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Home » » Why Jakarta Needs to Pay More Attention to Papua Read more:,8599,2010926,00.html#ixzz0wymMS4uh

Why Jakarta Needs to Pay More Attention to Papua Read more:,8599,2010926,00.html#ixzz0wymMS4uh

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on August 17, 2010 | 6:19 PM

Rising tensions in Papua have Indonesian authorities worried about possible international intervention in the nation's easternmost province, reports the head of a government-funded study on how to solve the simmering conflict in the restive territory. "The government is afraid that dialogue [between Jakarta and Papua] will invite the intervention of a third party and affect the integrity of the Republic of Indonesia," says Muridan Widjojo, lead researcher of the "Papua Road Map," the English-language edition of which was launched last week. "If the government is afraid of the issue being internationalized then they should solve the problem domestically." SOURCE

Reports of deteriorating conditions in the impoverished province, which ranks last of Indonesia's 33 provinces on the Human Development Index, are leading local human-rights campaigners to speak out on the fate of their resource-rich homeland. The province's special-autonomy status, which was meant to give greater political and financial control to Papuans, has largely been deemed a failure in raising living standards since it was granted in 2001. Papuan activists allege that the military is using agents to weed out critical voices in the press and sending in more battalions to protect vital natural-resource facilities. "The government has decided to use a military approach up until now," alleges Frederika Korain, formerly a representative of the Office for Justice and Peace in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province. Although torture of radical students and separatist sympathizers by security forces was no longer in practice, she told foreign reporters last week that there were "still rights violations, arbitrary arrests and detentions of Papuans voicing their opinions, especially the young."

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