8 Jun 2015

Indonesia sends mixed messages on Papua transmigration

2:47 pm on 8 June 2015

Indonesia's government is at odds with itself after a government minister contradicted calls from President Joko Widodo that there would be an end to the policy of moving masses of people to Papua and West Papua.

Last week, Jokowi signalled an end to the transmigration programme, which has seen hundreds of thousands of Javanese relocated to Papua.

But yesterday, the minister for transmigration, Marwan Jafar, said the programme had proved a success in Merauke and would be expanded.

Mr Jafar says about 275,000 people have moved to Merauke since Indonesia's annexation of Papua in 1969.

Papuans says the newcomers disregard their customs and traditions, destroy the environment, and keep the locals economically and socially subjugated.

A spokesman for Jokowi says the president has already asked the governor of Papua to halt the programme.

Timika, Papua province, Indonesia

Timika, Papua province, Indonesia Photo: Istimewa