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Home » , , , , » Jakarta seeks to streamline ties with Papua

Jakarta seeks to streamline ties with Papua

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on July 18, 2011 | 8:11 PM

The relationship between Jakarta and the two provinces of Papua and West Papua, located at the Western tip of Indonesia is complex.
Issues of political identity, human rights, marginalization and discrimination, at times appear to define the relationship. Given the emotive nature of these issues, and the often-differing interpretations of recent history by the parties, it is a matter that is extremely difficult to reconcile.
However, there are some actors that are seeking to find a solution to this through a political route. The Jakarta Papua Dialogue, a process of multi-level talks and discussions between the central government and the people of Papua is the most recent example. Two key drivers that have played an essential role in promoting and constructing a credible model for identifying and addressing Papuan grievances are LIPI, a government think tank and Neles Tebay, a Papuan academic and cleric. Their models are explored in two books: the Papua Road Map (LIPI) and Dialogue Jakarta - Papua (Neles Tebay).

Both models believe it is necessary to not presuppose what the problems are.

In Papua a series of public consultations have been held in an attempt to create a unified discourse for a politically and socially fragmented society. The initial aims of these public consultations are threefold: to legitimize the process of dialogue, to define the content of a future dialogue and to identify potential Papuan representatives.

The Papua Peace Conference, held from the 5-7 of July in Jayapura, the capital of the province of Papua, resulted in the formulation of six indicators that will be used in the process of dialogue. These indicators are: Politics, Law and Human Rights, Economy and Environment, society and culture, security and the success of dialogue.

Even at this early stage there are still many obstacles for both sides to overcome.

In the end what may ultimately define the success or failure of the initiative is the legacy President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wishes to leave behind. During his first term in office with Joseph Kalla as his Vice President, he successfully presided over the Helsinki peace accords that brought a resolution to the Aceh conflict. Now in his second term, he has the opportunity to endorse a dialogue that could have similar benefits for the two provinces on the island of Papua.
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