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Special Autonomy Fund and Authority Issue Trigger Conflict of Papua and Central Government



Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan - tempo.co

Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan – tempo.co

Jayapura, Jubi/BenarNews – Since the Special Autonomy Law was ratified in 2001 on the land of Papua – both Papua and Papua Barat provinces – the Central Govenrment has delivered Rp 42 trillion to both regions. However the development has not been marked on this land.

This year, Papua set 11,756 trillion in its Regional Budget. For the last four years, during the period of 2012-2015, Papua has set the respectively amount of 7.3 trillion, 8.184 trillion and 13.26 trillion rupiahs in Regional Budget.

However, Papua Provincial Government considered the amount of funds was not enough while the Central Government blamed the Provincial Government not capable to manage the fund properly. Consequently the recriminations feared to raise new conflict between Papua and the Central Government.

Large Grant Not Enough


“In 2002-2015, the funds (for Papua) was nearly Rp53 trillion, special autonomy fund was Rp42 trillion and infrastructure funding was Rp 12 trillion. So, where were those funds go?” said the Minister of Politic, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut B. Pandjaitan.

He conveyed the statement during the meeting to discuss Papua and Papua Barat Special Autonomy Fund with the Commission I of the Indonesian House of Representative in Jakarta few times ago. He said the amount of funds delivered to Papua and Papua Barat was not in small amount, but until now good quality infrastructure has not been seen in Papua.

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe - Jubi

Papua Governor Lukas Enembe – Jubi

His statement has made the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe furious; because it seems blaming the local authority is not capable. Because of this accusation, he also thought better to return the fund to the Central Government.

Because, Enembe said, the Special Autonomy Fund is too small and do not give benefit to the development in Papua. Even the fund has profited as a political commodity by the Central Government to intimidate both provincial and regional/municipal governments in Papua.

“It seems the Central Government have teased us. Instead it becomes a political issue to discredit the government’s officials in Papua, we better return it. Better we manage our natural resources by our own,” Enembe told BeritaBenar on Sunday, 21 February 2016.

Enembe believes the constraints on the ground has made the regional heads in Papua encounter many challenges to be able in managing the fund properly, and in fact it often leads to legal problems.

“Special autonomy funds is too small, if I delivered Rp100 billion to each regencies, it’s only enough to build two bridges in the highland areas. So it’s not very useful,” said Enembe.

But Robert Jitmau, activist representing Solpap (Papuan Traders Solidarity) considered the governor’s intention to return the special autonomy fund was not logic. He said it was likely admitting the inability of local government in managing the fund.

“If the provincial government wanted to return it, it must have a reason. If it felt being intimidated by the Central Government through statement not capable to manage the special autonomy fund, it’s not logical. We knew the use of fund must be reported,” he said.

Officials Leave Their Base Often

According to the Minister of Politic, Legal and Security Affairs, the special autonomy fund has not well managed because the majority of Papua government’s officials often left their office. They are more often staying outside of Papua, mainly in Jakarta.

“Almost 60 percent of government’s officials in Papua leave their office. How could they manage the fund properly? Where is the Central Government’s fault? So, actually their management is not proper,” said Pandjaitan as cited by several media.

Paniai Regional Customary Council Chief John NR. Gobai - Suplied

Paniai Regional Customary Council Chief John NR. Gobai – Suplied

His statement obtained serious respond from Paniai Customary Council Chief John Gobai. He agreed Papuan officials frequently traveled outside of Papua for days, even for months. However he thought it must be considered wisely.

“As far I knew, they traveled to do lobbying with the Central Government, either for development or region extension funds. Dragging money with money, that’s their terminology. The officials were frequently in Jakarta, but we can blame at one party,” said Gobay.

Papua Governor, when interviewed by BeritaBenar, admitted Papuan officials frequently traveled to Jakarta, but it is not because of their own purpose but because of invitation or call from the Central Government. “But the invitation or call wasn’t for give a clue to resolve the dispute in Papua,” he said.

Therefore since last week, Enembe has instructed to government’s officials of Papua Province to not leave their office during the audit by Finance and Development Supervisory Agency (BPK) Papua Region.

“Starting now no one allowed to answer the invitation from Jakarta. No need to go to Jakarta (because) it’s all nonsense,” he said.

Earlier, the Minister Luhut Pandjaitan announced he instructed BPKP to conduct audit on Special Autonomy fund delivered to Papua and Papua Barat in March.

