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Home » » West Papuan People Reject Special Autonomy

West Papuan People Reject Special Autonomy

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on June 25, 2008 | 11:00 PM

West Papuan Business People Reject Special Autonomy

Only days after more than 1,500 students demonstrated outside the Provincial Parliament building in the capital Jayapura, West Papuan business people were back at the Provincial Parliament calling for an end to Special Autonomy, which they say has not worked.

The protesters from a group known as the Papuan Indigenous Business People on 30 April 2007 called for a comprehensive dialogue between West Papuans and the central government in Jakarta supported by an independent and neutral third party.

The large group from the Papuan Indigenous Business People demonstrated outside the Provincial Parliament building in Jayapura, West Papua. The demonstration started on 30 April 2007 and has continued to 2 May 2007. The business people were seeking a meeting with the Governor Baas Suebu. The student demonstrators had been unsuccessfully in their request to meet with Baas Suebu.

An organizer of the protest have said, that Special Autonomy had been a total failure and a disaster for indigenous people.

The Papuan Indigenous Business People is part of the Dewan Adat Papua (Council of Customary West Papuan Chiefs), which in 2005 organized a 10,000 person strong nonviolent demonstration to hand back Special Autonomy.

Special Autonomy legislation was developed by a team of moderate West Papuans as an attempt to arrest calls for self-determination by indigenous people in West Papua. A watered down version of the legislation was approved in 2001 but has failed to placate calls for dialogue on the root causes of the conflict.

In the last six years Special Autonomy has failed to deliver tangible benefits in health and education, which has suffered decades of State neglect.

President of the West Papuan Fellowship of Baptist Churches, Rev. Sofyan Yoman also accuses the Indonesian government of using Special Autonomy funds to support military operations in the highlands.

Other reports state that a student demonstration also occurred yesterday in the streets of Manokwari, the second administrative centre in West Papua, seeking international intervention to revisit the sham ‘Act of Free Choice’ which led to the UN sanctioned incorporation of West Papua into Indonesian in 1969.

ENDS

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0705/S00068.htm
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