Jayapura, Jubi – In the courtyard of Governor Lukas Enembe’s residential compound located in Angkasa, an elite neighborhood in Jayapura, Papua, two Christmas trees of 3 meters height stood in delightful decorations. The balcony provided the view of the sea and hills covered in fog to the heavy rain on 15 December 2015.
After waiting for about five hours, Tempo was allowed to come in. Wearing predominantly orange and beige Papuan motif batik, Enembe confessed he was not fit after visiting Freeport’s mining tunnel in Timika on 1 December.
“I didn’t use an oxygen mask at that time, so I had shortness of breath. Doctor advised me to undergo infusion, it’ll take for a minute,” Enembe told Maria Rita Hasugian, Tempo journalist, in an interview in the living room of his official residence.
For around two hours, Enembe answered the questions from Tempo on the strengthening of the role of Papuan young generation in voicing independence of Papua, awful conditions in several regencies, special autonomy, and the ownership of Freeport’s shares. The governor spoke softly and laughed out of loud several times. The former Puncak Jaya Regent—region known as the territorial of the National Liberation Army—Papua Free Movement led by Goliath Tabuni—said he is still the same person when he was Puncak Jaya Regent who talked loud, blunt, not contaminated with the interests of others. Here is the interview.
How is the political situation in Papua with calls growing louder among youth for Papuan independence?
From beginning, Papuans are politically different with people in other regions. Freeport’s contract of work in Papua already existed in 1967. Papua has not been integrated with Indonesia. The integration was in 1969. Papuans, in particular those in the coastal area, were promised to build their own country. It was actually triggering Papuans to keep fighting until today. It created remarkable political barriers and could never shape Papuans’ soul that we are Indonesian. Until today it’s never materialized. Jakarta thought Papuans are foolish, discriminated them while they are actually human beings. They (Papuans) completely understand, they understand the history and so on. They are very smart.
So, What should Jakarta do?
Jakarta enforced its own ways. It’s not right. Any problems could be solved if Papuans had self-determination what is the best for them. But if it was enforced, it could not be happened, it continues to happen from generation to generation. We looked at the Papuan history that from the start the political barriers are already existed. So Papua needs proper regulation to organize themselves to feel being part of Indonesia. It should be done independently, not by Jakarta, because we are humans. Such as the Law No. 21 (Special Autonomy Law) is not well implemented. Therefore Papuans increasingly don’t believe it. We asked Jakarta to trust on Papuans. If not, their perspectives on Jakarta and Indonesia-nationalism would be faded.
Has there been any change in Jakarta’s policies towards Papua now?
In the era of President Soeharto, Jakarta was very arrogant. In the New Order era, there was a Military Operation Territorial, and so on. Now, Indonesia is changing from time to time. It’s not the past. It could not be done through violence. The access of information is now opened. Today if we do something in Tolikara, the world would be informed immediately. So, there are the roots of problem that have not resolved yet. It made the new generation, the generation who born in 70-es are those who felt the oppression, experienced the military operations. They were born under the New Order system, which is centralistic and repressive, such as Benny Wenda whose mother was killed.
Many approaches taken by the government to get Papuans’ trust, but so far it’s not work out. Do you have any concrete suggestion?
I have opinion like this: there are many groups in Papua that existed only for their short-term personal interests, but claim they are great, have access, but there are also those who defense for the interests of Papua. So, to build a trust to Indonesia, it needs a regulation to revise the Special Autonomy Law through a new regulation. We fix some shortages through new regulation. What was happened during the time is it’s almost not implemented.
Once there was an evaluation?
Evaluation has never been conducted. You offer the Special Autonomy Plus? We are enforcing it to become Prolegnas (National Legislature Program) 2016. Hopefully the government will approve it, talk about this issue. The affirmative rights of Papuans are included in this law, especially Papua development. Currently, in the condition of rich in Papua, Papuans are poor. Jakarta does not make Papua as an object of exploitation of natural resources. But it is applied for the greatest people’s progress and prosperity. It should be fight. We have understood that people come to Papua for camouflage. Freeport is the evidence. All people actually wanted to approach Freeport. So if there are people who come for business interest, personal interest, taking the natural resources, the people of Papua would only wacth, they could only pray: Lord, thy own way of work has determined them. Papuans actually knew how greedy are those people to fight for the land of Papua.
