President Asked to Freeze Papua’s Special Autonomy and Conduct Negotiations

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PAPUADAILY –Papuan activist, Natalius Pigai, asked President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to freeze the implementation of Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for the Papua Province which is currently being discussed in the DPR. One of the issues discussed in the revision of the Papua Special Autonomy Law is related to the plan for regional expansion.

He considered that the policy related to the formation of a new autonomous region (DOB) only wanted to smooth out the politics of occupation which was intended to marginalize Papuans. “The military is also likely to suppress Papua as a Christian territory with a project to penetrate a religion that is not embraced by the Papuan people,” Pigai told Republika, Tuesday (6/7).

Pigai also reminded the government to be careful so that the conflict in Papua does not escalate into a horizontal conflict between tribes and religions. “If that happens, Papua will be heading for a shortcut intervention towards the separation of Jakarta and Papua,” he said.

Pigai claims that the Papuan people have firmly rejected the special autonomy status. Therefore, the formation of new autonomous regions in Papua and other derivative policies in the future no longer need to be carried out by the government.

He also regretted the attitude of the current government which closed itself and did not want to open the communication taps. According to him, to find a middle ground, Pigai hopes that the government will directly meet with Papuans.

He said the government needed to open dialogue options as part of democratic measures. “The negotiations can be carried out from now until 2024. The results of the negotiations will determine the next status of Papua,” he said.

“I recommend to Mr. President Joko Widodo to freeze the implementation of the Papua Special Autonomy Law No. 21 of 2001 in 2021 before conducting negotiations with the Papuan people. Before the negotiations are carried out, the government can issue a Perppu related to Papua,” he added.