Special Autonomy Law Will Be Interrupted?

Chairman of Papua Legislative Council Yunus Wenda considered the grant is not a measure in the implementation of Special Autonomy Law, but the authority. Some new regulations seem to interrupt the authority of Papua Special Autonomy Law; he believes the Central Government indirectly has intention to interrupt the Papua Special Autonomy Law.

“No matter how much amounts delivered to Papua, it means nothing without policies and authorities given to the local government,” he said.

Chairman of Papua Legislative Council, Yunus Wonda - Jubi

Chairman of Papua Legislative Council, Yunus Wonda – Jubi

He took example of some infrastructure projects that should be done by regional government but taken over by the Central Government, such as the construction of market for Papuan traders.

“It seems the Special Autonomy Fund would be interrupted. The authority would be taken over by the Central Government. The infrastructure funding for Papua has been reduced. Now it seems taking over some stuffs too,” said Wonda.

Deputy Chairman of the Commission I of the Indonesian House Representative from Golkar Party, Tantowi Yahya, expected the Papua problems could be resolved without raising new problem. “I am concerned with the way government did to deal the problems in Papua,” he said. (Victor Mambor)

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A survivor of Biak Massacre: Don’t stop us commemorating the victims of the tragedy



The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta – Supplied

Makassar, Jubi – A survivor of the Biak Massacre Tineke Rumkabu warned security forces to not preventing people sprinkle flower petals at around the water tower in Biak, Papua, she told in an online forum organised by the Law School of UPNVJ on Monday (6/7/2020).

According to her, she and some friends and relatives came to the water tower to sprinkle flower petals and pray for the victims of the Biak Massacre on Monday morning (6/7/2020). However, the movement to commemorate the twenty-two years of the tragedy got attention from the security forces who were on the scene.

“I told them that I will continue to sprinkle the flower petals because they (victims) have no grave. If you tell me where their graves are, I will go there and not come here anymore [to pray and sprinkle flower petals],” said Rumkabu.

The security forces once tried to stop them. “They followed us to the scene (water tower) and told me that we did not have a permit. But at around 11 a.m. [Papua time], I entered the area of the water tower and put a flower bouquet there. I don’t care whatever the risk I would face. I would never be scared. It is the place where my friends, elders, and relatives got murdered while nobody knows their graves,” she said.


About the tragedy, she emphasised that the state must take responsibility for both victims and their families. “Maybe the violence and injustice will end if Papua gets freedom. If we are parts of this country, we should be guarded and protected instead of massacred,” she said.

The Biak Massacre that occurred on 6 July 1998 is a dark story in Papuan history. The tragedy began with a peaceful protest for a referendum and a raising of the Morning Star flag under the water tower in Biak since 2 July 1998 but ended with a series of arrests, tortures, shots, rapes and other violence on the fourth day.

A few years ago, Elsham Papua published their result of investigation under the title “Pusara Tanpa Nama, Nama Tanpa Pusara (Grave without Name, Name without Grave)”. The report listed eight people died, three were missing, four seriously injured while 33 lightly wounded, and 150 were arrested and tortured, and 32 corpses found floating in the Biak waters.

An Indonesian human rights commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara in the similar discussion forum told that the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) already submitted their result of the investigation to the authority, but has not yet received any response.

“The Biak Massacre is a human tragedy that must be taken seriously. An initial investigation of Komnas HAM (a few years ago) found some indicators of human rights violations in the tragedy such as torture and so on,” said Beka.

Therefore, he said, the investigation team of Komnas HAM came to Papua several times to investigate this case, and in 2010 recommended Article 26/2000 about the severe human rights violation should apply to analyse the Biak Massacre. However, there was no follow up until the assignment of new commissioners.

Some activists joined the “Papua Itu Kita” movement attempting to bring up the settlement of the Biak Massacre. On 26 February 2015, they came to the Komnas HAM office and urged the human rights commissioners to follow up their investigation.

“Regarding the Biak case, I will try to bring up this issue in the plenary meeting, and discuss it with other colleagues to find a fair and dignified solution for the victims and their families,” said Beka. (*)


Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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TPNPB Paniai declines the extension of Special Autonomy in Papua




TPNPB Paniai Commander Demianus Magai Yogi (holding the megaphone) – Jubi/Dok

Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Liberation Army Division II Paniai published a statement to decline the extension of Special Autonomy in Papua.

