House slams SBY over Papua violence, demand dialogue

Legislators threw staunch criticism at the government on Thursday (27/10), accusing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of turning a blind eye to escalating violence involving the populations of Papua and West Papua.

Effendy Choirie and Lily Chadidjah Wahid, both members of House of Representatives Commission I on information, defense and foreign affairs, warned the government that the mounting tension could lead to the two provinces’ separation from Indonesia.

The legislators also urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to go to Papua directly to hold a dialogue with Papuans to resolve the issue peacefully, rather than deploying security forces in efforts to crush separatist sentiment.

“The escalating tension is not only a security disturbance but and mainly a serious human rights violation with the killing of Mulia Police chief Dominggus Awes, a Papuan police officer fighting for a humane approach for the Papuan people,” Lily said.

She added that the government should not blame the Free Papua Movement (OPM) for the shooting but rather the security personnel in Papua, who have have received US$14 million from miner PT Freeport McMoran Indonesia to safeguard its assets in Timika.

Effendy suggested the President assign former vice president Jusuf Kalla, known for his track record in mediating conflicts in Poso and Aceh, to help mediate the issue in an effort to win back the Papuan people’s confidence in the government of the Republic of Indonesia.

Irene Mupui and Paskalis Kosai, two Golkar Party legislators from Papua, said Jakarta and the government in Papua should be held responsible for the mounting problems and for its failure to improve the Papuan people’s social welfare under its “special autonomy” or fix the widening social gap in the two provinces.

All legislators present at the session agreed that the government should end its military-operation approach, and that the President should hold a long-awaited dialogue to resolve Papua issues.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Filed under Papua, Separatism

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