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Cablegate: Papuan Civil Society Discusses Special Autonomy

VZCZCXRO6754
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2065/01 2121013
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311013Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5603
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4172
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0950
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 3377
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0616
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1624
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0195
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002065

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, EAP/ANP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAID ID
SUBJECT: PAPUAN CIVIL SOCIETY DISCUSSES SPECIAL AUTONOMY

REF: A. JAKARTA 1925

B. JAKARTA 1339

JAKARTA 00002065 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified. Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: A recent USAID-supported study of Papuan
civil society demonstrates that opinion remains divided on
the Special Autonomy Law. Papuan interlocutors agree that
the GOI has not done an effective job implementing the law
and that Papuans have yet to see the full benefits of Special
Autonomy. For its part, the central government remains
publicly committed to full implementation of the law. END
SUMMARY

3. (SBU) IMPLEMENTATION LAGGING: Although enacted six years
ago, implementation of Papua's Special Autonomy Law has
lagged. The GOI has yet to issue the regulations or create
the institutions necessary to devolve powers from the central
to the provincial government, as provided for in the Special
Autonomy law. We understand that in June President Yudhoyono
issued his Presidential Instruction on the Acceleration of
Development in Papua, designed to advance implementation of
the law. This "New Deal for Papua" was delayed earlier this
year when the two Papuan governments requested changes in the
draft. Also unresolved is the relationship between Special
Autonomy and the legally questionable creation of two
separate provinces: Papua and West Papua (Ref B). This has
led to some discussion of revisions to the law.

4. (SBU) LISTENING TO PAPUAN VIEWS: With support from
USAID's Democratic Reform Support Program, the civil society
umbrella organization Pokja Papua recently examined Papuan
attitudes toward Special Autonomy. From November 2006
through January 2007, Pokja Papua conducted interviews and
focus group discussions with a cross section of Papuan
stakeholders and presented their findings at a July 27
seminar in Jakarta. (Note: Because of GOI sensitivities
concerning Pokja Papua, USAID did not widely publicize its
support of this project.)

5. (SBU) IMPLEMENT, DON'T REVISE: While there was no clear
consensus among Papuan government, religious, NGO and
traditional leaders regarding the Special Autonomy Law and
its application, there was agreement on a number of key
points. Papuans are unsatisfied with the incomplete
implementation of Special Autonomy and divided on any
potential revisions to the law. Many Papuans point to a lack
of political will on the part of Jakarta policy-makers,
rather than problems with the legislation, as the reason
implementation has stalled. Papuan suspicion of Jakarta's
motives is increasing, largely because of what they see as a
lack of transparency in the implementation process and a lack
of communication between the central government, especially
the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Papuan leaders. Persistent
rumors that the central government plans to revise the
Special Autonomy Law only serve to exacerbate these
suspicions. Papuan leaders warn that revision of the law
without an assessment of weaknesses in the current law and
wide-ranging public consultation in Papua would generate
greater tension between Papua and Jakarta. Most of Pokja
Papua's interlocutors stressed that delivering on the
economic promises of Special Autonomy, especially improving
the standard of living in Papua, remains central to securing
widespread support in the province.

6. (SBU) RECENT SEMINAR: Pokja Papua's July 27 seminar
provided a forum for Jakarta-based Papua watchers to comment
on Special Autonomy. Chairman of the Regional Representative
Council's Special Committee on Papua Edwin Kawilarang called
for the law's revision. He emphasized the need to
accommodate the division of Papua in the Special Autonomy
framework and called for the creation of a commission on
Papua responsible to the President to manage the
implementation process. Ferry Mursyidan Baldan, a Golkar
parliamentarian and key legislative player on both Aceh and
Papua autonomy laws, dismissed the call for revisions. He
acknowledged that implementation remained incomplete but
stressed that the law should be implemented as written.

JAKARTA 00002065 002.2 OF 002

7. (SBU) MORE WORK NEEDED BY GOI: As emerged during CODEL
Faleomavaega's recent visit (Ref A), Papuans broadly agree
that the autonomy law needs to be fully implemented. There
is a significant degree of exasperation that the law has not
been fully implemented, which continues to undermine the
GOI's credibility in Papua. For its part, the central
government remains publicly committed to full implementation
of the law.
HUME

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