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Home » » Papuan Struggle Enters New Phase

Papuan Struggle Enters New Phase

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on July 28, 2010 | 2:49 AM

A West Papuan group singing at the new Lord Mayor's Picnic in Oxford's Botanic Garden.
The Papuan movement is acting with a new strategic maturity in its quest for autonomy, Jason MacLeod writes for
By Jason MacLeod for

Protest in Papua is nothing new. Since Suharto was overthrown more than twelve years ago, every week there are demonstrations in Jayapura and in other cities of Indonesia’s restive Pacific periphery. There is no freedom of expression in West Papua. Students go onto the street and the police either or arrest or beat them. Often they do both, filling the jails with political prisoners whose only crime is nonviolent protest. But this time things seem different. Students are not the only ones demonstrating. They are joined by church pastors and NGO workers normally reluctant to get involved in mass action. Papuans talk about a new feeling in the movement. Even the various competing civil resistance groups – the Papuan Presidium Council (PDP), West Papua National Authority (WPNA), and the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) – are working together towards the same goal: a rejection of Special Autonomy legislation, commonly known as Otsus, a package of finance, laws and policy introduced in 2001 to quell Papuan demands for independence from Indonesia.
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