There are systematic Papuan organizations for Papua independence such as KNPB and ULMWP. What do you say about this phenomenon?
Our brothers thought Jakarta could not longer be counted. That’s I thought. Therefore they expressed their voice to the international level. Hopefully Jakarta could understand it as something that should be resolved in Papua. There must be something big to be done in Papua in order to make Papuans obey to the country and have a feeling of being Indonesian, have character as Indonesian, have equal capacity like others, not feeling poor, not feeling dumb.
Where does the government have to unravel this?
It is costly for reconciliation due to some political agendas needs to be thoroughly settled from Jakarta. For instance, if you want solve problem in Papua, invite them and discuss with them. Did you mean a dialogue? It is a dialogue in the sense of building togetherness of Indonesia, to build Papua. It should involve all components, including the opposite groups. It doesn’t mean we want a separation. But Papuans regard this dialogue as an effort to separate from Indonesia, it’s wrong.
In your opinion, the opposite groups want a dialogue?
I think they would. For example the Papua Peace Network has already worked, if possible involve all components including those who oppose us. What worries of this dialogue that has not been implemented until now? It would probably lead us to the options of referendum or independent. Because dialogue in the sense of Papuans means the independence.
The existence of TPN-OPM (West Papua Liberation Army-Papua Free Movement) is quite tense lately?
Everyone got killed was often enough to accuse them (as perpetrator). It’s bad stigma for Papuans. Not everyone in Papua are TPN-OPM, but whenever the murder was occurred, TPN-OPM was accused. It cannot be generated. It’s a part of State’s apparatus that affected the national situation. I asked to my colleagues to be careful in placing themselves as security forces in Papua. Stop making trouble, Jakarta will feel disturbed.
Do you think that you are not being respected as leader in Papua?
Tolikara case was a set up. It might have a certain purpose. Do not think Papuans are stupid, no. They knew.
Until now the ballistic test of shooting case in Tolikara never been revealed to the public. Why?
All incidents occurred in Papua have never been revealed. The ballistic test was nonsense.
Then how to uncover the truth?
The truths, justice to discover cases occurred in Papua have never been happened. People just got killed like that. It is said the perpetrators were hunted, but where? Every shooting incident has never completely settled. Not thoroughly, entirely done.
In your opinion, what is exactly behind those incidents?
The great plan is Jakarta for taking control over Papua to take our potential natural resources. Imagine that from 1969 until now, all those potencies have been taken; illegal logging is still happened as well as illegal fishing. And illegal mining is also occurred since certain people only manage it, or it just took out and here considered as no man’s land.
How big is the tolerance of Papuans towards the current situation?
Jakarta should not forget that indigenous people live in Papua. If it’s destroyed, it still be revive, their history is existed from time to time. Papuans were dismissed, the number of immigrants was increased, it is not becoming problem because Papuan nature is alive. Jakarta shouldn’t use this method to destroy Papua. The impact of this problem could become a time bomb in the future.
You met the Minister of Politic, Legal and Human Rights Affairs related to Freeport’s share at the early of last December. What did you say to him?
Papua’s reaction is clear, it is the right moment for the extension of work of contract 2021. We have expressed the provincial government’s aspiration. We have 17 proposed items that have been discussed in the final period of the President Yudhoyono. And we said the same thing to Jokowi. An important point of 17 points is shareholder. The government should have a right regulation to get the shares. The participation of Papua government as shareholder should be determined this time. We might find a right pattern, probably such as Mahakam Block. Both Papua Government and indigenous Papuans must earn permanent dividend each year. We still discuss this issue.
Papua is impressed insecure, that foreign journalist could not enter Papua until now.
