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Special Autonomy Issue

Octavianus Mote, Fellow, Genocide Studies Program, Yale University


Special Autonomy in Papua has failed.  This is the conclusion drawn by several parties consisting of Papuan Traditional Council, Association of Central Highland College/university students, Papuan People Council and the Governor of Papua, who carried out an evaluation on the implementation of Bill number 21/2001 in regards to Papua Special Autonomy.  The same conclusion has also come from several expert observers such as members of Papua Forum in Jakarta who have followed the implementation process of the Special Autonomy.

To account for this failure, we need to understand the original motivation as to how this special autonomy came into existence.  After that the draft of this bill as proposed by the Papua provincial government under the leadership of the late Governor Jaap Salossa at the time needs to be compared to the text which has been approved or passed as Bill number 21/2001.  

Through such an explanation, it is hoped that an objective evaluation could be given as to how far or effective this special autonomy bill could function in addressing or resolving various issues that exist between the Papuan people and the Government of Indonesia.  Next the implementation of the Bill needs to be evaluated in order to seek for a way out in regards to the failure referred to above.

Original Motivation

The downfall of the dictatorship of President Soeharto who led the New Order Regime in Indonesia for 32 years is the second independence for Indonesia as a country and nation.  The Indonesian people demand the implementation of various internal reformations to such an extent that the Indonesian people could live in peaceful and secure situations to develop its country.  The first independence was the one from the Dutch Colonial rule, and ironically the second independence was from Indonesian own state ruler, i.e. the new order military regime under the leadership of Soeharto, backed up by the Unites States for 32 years.

The Papuan people use this momentum of freedom and openness to express their desire for an independent West Papua with a full sovereignty in equality just like other nations in the world.  The peak of this expression started with the celebration of Papuan Independence Day carried out on a large scale all over Papua with the flying of the Morning Star Flag attended by thousands of Papuans.  Next the Papuans carried out a Grand Convention/Deliberation of the Papuan People on February 26, 2000 attended by thousands of Papuan representatives, including Papuans who have lived overseas for years.  In the end the Papuans held the Second Papuan Congress attended by several hundred thousands of Papuans from May 29th through June 4th, 2000.  It was in this congress that the Papuan People, not only expressed their desires/aspirations to be independent, but also elected members of their national leadership, as well as determined an action plan to achieve full independence, leaving the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.

Many reasons were expressed at that time as justification for the Papuans’ demand for freedom.  Agus Sumule grouped those reasons into 4 categories:

  1. Factors related to human rights violations, which included extra-judicial executions, disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention of civilians, as well as disrespect of the government and the private sector for the indigenous people’s customary rights to natural resources;
  2. Factors related to Papua’s political history.  Many Papuans believe that they have not been given a fair chance to determine their own future.  They claim that the New York Agreement drawn up in 1962 under the auspices of the United Nations to end the dispute between Indonesia and the Dutch over Netherlands New Guinea -- the former name for Papua -- was done without consulting the Papuan people and without their consent;
  3. Factors related to unfair distribution of wealth and social services.  Papua is one of the wealthiest provinces of Indonesia, due to its natural resources such as minerals (silver, copper and gold), oil and gas, forest products, timber and fish.  Yet, these resources are continually tapped for the benefit of others.  Furthermore, the Papuans’ efforts to claim their rights have repeatedly met/countered with stern military/police actions;
  4. At the micro level is the economic discrepancy that has already caused social jealousy and is manifested in the marginalization of the indigenous people in their positions and role in modern economy.

Facing the increasing demand for a self-determination ballot or an independence referendum, the People’s Consultative Assembly/MPR, the highest law-making body in the country, reached a consensus to give Papua the authority to deal with its own affairs under special autonomy, stipulated in Assembly Decree No. 4/1999.

Hence, the gift of special autonomy is considered as a win-win solution for Indonesia and Papua.  For Indonesia the autonomy is viewed as a way out in holding on to or maintaining Papua as part of Indonesia.   For Papua, on the other hand, the autonomy is expected to provide answers to various problems faced by the Papuans so far.

