Lukas Enembe Stadium
Officers crossing the area of the Lukas Enembe Stadium used for the upcoming National Games. Antara Foto/Gusti Tanati.

Land dispute in the construction of four National Games venues


Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Mathius D Fakhiri said that there were at least four venues that were still under 50 percent in progress ahead of the 20th National Games (Papua PON) in October. Fakhiri said this was related to the problem of payment of customary rights.


In East Sentani District, Jayapura Regency, the residents of Harapan Village blocked the construction site of the Papua PON’s aquatic venue.


“It was blocked by a large family of the Ohee tribe who disputes over an eight-hectare land. Construction activities and operations for shifting venue equipment have been stopped there,” Fakhiri said on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.



Read also: Indonesian National Games to go on in West Papua, despite ongoing conflicts


He said that the police were making a soft approach so that the venue construction could continue, especially given a short time left before the national games start taking place.


According to Fakhiri, the problem is being handled by the Papua Provincial Government’s Legal Bureau and the Papua Police’s General Criminal Investigation Directorate. The police, he said, would prioritize a cultural approach in solving this problem.


“I remind all the stakeholders that the mechanism for solving this problem should not violate the law. Yesterday I  already checked the problematic venues along with the chairman of the Papua PON committee and the military commander, the local governments will arrange the compensation matter,” he said.


“We, the Papuan Police, will help to push it to the provincial government while prioritizing a cultural approach,” he added.


Read also: Calls rising for more participation of native Papuans in National Games committee


Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said that the police had formed a law enforcement team to handle unsolved problems at the venue and provide assistance to the demands of the community.


Police were also deployed to anticipate and secure if the impediments continued in the vicinity of the venue construction areas.


In July, President Joko Widodo ensured that the Papua PON would be held as planned on October 2 to 15. Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said that the event had been being carried out based on objective calculations in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic.


“The president demands the national games to continue after seeing reports from the Ministry, the Papua Governor and the chairman of the National Sports Council [KONI] concluding we can still proceed unless there will be situations other than we previously anticipated,” Amali said.

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