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Jakarta Post

Don’t force special autonomy on us, Papuan priests say

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya
    Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Mon, July 27, 2020   /  03:28 pm
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Two children walk across the pier of the Klademak crossing port in Sorong, West Papua, on April 1.(Antara/Olha Mulalinda)

A group of 57 Catholic priests from across Papua Island have demanded that the government put a stop to the “forced continuation of special autonomy [Otsus] in Papua”. The spokesperson of the group, John Bunai, a Catholic priest from the Papuan capital Jayapura, urged the government, policymakers and local administrations in a press conference last week to evaluate how the Otsus Law is enforced and to assess whether it has helped improve the lives of Papuans. The law on special autonomy in Papua and West Papua provinces was passed in 2001 during the administration of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri to guarantee Papuans the right to manage their own region politically, economically and culturally. It also stipulates the allocation of special autonomy funds, valid for 20 years. As the funding will stop next year, the House of Representatives has included delibe...