2 Jun 2014

Too little too late for Jakarta effort on West Papua: academic

6:30 am on 2 June 2014

A South East Asia specialist says neither of the possible successors to the Indonesian presidency appear to offer new policy on Papua region.

There's still dissatisfaction with the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua as President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono's term nears an end.

Damien Kingsbury from Australia's Deakin University says Yudhyono made serious but unsuccessful efforts to resolve discontent with Indonesian rule among West Papuans.

"Really it's always been a case of much too little and much too late. There is still scope for solving the problems of West Papua. But it's unlikely that his successor will be nearly as sympathetic to the West Papuan issue as Yudhyono has been."

Damien Kingsbury says Prabowo Subianto, the former Lieutenant General who served in West Papua, would take a militaristic approach to Papuan separatist expression.

He says Joko Widodo would probably also leave it to the security chiefs to run Papua region.