Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan lawmaker Emus Gwijangge said that the resolution to various problems in Papua, especially cases of past human rights violations, was more important to the Papuan people than the regional expansion planned by the government.
Gwijangge, who is a member of the Papua Legislative Council’s Government, Politics, Law, and Human Rights Commission, said that various parties in Papua had been pushing the government to solve the root problem of Papua, especially through peaceful dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. Meanwhile, the expansion is the desire of a certain party, not the people.
“What the government should think about is how to solve problems in Papua. Whether it is through dialogue or other means,” Gwijangge said in a phone call to Jubi on Sunday, February 6, 2022.
He argued that if the government established new autonomous regions in Papua before various problems are resolved, it could trigger new problems. “Only when Papua problems have been resolved, then we can talk about expansion. I don’t think talking about expansion in the current situation is appropriate,” he said.
Moreover, Gwijangge continued, the government’s plan to divide Papua into four provinces, and West Papua into two provinces, had drawn controversy from various groups in Papua. Papuan people in various regions expressed their rejection against the plan, he said.
“It’s not the expansion that the Papuan people want. They want a dialogue facilitated by a third party, like in Aceh, which gave birth to the Helsinki agreement,” he said.
Emus Gwijangge hoped that before the end of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s second term, Jokowi could immediately find a solution to the Papua problems. Gwijangge did not want the Papua problems to continue to be a ‘wound’ between Papua and Indonesia.
Meanwhile, one member of the Assistance Team for the Law on Special Autonomy for Papua in 2001, Agus Sumule, said that the plan to divide Papua into four provinces and West Papua into two provinces had the potential to bring in large-scale population flows from various other provinces to Papua.
“If the discourse of regional expansion is rejected and questioned by native Papuans, it means that the Papuan people feel that the division of the provinces is not for them,” said Sumule, as quoted by Suarapapua.com on February 2.
The Papuan University academician thought that as long as each region in Papua and West Papua did not have a population control policy, there would always be a door wide open for anyone to freely enter and occupy the Land of Papua. According to him, the regional expansion is a transmigration program in disguise.
“In the past [moving people from densely populated areas to Papua] was called transmigration. Now through regional expansion. What’s more, until now there has been no scientific study that shows the need for the division of regencies, cities, and provinces in Papua and West Papua,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Dewi Wulandari