Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pay serious attention to Papua, govt told

State institution heads called on the government to direct great attention to Papua and Aceh to ensure their special autonomy status benefited local people in efforts to muffle potential conflicts.

They warned special autonomy status awarded to Papua and Aceh should be in context of the unitary Republic of Indonesia to ward off demands for a referendum as had occurred in West Papua.

The call was made in a three-hour consultation meeting between heads of state institutions and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the State Palace on Thursday.

Attending the meeting among others were Peoples Assembly Consultative (MPR) Speaker Taufik Kiemas, House of Representatives Speaker Marzuki Alie, Regional Representatives Council (DPD) Chairman Irman Gusman and Constitutional Court Chief Mahfud M.D.

“We discussed the latest situation in Papua and Aceh, including their preparation on regional elections. We ask the government to pay special attention to the two,” Irman told reporters after the meeting.

Irman said that the meeting, however, did not discuss the recent International Lawyers for West Papua conference, held in London.

“For us, the NKRI is already final. What we want is how to better manage [both Papua and Aceh] mainly ahead of the regional election, which is prone to cause conflict.”
The so-called International Lawyers for West Papua held a conference in London to attract international communities to support the independence of West Papua.

The group of West Papua people held separate rallies in Jakarta and West Papua asking for a referendum.

The central government, however, played down such threats, saying it was an unpopular move as world nations supported the unitary Republic of Indonesia.

“I don’t want this case exaggerated. We [the Indonesian Army] are always monitoring Papua's condition,” said Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro on Wednesday.
Irman said that the councilors of the DPD said conflicts in Papua arose due to a lack of comprehensive measures to implement programs on special autonomy status.

“It is not merely about money. We see that implementation of programs for [pro-local people] are still lacking. The building capacity of local people also is ineffective to enable them to manage the money [from the central government],” he said.

Yudhoyono, in a press conference after the meeting, said he would consider input from heads of state institutions for insertion in his state address to be delivered on August 16 ahead of the Independence Day anniversary.

Yudhoyono did not touch on the issue of Papua or Aceh.

“What we discuss [with head of state institutions] is important. My speech will in fact relate to actual and strategic issues in our country now,” he said.

Yudhoyono said the government and head of state institutions agreed to prioritize enforcing the law including combating corruption, growing the economy and advancing democracy.

Source; http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/08/04/pay-serious-attention-papua-govt-told.html