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Papuan leader wants dialalogue

Papuan leader wants dialalogue

Bintang Papua, 11 November 2009

Responding to a recent letter from two US Congressmen, Eni Faleomavaega and Donald Payne, to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono calling on the President to initiate a dialogue between Papuan leaders and the Indonesian government with international mediation, a member of the Papuan Regional Assembly, DPRP was rather cautious.

Yanca Kayame SH, the former chairman of Commission A, said the proposal needs careful study to understand what the essence of the dialogue would be. If the dialogue were to be held outside the framework of special autonomy (OTSUS) and the Unitary State of Indonesia (NKRI), this was clearly unacceptable. This would mean accepting foreign intervention, in this case, members of the US Congress. 'There was a need for dialogue about OTSUS. Although this had been in force for eight years, implementation was far from satisfactory. A dialogue about OTSUS could be held,' he said.

A response to the proposal could be made, as long as the matters for discussion were clear, namely that it should not be outside the framework of NKRI. Discussions were needed about the instruments provided for in OTSUS that had not been set up. This needs to be dealt with before any further dialogue can be considered. he said. 'This was a lot to do with intervention from the central government.'

The Congressmen's letter, dated 7 November 2009 has been circulated via the internet, on www.etan.org..

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He praised the Indonesian government for a number of actions taken in the past few years. such as its signing of the Convention on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and it having committed itself to giving legal protection for all its indigenous peoples, including those in Papua. The Congressmen's letter mentioned the introduction of special autonomy as a special endeavour for Papua.

'Internationally mediated dialogue could for instance help to improve the availability of electricity and clean water, improve the medical facilities as well as improving education to a level available in other parts of Indonesia,' he said.

Unfortunately however, an official of the Department for Foreign Affairs was unable to confirm to Bintang Papua that he knew anything precise about the congressmen's letter.

[Comment: This member of the Papuan Legislative Council rejects international involvement yet fails to acknowledge that the dialogue with Aceh took place through the intermediary of the former president of Finland.]


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