by Yan Christian Warinussy
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo
The provincial administration of West Papua is at present discussing the draft of a law for the Land of Papua which would be ‘identical’ with Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for the province of Papua. It is understood that a Team of Experts from Cenderawasih University is taking part in these discussions.
I myself, together with several members of the legal staff of the LP3BH (Institute for Study, Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights) in Manokwari are involved in these discussions to draw up the draft of a law which would be called Law on the Governance of Papua.
In response to a request from the Governor of West Papua, Abraham Octavianus Atururi, we are discussing what proposals we would submit which would not necessarily be in line with the contents of the draft now under discussion. But at the same time, we are holding discussions with the leaders of staff of the SKPD as well as with mass organisations and academics to offer our honest criticisms of the mechanisms and procedures of these discussions about the draft law.
The basic issue which we have submitted is that the political dynamics in the Land of Papua reveal very clearly that the Papuan people collectively and through the intermediary of the Majelis Rakyat Papua Barat (West Papuan People’s Assembly) as well as the two Papuan Provincial Legislative Assemblies (DPRP) have called on the Government of Indonesia to agree to enter into dialogue with the Papuan people, that is to say to hold a peaceful dialogue, facilitated by a neutral third party.
Moreover, speaking in terms of the law, Article 78 of the Special Autonomy Law stresses the importance of the implementation of the law being evaluated every year and for the first time at the end of the third year following the enactment of the Autonomy Law.
The LP3BH wishes to record the fact that today, twelve years after the enactment of the autonomy law, there has never been any comprehensive evaluation of the aforementioned autonomy law. Such an evaluation would involve all the components of the Papuan people as well as all the stakeholders, such the the governmental administration, the Indonesian army, the Indonesian police, senior academics, civil society mass organisations and representatives of the various religions throughout the Land of Papua.