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Jakarta Post

Give Papua more freedom

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, July 18 2016   /  07:09 am

Indonesia could claim a diplomatic victory over those who have for decades been offering international support for Papuan independence after the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) denied full membership to the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) last week. But that would not change anything in Papua, where discontent and distrust toward Jakarta is still rife.

Sadly, heavy-handed approaches, which have proven to be ineffective and obsolete, have remained the only option available to deal with the dissatisfaction and grievances of Papuan people, as seen in the arrest of dozens of people in Papua and Yogyakarta for throwing their weight behind ULMWP over the past week.

Worse still, in the case of the Yogyakarta incident, local community groups have been involved in suppressing the right of Papuans to voice their thoughts, not to mention the dissemination of old pi...