“With the government and House’s political decision, I hope that the provision of the granted special autonomy funds can be extended”Bambang Soesatyo
Wamena, Papua (ANTARA) – People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo said he urges the government and House of Representatives (DPR) to extend the special autonomy funds for Papua and West Papua Provinces, which will end in 2021.
“With the government and House’s political decision, I hope that the provision of the granted extension of autonomy funds can be extended,” he told journalists, on the sidelines of his visit to Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, on Tuesday.
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Special autonomy is part of democratic means to address aspiration of Papuan people. In late 2001, Indonesian government introduced a “special autonomy” bill for West Papua. The bill, which was drafted mostly by indigenous Papuans, passed the Indonesian parliament as Law No. 21 in November 2001.
The process of special autonomy began in November 2000 under the leadership of West Papua Governor, Jaap Salossa. He convinced the MPR (Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly) that West Papua, like Aceh, needed a policy of special autonomy, Salossa began the process of drafting a special autonomy bill by inviting local scholars, academics, activists, tribal leaders, and customary figures, including some of the NGO representatives and religious organizations in this region.
West Papua is located on the western half of the island of New Guinea and long racked by a simmering violent separatist insurgency. This region encompasses Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces, Papua and West Papua.
A former Dutch colony, West Papua was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969, after an undisputed vote of about 1,025 representative tribal leaders. The result of the plebiscite was overseen and endorsed by the United Nations.
Since the democratization in 1998, especially since 2007, democracy by mean of elections has been introduced to increase political participation in Papua and West Papua. The fact that the leaders of Papua and West Papua provinces are democratically elected by the people has strengthened the legality of West Papua as a province of Indonesia.