9 Jun 2015

Papuan activist doubts President's promise on migration

8:33 pm on 9 June 2015

A pro-independence activist in Papua says he doesn't believe the Indonesian President, who promised to stop the controversial policy of transmigration.

Last week, Widodo signalled an end to the programme, which has seen hundreds of thousands of Javanese relocated to Papua since Indonesia's annexation of the provinces in 1969.

Yoab Syatfle says Papuans are outnumbered in their own region and Indonesia has taken advantage of its natural resources while watering down its culture.

He says Papuans are now only 45 percent of the population.

"This is a big problem to West Papua because it's the impact on our culture and also impact to control of our land and our natural resources. This is a serious serious problem."

The President's pledge was undermined by the transmigration minister, Marwan Jafar, who said the policy has worked well and would be expanded in Merauke in Papua province.

Indonesia's Papua region: the provinces of West Papua and Papua

Indonesia's Papua region: the provinces of West Papua and Papua Photo: RNZ