Proposed solutions provided by the Autonomy

Due to the tension caused by Jakarta political decision to maintain Papua as part of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia and the Papuan people’s decision in the Papuan National Congress to demand for an outright independence, a number of Papuan intellectuals tried to come up with a mid-way solution by drafting an autonomy bill expected to accommodate aspirations of both conflicting parties.  As a result the late Governor Salossa asked a team from the State University of Cenderawasih to do the drafting of that bill under the chairmanship of its Rector (Chancellor) Ir. Frans Wospakrik.  The draft contains various aspirations proposed by representatives from various levels of the Papuan society as well from various domestic and foreign experts and professionals.

In the draft of the regional autonomy bill called “Special Autonomy for the Province of Papua in the form of a Separate Government” the Papua Province Autonomy is defined as a political status acknowledged and granted to the province of Papua to regulate and execute a number of authorities which apply only in Papua.  In this bill (article 6:1) authority in the Province includes authority in all aspects of governance, except in the aspect of foreign policy, external defense, monetary aspect and judicature at the level of the highest court.

Certainly a transfer of authority of this nature has never been applied in the history of the Indonesian government, and therefore it is called special, i.e. exclusively applied in the Province of Papua.

That authority, for example, covers the authority in the aspect of security, the Chief of Papua Province Police (article 47:1-4) operates under the authority of the Papua Province Governor and reports to the governor as the authority responsible for the security of the province.  This implies that whoever becomes the West Papuan Police Commander is not based upon police bureaucratic career path policy, but anybody could become the Police Commander if he/she could guarantee security in Papua professionally.

This is in line with the national decision through which the police department is now separated from the three armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) and is now part of the Domestic Affairs Ministry, reporting directly to the President of Indonesia.

The three armed forces, which in the past have been responsible for the domestic security, are now relegated to become professional armed forces responsible for the national defense of the country against any attack from foreign enemies.  These three forces, which used to dabble in various domestic affairs such as government bureaucracy, politics and the control of business networks should now concentrate in becoming professional soldiers.  This has further implications in that what used to the arbitrary placing of military by the Indonesian government and military (article 6:4), going forward, can only be done after having consulted with and received the consideration and the “go ahead” acknowledgement from the Papua Parliament and the Papua Provincial Government.

In the Human Rights aspect, the draft of this bill (article 41) emphasizes the importance of Government, Provincial Government, and the inhabitants of the province to uphold, improve, protect and respect the human rights all the people in the province.  The upholding of the Indonesian human rights is not only in line with and protected by the 1945 Indonesian Constitution, but is also in line with and protected/promoted by the UN Universal Declaration of the Human Rights (UDHR), the Vienna 1993 Declaration and other international conventions on Human Rights.  Hence, it is important to set up an independent Papua Province Commission of Human Rights with the authority to investigate, examine and present human rights violation to a Provincial Human Rights Court of Justice.  Those who have been victims of Human Rights violations since 1963 need/should to be compensated.  With the establishment of a HR Commission, it is hoped that various human rights violators can be exposed and brought to justice (especially those who are members of the armed forces and government officials), i.e. those who have committed the crimes against humanity but have not been brought to justice due to the impunity privileges (especially with the common excuse of protecting the state) they have enjoyed so far.   Hopefully through this process, the emotional and conscience wounds suffered by these HR violation victims all this time could be given an opportunity to be treated and healed. Beyond this, the violation against HR in the future  can be avoided and stopped, due to the fact that the rule of law in Papua is finally and definitely upheld, and as a result the violators are brought to justice going forward.

The special autonomy bill’s draft makes efforts to protect various interests of the Papuan people whose population is not more than 2 million people and are classified as a minority group in Indonesia whose population has reached a little over 220 million people.  In the area of governance for example the bill’s draft requires that the provincial leadership, i.e. the positions of the governor and the deputy governor, must be both filled by indigenous Papuans.  In the legislative aspect, the Papuan parliament utilizes a bicameral system, a two-chamber legislative system, which consists of (1) the Papuan People Council (MRP) which represents Papuan ethnic community consisting of traditional, religious and women representatives and (2) Council of Papuan People Representatives (Papuan Parliament) who are elected through the various political parties in Indonesia.

In the economic aspect the development rests on the people’s economy which means that the Papuan people become masters in determining economic opportunities which are developed in their own regions.  In maintaining the Papuan cultural identity, the bill’s draft does not only propose the need for property rights, but it also formalizes/legalizes various regional symbols (article 2-3-4), which covers the name of the region, the flag, coat of arms, national/cultural anthem and the Territory of Papua.  In the end the draft of the bill (article 23:2) proposes the need for the establishment of Local Political parties whose rights and responsibilities are the same as those of the national political parties.

