7 Jul 2008

Indonesia's President accused of breaching Papua's special autonomy

10:55 am on 7 July 2008

Indonesia's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has been accused of breaching the 2001 special autonomy for Papua by issuing a 2008 government decree to amend the law.

The Papuan People's Assembly chairman, Agus Alue Alua, told the Jakarta Post the decree violates the special autonomy law, especially the omission of contents.

He said it's not the government's prerogative to revise the law, it's the right of Papuans, according to Article 77 of the special autonomy law.

Indonesia's vice President had proposed a revision of the special autonomy law in February, but was initially turned down by the People's Assembly, the governor and the Papua legislature

However, they later agreed to implement the revisions through a government ordinance.

Frans Maniagasi, a member of the Papua working group, said the decree was approved without public approval, either through a referendum or the legislature.