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It's time for Jakart-Papua dialogue

It's time for Jakart-Papua dialogue, says MRP deputy chair

Bintang Papua, 3 January, 2012 [Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Jayapura: 'The new year, 2012 must be a year in which dialogue between Papua and Jakarta takes place,' said Hofni Simbiak, deputy chair of the MRP, during a discussion about development, the human rights situation and civil society in Papua.

'As a response to the current political and ECOSOC situation in Papua, all sections of the people in Papua agree that 2012 should be the year in which dialogue between Jakarta and Papua should take place. This is an emergency and there should be a response from the central and regional governments,' said Septer Manufandu. He said that if the government fails to respond to people's calls for dialogue, this will damage the reputation of the government in the eyes of the people.

He went on to say that 2012s a year in which many problems must be solved through dialogue and it is up to the government quickly take the initiative, as a way of improving Indonesia's reputation worldwide. 'Dialogue is the only way to solve the problems in Papua and to put an end to violence.' He also said that the government should make an evaluation of the implementation of the development programme since the adoption of the special autonomy law (in 2001). This should include evaluating developments in education and health and to see whether this has benefited the people or Papua or not. These are matters requiring the serious attention of the government, he went on to say.

According to Hofni Simbiak, all the activities in 2011 were orientated towards projects for which there was no financial backing because of the misuse of the funds and corruption which is widespread in the education and health sectors.

Although the government had taken action regarding the implementation of UP4B (Unit to Accelerate Development in Papua and West Papua), the MRP des not agree with this programme. As far as they can see, a lot of money has been spent but this has not had any significant impact which has resulted in the people losing confidence in the government. As long as the Papuan people are not themselves the object of all the development, this will continue to be a problem from year to year and could be a time bomb. This also applies to the UP4B, which could create big problems in 2012.

According to Septer Manufandu, the failures in human rights problems as well as political problems and ECOSOC had intensified in 2011 so much so that the government could be charged with failure on these issues as well as its failure to deal with the issues of education and health.


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