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Jakarta Post

All you need to know about the movement for Papuan self-determination

The Jakarta Post Image
Papuan students grouped under the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) hold a protest in front of Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta on Aug. 28. In the protest, they rejected racial abuse and demanded the government retract the internet blackout in West Papua and Papua. (JP/Donny Fernando)
Karina M. Tehusijarana
Jakarta   ●   Wed, September 11, 2019

The recent protests in Papua, West Papua and other regions have brought the issue of a Papuan referendum on self-determination to the forefront of the national debate.

The central government has said that a referendum is not an option, with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo saying that the issue of Papuan sovereignty had already been “resolved”.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto has also dismissed calls for a Papuan referendum, despite increasing calls from protesters for self-determination.

“I think that [demands for a referendum] are inappropriate,” he said recently. “The NKRI [the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] is final.”

But what are the historical roots behind this renewed push for Papuan self-determination? Has the question of Papuan sovereignt...

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