West Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi – Leaders of Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) held a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 28 to talk about the central government’s plan to revise Law No. 21/2001 on Special Autonomy (Otsus) in Papua, in particular articles on Otsus funds and on splitting Papua province into four provinces.
“We met today to reach the same perception about the latest situation on the central government’s plan to make the second revision to the law,” said Timotius Murib, the speaker of MRP, in a video released by MRP on Thursday.
Murib said he had received information from Jakarta about the revision. The central government wanted to revise article 34 on Otsus fund and article 76 on requirements to add more provinces in Papua Land, which currently stipulates that MRP has to agree on an establishment of new provinces.
“With the second revision, the central government wants to remove the requirements that (Papua and West Papua governors), MRP and Papua Legislative Council have to agree on an establishment of new provinces,” he said.
He said the plan would cut Papuan people access to have a say in the decision on new provinces. “That’s a violation to the right of native Papuans as citizens,” Murib went on.
Documents from Home Affairs Ministry have circulated since last year, showing that Jakarta plans to split Papua province into smaller Papua province, Southwest Papua province, Central Papua province, and South Papua province.
The meeting on Thursday would decide on MRP’s standpoint on the plan. “We will reject the (central government’s plan),” he said.
Earlier on Jan. 26, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani told senators at the Regional Representative Council (DPD) that the government wanted to disburse more Otsus fund for Papua and West Papua provinces after the first period of the fund, 20 years, would end this year. She recommended an increase of from 2 percent to 2.25 percent of the national general allocation funds (DAU) from the national budget. She estimated that the fund could reach Rp 234 trillion in 20 years.
Article 77 of the law actually stipulates that any revision to the special autonomy law should be initiated by Papuan people through MRP and Papua Legislative Council.
A group of Papuans named Papuan People Petition (PRP) had vocal in rejecting central government’s plan regarding Otsus. PRP spokesperson, Sem Awom said they rejected the plan to disburse Otsus fund for 2021-2041.
Awom said the plan was a unilateral move, disregarding Papuan voices in the process. PRP even called the move a “fascistic” one because it was inspired more by the interests of Jakarta elites.
On Jan. 21, speaker of West Papuan People’s Assembly (MRPB), Maxsi Nelson Ahoren, said that West Papua administration, Legislative Council and MRP had to be one voice with regard to Otsus.
“West Papua Legislative Council should support what MRP has requested: respectful dialogue between Jakarta and Papua before Jakarta decided anything on Otsus,” said Ahoren in Manokwari.
Last year, the House of Representatives began deliberating the revision to Otsus law, prompting protests from several Papuan groups. For them, the Otsus status was only Jakarta’s way to control Papuans and the implementation had veered away from its original intent: peace and prosperity.
Jakarta is adamant that Otsus was successful, citing it as Jakarta’s proof that they had done their best in Papua.
Reporter: Benny Mawel