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There Will Be No Jakarta-Papua Dialogue

Bintang Papua, 3 November 2011 [First section only]

Jayapura: Supporters of a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua such as Neles Tebay, the co-ordinator of the Papuan Peace Network and Papuan independence leaders who have been hoping that the central government will take the initiative for a Jakarta-Papua dialogue, will now have to lower their expectations because the central government has stated that there is no need for a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. What is needed is constructive communications, according to Minister-Coordinator for Politics and Law, Lieut.General (ret'd) Hotma Panjaitan, following his meeting with first deputy chairman of the DPRP, Yunus Wonda at his office .

He also said that the President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has stressed that the main problem is to resolve the problems in Papua by having constructive communications between the central and regional governments. 'Jakarta-Papua dialogue could take place if we were outsiders. Outsiders can dialogue but among us, there can only be communications. So we will pursue the path of communications,' he said.

Responding to questions about the UP4B (Unit to Accelerate Development in Papua and West Papua), he said that all parties should welcome this and start working within this framework. He said that meetings between the various stakeholders, the people who have interests in Papua, should take part in constructive communications, in order to get inputs from all sides regarding the aspirations of the Papuan people, including those aspirations that are in line with the central government as well as those aspirations that are not in line with government thinking.

Nevertheless, he said that he is trying to hear more about what can be discussed with Jakarta in order to determine what further steps need to be taken.

'While the minister has only limited time for all this, we will devote more time to communicating with all sections and communities in Papua.' He went on to say that he hopes that constructive communications will find a way out of the problems that stand in the way of securing welfare for the Papuan people. 'There is a need for clarity. Clear thinking will make it easier for us to solve the problem. Sentiments that simply promote the interests of certain groups will stand in the way of clear thinking. So we will try to think about the matter on a common platform, the NKRI platform,'he said.

Regarding the shootings that have recently occurred in a number of places in Papua and whether they can be dealt with in accordance with constructive communications, he said that he would be meeting the chief of police in Papua, Police Inspector-General BL Tobing who is also doing everything he can to resolve the problems in Papua. 'I have asked the chief of police to handle these matters as sensitively as possible. If anyone is arrested, they must be handled in accordance with the laws in force, to ensure that this is objective.'

In addition, he held a meeting with the MRP-Majelis Rakyat Papua. On that occasion, the MRP urged that any security approach taken towards problems in Papua in the wake of the Third Papuan People's Congress should be in accordance with humanitarian principles, also in regard to the problems in Timika between the SPSI trade union and Freeport. These humanitarian principles were needed in order to reduce the number of people in the community who become casualties.


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