Traditional council to push for national talks PDF Afdrukken

The Jakarta Post, Jayapura,
Nethy Dharma Somba

A member of the Papuan Traditional Council (DAP) on Thursday said he hoped the new House of Representatives members from the province would soon schedule a national dialogue between the central government and Papua, as recommended by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

"The House members from Papua should be able to push the central government to hold a national dialogue within the first 100 days of their term," DAP leader Forkorus Yoboisembut said in Sentani, Jayapura, Papua.

He made the demand as the new 560 members of the House, including 10 from Papua, were installed in Jakarta on Thursday.

Forkorus said the call for a national dialogue was part of an initiative to address long-standing issues in Papua.

"If the dialogue is not immediately held, the DAP will send letters to various international institutions urging the Indonesian government hold an international dialogue."

Some of the long-standing issues include human rights violations and the Pepera people's poll that led to Papua's unification with Indonesia, which some Papuans regard as illegitimate. The Pepera issue has so far been a subject of contention, especially during protest rallies against the government.

The DAP has pushed for a national dialogue because it deems the special autonomy status granted to Papua since 2001 has not improved the people's welfare, but instead increased poverty in the country.

Papua social observer Yusak Reba hopes that the newly installed House legislators will watch over the implementation of the Papua Special Autonomy Law, by making sure the provincial expansion is in line with procedures stipulated in the 2001 law No. 21, and that the central government will not issue ordinances going against the law.

"Many of the central government's policies are not in line with the Papua Special Autonomy Law. We hope House members will ensure consistency in the next five years," he said.

"For example the issuance of the 2007 ordinance No. 77 on the provincial symbol, and the 2007 presidential instruction No. 5 on Papua's accelerated development and regional autonomy, are not in accordance or against the 2001 law," said Yusak, a law lecturer at the Cendrawasih University.

The new House members from Papua include Paskalis Kossay, Yorris Raweyai and Agustina Basik Basik from the Golkar Party, Diaz Gwijangge, Freddy Numberi and Etha Bulo from the Democratic Party (PD), Manuel Kaisiepo from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Jamaluddin Jaffar of the National Mandate Party (PAN), Ali Kastella of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura), and Peggi Patricia Pattipi from the National Awakening Party (PKB).