Jakarta Post

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Video Weather icon 30°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
30°C Partly Cloudy

Dry and mostly cloudy throughout the day.

  • Wed

    26℃ - 32℃

  • Thu

    25℃ - 32℃

  • Fri

    25℃ - 31℃

  • Sat

    26℃ - 30℃

Papuan rebel leader reiterates call for referendum

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, October 26, 2016 | 08:52 am
Papuan rebel leader reiterates call for referendum President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo shakes hands with residents while visiting Papua on Oct. 18. (Biro pers Istana/Rusman)

Papuan pro-independence leader Filep Karma has called on the government to hold a referendum on independence for the country’s easternmost region.

Filep, a former political prisoner of 11 years, claimed the long-demanded referendum was a win-win solution for both the government and the Papuan people, who still suffered from mistreatment and abuses despite the region being granted special autonomy status.

The referendum would provide a fair mechanism for Papuans to decide for themselves whether they wanted to remain as part of the unitary state of Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) or wanted independence, Filep said.

“We used to fight for separation, but now a referendum is better to find out the true aspirations of Papuans. If they want to still be a part of Indonesia, why should [Papuan rebels] continue to struggle for independence?” Filep told the journalists on Tuesday.

Should the referendum result in Papuans wanting to remain Indonesian citizens, the rebels would stop demanding for separation, Filep said, however, the government should also promise Papuans a peaceful transfer of independence if the referendum showed otherwise.

Filep went on that in 2008, when he was still imprisoned, he had sent a letter to then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, demanding a referendum.

Papuans also had long-awaited dialogue with the government over the referendum plan, even though President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had given the green light, Filep said. (bbn)

Topics :

Comments