Former political prisoner Filep Karma gave a speech in the signing of Papuan People’s Petition held in front of the Papuan Customary Council Office in Jayapura City on Wednesday (22/7/2020). – Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Filep Karma: No more Special Autonomy, we want self-determination for Papua


Former political prisoner Filep Karma gave a speech in the signing of Papuan People’s Petition held in front of the Papuan Customary Council Office in Jayapura City on Wednesday (22/7/2020). – Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – Former Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma said the Papuan people do not want the extension of the Special Autonomy policy. Independence of Papua is what people want now.

“We are already independent, free. If the Papuan people said the Special Autonomy had failed, it means they want freedom,” said Karma in his speech during the signing of a petition by Papuan civil society movement in Papuan Customary Council Office in Jayapura City on Wednesday (22/7/2020).

The distribution of the Special Autonomy Fund in Papua was equal with two per cent of the Regional Allocated Budget as stipulated in Article 34 (3) of Special Autonomy Law 2001. The termination of the policy in 2021 has raised a discourse to evaluate the implementation of the policy and to revise the regulation. launched the statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian who expected the revision on the Special Autonomy for Papua could be immediately discussed and authorised within this year. Karnavian told the statement in the hearing with the Commission II of the House of Representatives in Jakarta on 22 January 2020. By contrast, many stakeholders in Papua declined the proposal by the central government to extend the implementation of the policy.


Regarding the central government’s proposal, Filep Karma claimed that the Special Autonomy policy was to respond to the people’s demand for the independence of Papua. The Government of Indonesia offered this policy as a solution to prevent the Papuan independence. However, after 19 years of the implementation of the Special Autonomy Law, it failed to fulfil the Papuan people’s expectation.

“Special Autonomy has no sequence. It happened once, then finished. So, now [we] talk about freedom, not the Special Autonomy. Special Autonomy was the best offer by the state (Indonesia), and we believe it already failed. It means there would be no other chapters. The only thing left is people’s desire for independence. Give back the rights of self-determination to the people,” said Karma.

Karma said Indonesia could get their independence despite their citizens being illiterate at that time. But they can. Today, many Papuan people have obtained the titles of doctors and professors. So, it is time for Papuans to govern and lead themselves.

“This colonial said we were stupid, not capable, so on and so forth. But it’s their thought. We have learned enough; we have many intellectuals among Papuans,” he said.

Therefore, he asked Papuans to not be fooled by the offer they brought through the Special Autonomy that is useless for Papuans. ‘This nation will stand and lead themselves as told by Izaak Samuel Kijne’,” said Karma

In the meantime, Victor Yeimo, the spokesperson of Papuan People Petition movement, said the movement aims to decline the extension of the implementation of the Special Autonomy policy and demand self-determination for Papua. “This petition was purely raised from the people’s aspiration. It wasn’t exploitation by a few people who have a bargain with Jakarta (the central government),” he said.

Yeimo said the Papuan People’s Petition is a consolidation tool of Papuan people in declining the Special Autonomy policy. “It unites us in a consolidation that the conflict between Papua and Indonesia could not be solved during the Special Autonomy policy phase I, and it would not be solved in phase II either. The democratic solution for this, gives the rights for people to determine their lives,” said Yeimo.

The petition has circulated among 29 civil organisations in Papua. They are Komite Nasional Papua Barat, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua, Gerakan Mahasiswa Pemuda Rakyat Papua, Gerakan Rakyat Demokratik Papua, Solidaritas Nasional Mahasiswa dan Pemuda Papua Barat, Forum Independen Mahasiswa West Papua, West Papua National Authority, Front Nasional Mahasiswa Pemuda Papua, Solidaritas Perempuan Melanesia Papua Barat, Masyarakat Adat Independen, Asosiasi Pedagang Asli Papua, Komunitas Peduli Lingkungan, Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara Sorong, BABEOSER BIKAR, Green Papua, Dewan Adat Papua, Pelajar Mahasiswa dan Pemuda Yahukimo di Jayapura, Asosiasi Mahasiswa Pegunungan Tengah Papua se-Indonesia, Ikatan Mahasiswa Kaimana di Jayapura, Asosiasi Mahasiswa Pemuda dan Pelajar Papua Barat, Komunitas Mahasiswa Independen Kabupaten Intan Jaya, West Papua Interest Association/West Papua Indigenous People, Solidaritas Anak Yalimo, Forum Komunikasi Pemuda Pelajar Mahasiswa Se- Kawasan Teluk Ampimoi, Himpunan Pelajar Mahasiswa Kwiyawagi Bersatu se-Indonesia di Jayapura, Himpunan Mahasiswa Kabupaten Yalimo se-Indonesia, Komunitas Mahasiswa dan Pelajar Aplim-Apom Kabupaten Pegunungan Bintang Se Jawa, Bali, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, dan Sumatera, Solidaritas Rakyat Untuk West Papua, Front Rakyat Indonesia untuk West Papua, and Front Rakyat Maubere Untuk West Papua. (*)


Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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