In the end, the draft of the bill very carefully proposes the rectifying of the history of the integration of Papua to Indonesia as a way out of, or resolution to, the conflict which has taken place all these years since early sixties.  Article 43 of the bill formulates that in resolving the differences of interpretation and opinions in regards to the history of integration of Papua to the Republic of Indonesia a Commission of the Rectifying of the history of Papua integration to Indonesia is/will be formed.  Unlike the Human Rights Commission, the regulating and the implementation of the tasks in the case of the Papua Rectification History Commission are merely worded in general terms stating that they will be regulated through a provincial regulation.

Jaap Salossa, the late Papua Governor, lobbied the draft of the bill further among and with the decision makers of the country at the executive as well as the legislative bodies before it was discussed and debated by the Indonesian Parliament (People’s Representative Council) and approved by the President of the Republic of Indonesia.

As a result of the discussion/debate, almost all of the important proposals providing uniqueness and specialty/specificity to Papua were discarded/eliminated, or if not, watered down to ineffectiveness.   This process of elimination started out with the elimination/change of the proposed heading, i.e. “Special Autonomy in the Form of a Separate Government” was changed and worded: “Special Autonomy of Papua Province.”

Following are some major areas which were either eliminated or watered down into meaninglessness/ineffectiveness:

  • Security: The proposed change in this aspect is not heeded at all, but made ineffective by keeping the status quo, i.e. the military is granted free reign in Papua just like it has been before for years [and its presence and activities are even more intensified];
  • Police affairs: The authority and decision making power of the Governor in regard is not granted.  The governor is allowed only to provide his input and consideration in relation to the proposal made by the Chief of Police Force of the Republic of Indonesia (RI);
  • In regards to the first and the second bullet points, the qualifying clause on the need to obtain ideas and or input from the Papua governor and parliament in relation to the placement of the military/armed forces anywhere in Papua is/was completely eliminated/deleted.  It is only referred to in general terms in article 4:8 that the governor coordinates with the government as to the defense policy spatial planning in the province of Papua;
  •  Human Rights Commission: The word “independent” in the clause on “The formation of an Independent HR Commission” was eliminated and changed to read simply as “to form a representing office of the National Human Rights Commission” without any further qualifications as to what its tasks and responsibilities are.  The decision making authority of the HR Court of Justice was denied/rejected.  What was allowed was the formation/establishment of a HR Court of Justice [in other words, the form or structure was allowed, but the concept/principle or the substance was totally denied/rejected].  The entirety of the proposals as to the need for a thorough investigation of various or numerous cases of HR violations in the past up to now since the sixties (1963), including the granting/provision of compensation for a total/comprehensive reconciliation (acts of asking/giving and receiving forgiveness) and healing from past, ongoing and current emotional, mental and spiritual wounds (such as bitterness, resentment and un-forgiveness) was completely rejected.  In other words, the proposed initiatives and efforts to cleanse the security forces from numerous HR violations openly and freely in a transparent manner do not work at all.  Hence, impunity “privileges” in and among the members of the armed forces and their commanders still exist in Papua;
  • Economic Affairs:  Article 34 gives room to giving back the majority portion of the income enjoyed so far by the central government to the provincial government and the people of Papua.  Moreover, the idea of sustainable economic development, which is environmentally oriented and friendly (article 38) based on the majority of the people getting the benefits, is approved.  Article 42 promotes the people/community members’ participation in every initiative of capital investment in their respective regions.  In terms of provision of employment, it is stated again that the indigenous people of Papua will be given priority [affirmative action], including the area of entrepreneurship or business development;
  • The proposal (article 55:3 in the draft bill) to the central government to stop the national transmigration program in Papua was rejected, and revised to read: “the program is still implemented with the governor’s approval” (article 59:3);
  • Political Affairs: The proposal of setting up a bicameral system, consisting of Papuan People Consultative Council (MRP: Majelis Rakyat Papua) and Papuan People Representative Council or Parliament (DPRP:Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua) was rejected as well.  MRP is allowed to function merely as a cultural representative, i.e. having no decision-making power and authority whatsoever, as originally proposed/planned by the Papuan intellectuals [this is an outright insult to Papuan God-given integrity, wisdom and knowledge; demonstrating that Papuans are counted as second-class citizens, which is outrageous to the majority of Papuans, especially to the educated and well-informed Papuans].  MRP’s newly given role by the Indonesia central government is to merely provide advice/input to the government and DPRP (Papuan Parliament).  The proposal for the formation of local [Papuan] political parties is granted, however, with the qualification that it will adjusted or adapted to the prevailing regulations/laws.
  • As to the need, as the Papuans see it, of the formation of a Commission of the Rectifying of the History of Integration of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia, to seek justice, peace and reconciliation with Indonesia, this proposed “doing the right and noble thing” initiative is completely rejected.  In its place, as spelled out in article 46, a Commission of Truth and Reconciliation (CTR) is proposed to be formed to replace the Papuan proposed commission of Papuan Integration History Rectification Commission.  [Note: The former commission that was promised to be formed (see second paragraph from the bottom of page 4 above) was later on, as stated here, totally rejected by Jakarta Government.  This implies that any written words/promises of the central government cannot be trusted.  It implies also that the Central Government of Indonesia is so seriously scared of facing the truth, as it will result in Indonesia loosing Papua, if and when the truth is admitted or exposed to the international community, especially and hopefully to the US].  The role of the latter, CTR, is to clarify the history of Papua for the sake of the consolidation of unity and oneness of nation within the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia and to formulate and determine steps towards reconciliation. 
In conclusion, the struggle of the late Governor Salossa, in his good will to propose a mediating half-way compromising win-win, or rather “win-some and loose some” solution to resolve numerous issues and problems in Papua, as described above, which justifies ever-increasing demands of the Papuans for a total outright independence from Indonesia, has come to a complete deadlock/standstill or failure.  In the Papuan government’s viewpoint, and hopefully in the viewpoint of the Central Government of Indonesia (GOI) as well, the Papua issue will always be viewed as a “paralysis” in the Papuan province development process.  It can not and will not be resolved by throwing a lot of money to the Papuans, by bribing the Papuans, by improving the socio-economic conditions of the Papuans without genuinely treating them as equals within the Republic of Indonesia.  [In other words, the development process won’t ever be wholesome and equitable for all Papuans unless this process of reconciliation is faced in a mature and grown-up fashion by both governments, the Papuan and GOI’s, especially more so on the part of GOI].

