Papua's independence aspirations persist despite autonomy PDF Afdrukken

The granting of special autonomy to the Papua region has not
proven sufficient enough to quell the ongoing internal struggle
of its people for independence and separation from Indonesia.

"The root of the problem is Papua's political status, which is
not recognized by Indonesia or the world.

This in turn means Papua is not recognized as a sovereign
country, so we will continue to demand independence at all
costs," said Zadrak Taime, secretary of the Sentani-Sarmi
traditional organization.

Zadrak was representing the organization at a meeting between
the Papua Traditional Council (DAP) and the Keerom community
with the Home Ministry's Sociopolitical Affairs Director
General, Ahmad Tanribali Lamo, deputy at the Coordinating
Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Maj. Gen.
Karseno, and director of conflict mitigation at the
Sociopolitical Affairs Directorate General, Sr. Comr. Widiyanto,
in Jayapura on Thursday.

Apart from political issues, the participants at the meeting
discussed the growing social gap between state officials and
people at a grassroots level since the implementation of special
autonomy.

"Special autonomy funds have been distributed to Papuans, but
officials are the only ones who have benefited from them.

We don't know where the funds have gone to, but we can see that
officials are getting richer, their homes are becoming more
lavish and some own three private cars," said Zone V DAP head,
Hubertus Kwambrey.

"We demand the government stop stigmatizing the Papuans who
desire independence as separatists. Please stop using that term
and look at the root of the problem," said Markus Haluk, who
spoke for DAP head Forkorus Yoboisembut. Forkorus was ill and
could not attend the meeting.

Tanribali said such comments should be directed to the Home
Minister. He said the government had paid serious attention to
development in Papua.