Furthermore, Commander Demianus Magai Yogi claimed those who support this policy are taking side with colonialism. “Those who support the Special Autonomy and other policies of the Indonesian Government in Papua support the colonialist to eliminate us, the indigenous Papuans,” Yogi told Jubi on Sunday (5/7/2020).

Law No. 21 of 2001 about Special Autonomy has regulated some critical issues in Papua, including the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission Papua, the Human Rights Courts, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for clarifying or correcting the Papuan history and deploying the Special Autonomy Funds.

However, the Special Autonomy Funds that equal with 2 percent of the National Allocation Budget will terminate at the end of 2021. As a result, it has raised a discourse of evaluation and revision on the Special Autonomy Law.


For this reason, Yogi accused those who propose the extension of the Special Autonomy in Papua are those who want to compromise with the Indonesian Government to decline the political rights of Papuan people.

“As indigenous Papuans, our primary interest is the rights of self-determination that has been neglected or taken from us through the Pepera (People’s Vote) in 1969,” said Yogi.

Therefore, Yogi said the TPNPB Pania would continue to discharge the invaders and fight for the independence of West Papua. “[We] will continue to fight until the independence of West Papuans materialised,” he said.

In the meantime, his colleague Soleman Magai Yogi stated that the Indonesian occupation of West Papua since 1963 was a conspiracy between Indonesia, the United States, Netherlands and the United Nations. This occupation is a form of violation against the standards and principles of international law.

Because as the landowner, they never involved West Papuans in the international meetings and negotiations to discuss the political status of West Papua,” he said.

Moreover, since 1963, Indonesia continues to carry out military operations that have killed many indigenous Papuans. “Indonesian authorities have chased, intimidated, terrorised, arrested and killed Papuans who fight for their rights and the sovereignty of West Papua,” he said.

To sum, he declined the ambition of Jakarta to extend the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua. “We only ask for the rights of self-determination,” said Soleman Yogi. (*)


Reporter: Abeth You

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papua’s Manpower Office and PT Freeport Indonesia filed to the Administrative Court by LBH Papua




Jayapura, Jubi- Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Papua represents the Branch Manager of the Federation of Indonesian Chemical and Mining Trade Union (PC FSP KEP SPSI) of Mimika Regency to file a case against the Papua Provincial Manpower and PT Freeport Indonesia to the Jayapura Administrative District Court. This lawsuit is a follow-up action following the labour strike of 8,300 PT Freeport Indonesia’s workers from 1 May 2017 to 2020.

“Law No.13 of 2003 on employment pledges the labour strike,” said the Director of LBH Papua Emanuel Gobay in the official release received by Jubi on Monday (6/7/2020).

Therefore, according to LBH Papua, the labour strike initiated by 8,2300 Freeport’s workers was legal by law. Consequently, PT Freeport Indonesia should immediately restore the workers’ rights to work and pay their outstanding wages following the recommendation of the First Examination Note.

Moreover, LBH Papua stated the Papua Provincial Manpower Office also acknowledged the strike by issuing the letter No. 560/1271 which then becomes a reference for the Papua Governor to publish the letter No 540/14807/SET, Re: Confirmation of PT Freeport Indonesia Labour Strike dated 19 December 2018.


The letter confirmed the labour strike was under Law No 13 of 2003 Articles 139 and 140 about employment. Hence, it made the action legal by law.

“Therefore Papua Governor firmly stated that PT Freeport Indonesia, Private Contractors and Sub-contractors to re-employ the workers and pay their outstanding wages by the existing laws and regulations,” said Gobay.

However, from 16 December 2019 to another next thirty days, PT Freeport Indonesia has violated the two recommendations covered in the First Examination Note. To refer to Article 31 of the Regulation of the Indonesian Minister of Manpower No. 33 of 2016 concerning the Procedure of Labour Inspection, the Labour Inspection Division should issue the Second Examination Note after the thirty days of misconduct.

Therefore, this lawsuit reflects the interest of their client, PC FSP KEP SPSI) Mimika Regency, to urge PT Freeport Indonesia to implement the recommendation and the Labour Inspection Division to issue the Second Examination Note.

“We also ask the Chairman of Regional Parliament to review both the Manpower Office and PT Freeport Indonesia in regards to their obligation to fulfil the rights of 8,300 workers who were involved in the strike,” confirmed Gobay.

Also, Gobay asks the President of the Republic of Indonesia as well as the Minister of Manpower to protect and fulfil the rights of these workers. (*)


Reporter: Edi Faisol

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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