One of the most important problems ever since Papua became part of Indonesia, is the constant stereotypical accusation on the part of most Indonesian government officials, members of police and armed forces aimed against Papuans is that the Papuans are always branded as subversive separatists every time any of them bring up the injustice and the unfairness of the transition of Papua from the Dutch Colonial rule to the Indonesian colonial rule as the root of the problem of constant conflict with GOI.   This issue of accusation, which in most cases are meted out without any credible evidence has to be brought into light and put an end to right away.  It is a very counter productive behavior or custom which will always drive the Papuans even more away towards an increase in their demands to be independent from Indonesia.  It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, if the Indonesian rulers are not willing to stop this negative practice of accusation, intimidation and terrorism right away.

The same practice of stereotyping, accusation, intimidation, and terrorizing are also exercised on Papuan human rights activists.  No wonder, the late governor Salossa was branded a separatist in an open statement made by the Vice Chairman of the Indonesian People’s Representative Council (Parliament) who is a member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP).

Bill of Special Autonomy for Papua: its content and reality in the field

The implementation of the Autonomy Bill for Papua did not go smoothly on the ground, due to the fact that GOI from the beginning was not sincere and somewhat reluctant in granting it.  Despite this fact the bill was somehow issued by President Megawati in the form of Bill number 21/2001.

During the period of President Megawati Sukarnoputri’s government the reluctance of GOI to implement Special Autonomy Bill truthfully was very obvious.  Proof of this reluctance can be seen in the following: 1) the issuance of presidential instruction number 1/2003 in regards to the formation of the province of West Irian Jaya which is an outright opposition to article 76 of Bill number 21/2001 (see the decision of Constitutional Court); 2) the fact that the regulation on the formation of the Papuan People Council (MRP) was not issued till much later; 3) No approval was asked from the Governor in regards to the appointment and placement of the Chief of Police; 4) the release of land in Mimika for transmigration placement purposes; 5) military operations to destroy or annihilate rebels in the Central Highlands, which however results in forcing most civilians or community members to hide in forests, due to fear and has caused many of them to die; 6) the allocation of Special Autonomy fund which was never released on time so that in order to obtain them on time the government has to pay the GOI government official who is in charge of the funds; 7) The practice of collusion, corruption and nepotism in Papua, which should have been supervised by GOI, is not strictly supervised at all.

