisions to the Special Autonomy Law.
  • Reject the creation of new autonomous regions anywhere in the territory of West Papua, including the creation of PBD province.
  • Immediately give Papuans the right to self-determination as a democratic solution for the Papuan people.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Sikap Tolak DOB dan Otsus Terus Berlanjut".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2022/08/27/sikap-tolak-dob-dan-otsus-terus-berlanjut