Martial law will mean suffering for the Papuan people

Kompas – January 24, 2004
Papuan Governor J.P. Solossa speaks to journalists (Liputan 6)
Papuan Governor J.P. Solossa speaks to journalists (Liputan 6)

Jayapura – The plan by the People’s Consultative Assembly Commission I urging the government and related partners to conduct a military operation in Papua for the sake of safeguarding the general elections has been opposed by a number of parties.

This program is opposed by the objective conditions of the Papuan people at the moment. If it is forced on them, it will further open opportunities for Papuan independence, linked with issues of human rights violations in the region.

These comments were made by Papuan Governor J.P. Solossa in Jayapura on Friday, January 23, during a break in a ceremony to inaugurate the Head of the Papuan High Court, Kardjan, who’s post will be taken over by I Gusti Ngurah Suparka. Suparka has held a post in Papua before, while Kardjan will take over as the head of the high court in Makassar.

The plan to declare a state of civil emergency in Papua was carried by the Cenderawasih Pos as a headline story. According to the daily, during the plenary meeting of the DPR’s Commission I on Wednesday, which was headed by the deputy chairperson of the commission Effendy Choirie, they urged that a state of civil emergency be immediately implemented in Papua.

[The daily said that] the commission is very concerned about the security situation which is developing in Papua at the moment and predicted that this will deteriorate and head towards the disintegration of the nation in the lead up to the 2004 general elections.

A number of migrants who Kompas met with said that this plan would further burden the lives of the people. The people will become poorer, more backward and oppressed by such an action.

Speaking to the press, Solossa himself explain that there is no need for a state of civil emergency. There are no grounds to implement a civil emergency in the region because the situation and conditions in Papua are extremely safe and peaceful. “We will hold a consultation of regional leaders”, said Solossa.

The deputy chairperson of the Papuan People’s Representative Assembly, Paskalis Kosay, said that the commission’s plan has absolutely no objective basis. The DPR has intentionally thrown up an issue which is wrong and will confuse the public. (KOR)

[Translated by James Balowski.]