As a result of all these, the people who benefit from the special autonomy are a group of Papuan elites who hold various positions in various regencies which are expanded without following any procedure as regulated in the special autonomy bill through the involvement of MRP.

When Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) became the president of Indonesia, a lot of people, especially the people of Papua began to have a high hope and expectation that there would be a drastic change as to the implementation process of Papua special autonomy compared to the time when Megawati was the president.  In the beginning there was a seriousness demonstrated by the issuance of the government regulation PP 54/2004 regarding the formation of the Papuan People Consultative Council (MRP) brought by SBY himself to the Papuan people as Christmas present during the Christmas celebration of 2004.  Hence, besides the immediate formation of MRP there was a high expectation among the Papuans that SBY will defuse the time bomb left by Megawati’s decree to split Papua into three provinces: Papua, West Irian Jaya, and Central Irian Jaya.

The formation of Central Irian Jaya was put on the back burner by SBY when he was Megawati’s Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security, as it caused physical conflicts and even several deaths among the Papuans who were for and against its formation.

Despite the fact that the Indonesian Constitutional Court has decreed that the formation of the province of West Irian Jaya based on Bill no 45/1999 is illegal, according to the Indonesian 1945 Constitution, the Minister of Interior Affairs disregarded that decree and, in deviance to the decree, nominated the candidate for the governor of West Irian Jaya who later on was inaugurated by President SBY.  Both the minister and the president instead of confessing their obvious wrong doing in regards to not upholding the law and asking forgiveness from the Papuans, SBY himself after the fact, to the consternation of most Papuans, asked the Papuans to accept the reality.  This is how insensitive and how deviant both are to their own country’s law, even their own country’s constitution.  What sort of message of model leaders of integrity, dignity, respect and authority do they think they have demonstrated to their own people, especially to the Papuans?  As a result and because of this, no wonder the Papuans are even more eager and determined than ever before to separate themselves from Indonesia and become a free and independent country.  This whole thing is crazy to any leader with integrity and common sense.

On February 5th, 2005, one day after the third convention of the Papuan Traditional Council (PTC) in Manokwari (presently the capital of West Papua), February 2-4, 2005, in the presence of foreign Christian delegates from PNG and other Christian delegates from other parts of Indonesia to commemorate and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the Gospel to Papua and West Papua (Western half of the island of New Guinea), PTC issued a written statement addressed and sent to the Indonesian President, parliament and other Indonesian high government officials that they (PTC on behalf of all the Papuans) will reject the autonomy bill and return it to GOI if the latter is not consistent and serious about its implementation.  The deadline PTC gave GOI was August 15th, 2005.  Later on PTC did return the autonomy bill on August 15th in a peaceful demonstration attended by thousands of Papuans all over Papua (Papua & West Papua).

In 2007 a similar evaluation was conducted on the effectiveness of the implementation of the special autonomy bill by the Papuan youth and students sponsored by the Association of College and University Students of the Papuan Central Highlands, MRP and Cenderawasih University, which was assigned by the Papua province Governor.  The result of the evaluation was basically the same as the one carried out by PTC in 2005.  Mr.John Djopari, a Papuan who is a high government official and former Indonesian ambassador to PNG and currently serves as the chairman of the Papua Special Autonomy Evaluation Team, acknowledged the implementation of the bill as a failure as well.  Mr. Djopari admitted that the GOI used up all the special autonomy funds to expand new regencies and their associated expenditures.  These expansions, according to Mr. Djopari are not in line with the aspirations of the Papuan community members; they only serve the interests of certain elites.

