Friday, February 09, 2007

Continuing poverty leads to "inevitable" secession

Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu and Papua Provincial Legislative Assembly (DPRD) Chairman John Ibo have warned that if the people of Papua province remained poor or continued to be impoverished, "secession from the Unitary State of the Indonesian Republic (NKRI) was inevitable", Indonesia's state newsageny Antara reported "It is ironical that many Indonesian people have to live in absolute poverty in the potentially affluent land of Papua," Barnabas told a hearing of the national upper house, the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) chaired by the DPD Papua Committee chairman, Alexander Edwin Kawilarang.

In response to Suebu's and Ibo's statements, DPD members, through the chairman of the Council's Committee III, Marhany V Pua, leveled open and corrective criticisms at the central
government. Marhany Pua said the central government should no longer try to overcome various problems in Papua in its present ways. "An overall improvement is urgently needed in Papua. It is very important to accelerate development there to make it a secure, peaceful and prosperous province," he said.

The DPD also held a hearing with Papua Barat (West Papua) Governor Abraham Ataruri and members of his staff. "The hearings were intended to find a comprehensive solution to the problems in Papua, especially in relation with the consistent implementation of Law No 21 on Papua's special autonomy and the need to have a legal umbrella for West Papua province which was previously known as West Irian Jaya," Kawilarang said.

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