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Jakarta Post

New provinces in Papua may lead to widening social gap: Experts

  • Ivany Atina Arbi and Victor Mambor

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta and Jayapura   /   Fri, November 1, 2019   /  12:18 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (right), accompanied by XVII/Cendrawasih Military Command chief Maj. Gen. Herman Asaribab (left), observes ruins of a building set on fire during the Sept.23 riot in his visit to Wamena on Oct. 28.(Antara/Anyong)

In a bid to speed up development in Papua, the government has come up with an idea to create more provinces on the vast island. However, experts have warned such policy could lead to social conflict if it failed to improve the welfare of native Papuans. Adriana Elisabeth of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and Vidhyandika Djati Perkasa of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said the creation of new provinces could trigger social conflicts if it failed to engage native Papuans in economic and development activities in the easternmost region. Any failures could only widen the financial gap between native and non-native Papuans, who had long "dominated" Papua's economy as a result of the government's transmigration program that initially aimed to equalize economic and human resource gaps between different areas in the country. It w...