Minister hands 380 houses to former separatist Papua members PDF Afdrukken

Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Aburizal Bakrie symbolically handed 380 housing units to former separatist Papua movement members at a ceremony here Tuesday.

The houses were intended for former members of the National Liberation Army of the Free Papua Organization (TPN-OPM) in the districts of Pegnunungan Bintang and Lani Jaya.

Apart from houses, the government had also built an elementary school, a community health center, clean-water and solar power supply facilities and a micro-hydro power plant in the region.

The minister presented the buildings and facilities to Pegnungan Bintang District Chief Wellington Wenda and Lani Jaya District Chief Ir Pihadi in Timika.

In remarks on the occasion, Bakrie said the government`s policy on settling the problem of former TPN-OPM members was caring for their social welfare.

To implement this policy, the government needed a lot of funds which could not come from the State Budget but had to be drawn from a "special account," he said.

Bakrie called on the former TPN-OPM members to tell those of their comrades who were still up in arms in the jungle about the government`s present policy so that they would be persuaded to also stop their armed struggle and return to a normal life under Papua`s special autonomy.

Of the 380 houses, 264 had been built in Pegunungan Bintang district and 125 in Lani Jaya district.(*)