3 Mar 2008

Papua People's Assembly opposes plans for new province in its region

5:51 am on 3 March 2008

The Papua People's Assembly, the MRP, says it's pursuing dialogue with Jakarta in an effort to stop the proposed formation of a new province in its region.

Residents of Papua's Pegunungan Bintang regency have been voicing their opposition to the proposal which is being driven by five local regents.

Five regents formed a mediating team who have met both the Papua legislative Council and the MRP over the idea.

But the MRP chairman Agus Alua Alue says Papuans believe there is no benefit to the idea of further splitting their region.

He says that's why the MRP is fighting the regents' bid to separate.

"Because if we don't do this, then that province will be outside Special Autonomy, just a general province like all the other provinces in Indonesia and (there'll be) no special concern, no special attention, no special programme for the indigenous people there, the Papuan people there. Therefore we took the initiative because there are no laws to set up this new province."