JUBI, 21 April 2012
Translation by TAPOL
STOP TRANSMIGRATION TO PAPUA AND WEST PAPUA
The Jayapura branch of the Association of Catholic Students of the Republic of Indonesia (PMKRI) has expressed its firm rejection of government plans to bring more transmigrants to Papua and West Papua because it believes that this will mean the further marginalization of the indigenous Papuan people.
The organization believes that more transmigrants will result in further expansion of the population and will lead to unhealthy competition that could result in horizontal conflicts.
The chairman of the Jayapura branch of the PMKRI, Benyamin Lokobal, said:
‘The indigenous Papuan people have already become a minority in their own homeland. We strongly reject plans to bring in more transmigrants.’
He went on to say that if the government nevertheless goes ahead with this plan, they will organize demonstrations in collaboration with other youth organizations in Papua. They also intend to undertake research by holding one-day seminars in order to firm up opposition to the arrival of more transmigrants.
Simon P. Bane of the general secretariat of the PMKRI said that if more transmigrants come to West Papua, they very much fear that the Papuan people will be further marginalized because the transmigrants will get all the attention.
‘This will automatically mean less attention being paid to the indigenous Papuan people.’
Last Friday, the Papua Post reported that the head of the Office of Labour and Transmigration in the province of West Nusatenggara, Mokhlis, speaking in Mataram, said that they would be sending more transmigrants to Papua and West Papua.
The chairman of Catholic Youth in Jayapura, Kristian Bame, said that in addition to resulting in a rapid expansion in the population, more transmigration has the potential to lead to land grabbing. He said that up to the present, the contribution of transmigrants in Papua is not at all apparent. On the contrary, their presence has only led to social jealousy.