What had happened during Megawati’s rule as the president of Indonesia certainly was repeated during SBY’s  current period of administration.  As example, the military built-up still continues as they please without any restraint or control from anybody in the civil government, let alone, of course, from the leadership of the armed forces.   So do the operations of the military intelligence, putting tremendous and inhumane pressure on the common Papuan people and on the Papuan community and political leaders.  As a result there is no peace in Papua.  The number of HR violations in Papua, on the other hand, is on the increase.  As illustration, Mr. Albert Rumbekwan, who is the current head of the Branch/Representing Office of the National Human Rights Commission in Jayapura (Papua Province Capital) cannot carry out his job peacefully in a secure fashion due to the constant intimidation and terrorizing activities of the armed forces intelligence after his visit/meeting with the special UN envoy, Ms Hina Jilani, when she came to Papua earlier this year.  There are 21 provincial and special autonomy laws and regulations that have not been approved and legalized by the Papuan Parliament, only because so far the GOI has not issued regulations to make the autonomy bill operational.  Institutions that have been approved, such as the Papuan People Consultative Council (MRP), are not heeded at all, due to its watered-down authority to a merely cultural symbol; its chairman Mr. Agus Alua has been branded as a separatist and Mr. John Ibo, the current chairman of the Papuan People Representative Council (DPRP), has been branded with the same accusation as well, as both of them have been vocal about various injustices and legal violations committed by the members of the Indonesian Armed forces and the GOI officials.   All these instances prove that the GOI is reluctant in implementing the special autonomy bill in Papua (Papua & West Papua).

Facing this situation SBY as president issued the decree on the Acceleration of Development of Papua, announcing the increase of the funding assigning a number of ministers to be involved directly in the development of Papua.  This decree shows as if the clogging or the slowing down of the development of Papua is mainly caused by the incompetence of the provincial government officials and the lack of development funds. In reality, however, the main problem is that Jakarta-based GOI is reluctant to let go its decision making power and authority to the provincial government authorities, as well as its reluctance to establish or issue various government implementing regulations so that the special autonomy could be implemented in line with the autonomy bill number 21/2001.  And the bottom-line issue is for GOI to have meaningful and authoritative control over the unruly armed forces which is still doing whatever it well pleases in Papua and West Papua.  In other words, the rule of law must be really enforced in a firm, clear and authoritative manner, lest SBY’s decree will be viewed as a political manipulation and maneuvering to cover the GOI’s weakness and incompetence and to show the international community as if Indonesia is doing its best to seek solution to the Papua conflict, which, in reality, it is not.  It is mainly a saving face tool.

Proposed Solution 

According to the Papuans, especially the Papuan Traditional Council, to come up with a genuine solution to this perpetual conflict, there must be a dialogue between GOI and the Papuan People represented by PTC, MRP & DPRP facilitated by a neutral third party, as it is obvious that Indonesia or GOI is not capable and not willing to resolve the conflict.  MRP, the Papuan People Council/Assembly, proposes two solutions: 1) the international community needs to put pressure on Jakarta (GOI) to genuinely and seriously be willing to implement the special autonomy bill, especially the Papuan original version (the non-watered down version); 2) there needs to be a dialogue held between GOI and the Papuans (represented by PTC, MRP & DPRP) facilitated by an international neutral third party to resolve the conflict between Papua and Jakarta (GOI).

So far, however, Governor Suebu, has not openly declared his support of the proposed international dialogue.  He has tried to implement what is still possible as spelled out in the autonomy bill, even though he is not always supported by GOI.  He attempts to establish a clean government in Papua by (1) empowering the law enforcers by means of the formation of an integrated team consisting of the police force, the court of justice, and the public prosecutors (the judges) to prosecute those who have misused public funds; (2) replacing work procedures and mechanisms that promotes corruption; and (3) to cut off or stop the use of funds (funding) which have been used so far as tactical funds and security funds  for the operations of the security forces. 

Beyond this, to improve the welfare and the well being of the Papuan people, he has provided Rp 100 million (a hundred million rupiahs) to each village in the whole province of Papua.

In facing Jakarta (GOI) Governor Suebu has made an public covenant agreement with all the Regency Heads and the chairmen of the People Representative Councils of both provinces of Papua and West Papua, They all made this agreement when they attended the presentation of the evaluation of the Special Autonomy by a team of scholars of Cenderawasih University earlier this year.  The covenant agreement stated that the Papuan People Representative Councils of both Papua and West Papua approve and legalize all the provincial regulations and special autonomy regulations in regards to the Special Autonomy Bill, even though Jakarta (GOI) has not given its stamp of approval.  During this occasion, one of the religious leaders of Papua, Reverend Herman Saud, in his support of the covenant agreement, made the following additional statement: “If Jakarta blames Papua let us all together take the blame and be responsible for our actions, and Indonesia must therefore prepare a huge prison to put us, all the Papuans, in that prison for signing this covenant agreement without their permission.

see also West Papua Report


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