Who bans? Papua is safe indeed. Have you complaint to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because foreign journalists are not allowed to Papua? Here we declare to any journalists, you are allowed to come. The access has been opened. Nothing is hidden now. Foreign journalist could come to other regions, why should they not be here?
There is information that the DOM status has not been officially revoked?
I don’t know whether it has been revoked or not. It looks still applicable. When did it revoke, we don’t know.
You make a policy concerning to the allocation of autonomy funding that 80 percent to regional governments and 20 percent to provincial government. But in Wamena, the hospital condition is poor, in Tolikara it’s reported the high teachers’ absence that they only come just ahead to the exam. Do you know about this?
Well, this policy of 80:20 was only running for a year. About Rp 4 trillion was allocated to regency. It’s only a first stage. No thorough evaluation at this stage. Indeed, it depends to each regent. If they really want to implement their vision-mission, they should allocate budget in accordance to Special Regional Regulation, that is 20-30 percent for education, 30 percent for health, and 20 percent for economic development. Strict to regulation therefore they can focus to their objective, management and targets. I believe we can gradually fix it. If the regents are not focus, have no future perspective towards their achievable target, the regions were going to die and people would suffer.
Have you find irregularities in the use of special autonomy budget?
Bappeda (Regional Planning Development Agency) made a report; it is still one year implementation. So we have not been evaluated. We will form a bigger team to evaluate the implementation of 80 percent budget in the second year. The team will be consisted of many stakeholders.
There is information about misuse of rice for poor program. Do you have any report about profiteering?
We knew. It was occurred from here or from the logistic warehouse in Wamena. How is the mechanism of rice distribution?
It should be done from here (Jayapura) to Logistic Office in Wamena. So was it happened in Wamena or from here, we would carefully see it. If it was occurred in Wamena, the weaknesses are at regional logistic office or its officials. Has it been investigated?
No, there is no investigation so far. We have to form a team. It is an outstanding violation. There should be an investigation in Wamena, whether the Jayawijaya Government know about it or not, or it was played by logistic officials.
Have you received a report?
No. I just heard. It means the weakness is in Wamena. We should find out whether the Jayawijaya Government got involved, that they are the actor. Many have complaint about it, but it’s still ongoing.
How to address the expensive cost of basic commodities in the central highland?
Well, it’s normal. As long as the industry has not been built in Papua, it would be costly. What kind of economic activities to address the high cost of basic commodities for people? It must be an industry in Papua. We talk about the construction of smelter, it would affect to the building of other industry. Therefore it could reduce the prices. As long as there is no industry, the prices of goods are still expensive. Nothing is cheap in the highland.
Any intervention to reduce prices?
We talk about building an industry. Because the mode of transportation there is airplane, so our intervention is open the road access. Hopefully in 2018 we could open the entire road access. Left only the asphalting phase. If the road access was opened, it would open up the economic activities surround the central highland.
What do you say about the situation in Papua?
We want Papuans to consider them as Indonesian; it must start from Papuans, then followed by the government’s act about how it prepares time and opportunity for Papuans. Do not use Jakarta’s ways in here. What is Jakarta’s ways? It is like enforcing the will without listening Papuans. There is no policy from Jakarta without involving all institutions that established by State in Papua. To our brothers in the opposite group, we must convince them in soft way that could be trust by Papuans, through bargaining approach.
When their heart were cut, do you think how much of percentage of Papuans currently to support the Republic of Indonesia?
If their heart were cut, they would say: I want freedom (laughing). They must speak like that.
Certainly it’s not easy to establish a country…
Therefore we hope the Jakarta Government to give affirmation with fully attention towards Papuan people. From the regulation aspect, do not make laws to harm Papuans. In 2020, Papua will be the host of National Sports Event. We encourage people to more think about the sports instead of politic. We must push young people to be passionate to compete in sports event. Therefore this region not just continuously talks about the political issues, like we are the hostages. Papuans also should be independent, not depend on the central government. So there are restoration, independent and prosperity. (*)
This article published by Tempo Gubernur Papua: Belum Ada Orang Papua Berjiwa Indonesia