22 Oct 2015

Call for Indonesia to focus more on development in Papua

From , 4:02 pm on 22 October 2015

A West Papuan NGO representative focussed  on development, environment and rights says the indigenous people of Indonesia's Papua region need a more attentive development effort from Jakarta.

Septer Manufandu, who is the executive secretary at Jerat Papua, says development involving Papuans continues to lag, partly due to a lack of recognition of various basic rights of Papuans and also because government agencies aren't always listening to the needs of Papuans.

Mr Manufandu told Johnny Blades that while Indonesia's government system accommodates a big budget for Papua development, and provisions for rights protections, it's not always observed on the ground.

Septer Manufandu: In the National Government committed how to handle the human rights in Indonesia but specifically in Papua.  Because they have a human right commission in national level, and then also they have regulation, how to,  regulation about the human rights.  And then also every institution in Government thinks about the human right, knowledge, but the problem is behaviour of the aparatus in Papua also military and police not chance.

Johnny Blades: It hasn't changed at all?  I mean recently we heard the military commander apologising, even the Police?

SM: Yeah the top level is changing, but in practically in the ground no, I think so.

JB: What is the chances of reform in those forces, do you think it's going to happen?

SM: Yeah, will say in the nation specific in Papua, trying to move government, to seriously, how to use, the national agenda for make change in Indonesia, specific in Papua.  The Papua Police from Government perspective is like red area, that's why different context to how to deal with the Papua issue.  Sometimes we, difficult to deal with the military or Government because their perspective about the Papua people and also Papua place is like distance between them, and between us.  We have Papua people talking about development, development rights.  They say ah you want to want to fill it all and when we are talking about the land, right of the land, we are talking about the right of the health, when we are talking about the right of education.  They said ah we already give the money, sent the money, huge money to you under specific autonomy law.  But how you can still, you want more money, you want more freedom.

JB: So you think the think the government has a clear vision of how to provide those basic services properly?

SM: For my own perspective, we said the Government of Indonesia under now, run away from the root problems.  The root problem is, used to be Papua have like, Papua people like traumatised about the situation.  Traumatised just, we can deal not with, deal with the money, deal with how to build the trust, and build the communication.  When we want to, talking about the trust, talking about the traumatise we invite them, sit together and talking.  Not just blame you lack of capacity, not just blame them primitive, not just blame you already sent more money to the Government here.  

JB: Has special autonomy failed in your view?

SW: Yeah, based on the recent evaluation Papua people possibly already make the evaluation.  Also the University, Cendrawasih University also make the evaluation.  The data we can use to negotiate again with the Government how to make the big chance about the situation in Papua, regular, start from Government and then immigration. But also how to build the development planning, as people to involve in the development planning, not just like come and then see and then writing the planning, and then send to Government for, get them more money.

JB: There are plans for carving up Papua into yet another province or two, that's going to be problematic do you think?

SW: Still the separate, the Papua for three or four province, still we can't issue until now.  Now the Government have plan for create more province in Papua.  Like highlands province, south province, around Merauke and neighbour district.  Also Sarmi, Sarmi district, Sarmi province they still have agenda for that.  My opinion is we don't need the province, we just need development.  When we are talking about development, concrete development in the district, in the sub-district.  How to government create good facility in the, education, health, in the sub-district and the district.  Not create more province, it seems like we create new problems, and then a lot of money can transfer from central government to province and then many corruption in the province level and then they don't care about the situation on the ground.  That's why I said focus on how to improve the development in the sub-district and the village and also the district.