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Home » » Letter: Why is Papua still a conflict area?

Letter: Why is Papua still a conflict area?

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on August 18, 2011 | 7:39 AM

I refer to an article titled “Academics, rights groups call for end to military approach in Papua,” (The Jakarta Post, Aug. 13).

It is now 48 years since Indonesia took over the administration of West Papua from the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority in 1963 and the people of West Papua are still struggling for justice and their right to self-determination. The question Jakarta should be asking is why?

Although Indonesia has made great progress towards democracy in recent years, unfortunately this has not translated to an improvement in the human rights situation in West Papua. West Papua is rich in natural resources, yet the Papuan people have one of the poorest health standards in the archipelago.

In May the military began a “socializing program” in Puncak Jaya with the idea of renovating homes, churches and markets, while in July the people of the region suffered another military operation with reports of up to 600 members of the security forces involved in sweeps through the region resulting in civilian and military casualties. This is all reminiscent of the US program in Vietnam to try and win the “hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese people. More>>Letter: Why is Papua still a conflict area? | The Jakarta Post
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