NAPAS slams president’s speech on West Papua as deceptive, indifferent

Source – August 18, 2012
Napas rally at State Palace in Jakarta - July 3, 2012 (Merdeka)
Napas rally at State Palace in Jakarta - July 3, 2012 (Merdeka)

Surabaya (CARE) – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s speech on August 16 took up several issues related to West Papua, including that it is not easy to solve the Papuan problem, that it needs measures that are specific, basic and comprehensive, that we have to integrate these measures to accelerate development in Papua.

Therefore special autonomy (Otsus) for Papua and West Papua is our basic framework to manage public services, development and regional governments. In order to ensure that development is in accordance with plans and policies, of both the central and regional governments, the government has formed the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B), which is working to ensure the synergy, synchronisation and coordination all agents of development. It is by this means that, in a systematic manner, we can accelerate improvements to the people’s standard of living in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

Papua National Solidarity (NAPAS) coordinator Marten Goo is of the view that this is actually an effort on the part of the head of state to deceive the public. Resolving the Papua problem would actually be easy, if the central government is prepared to open up to the Papuan people through a democratic process beginning with a dialogue or negotiations.

“In actual fact, the central government is making the problem more difficult, and we (NAPAS – ed.) are of the view that the central government has hidden interests with regard to Papua”, said Goo in a press release sent to

The speech, continued Goo, shows that President Yudhoyono is indifferent to the needs of the ordinary people, above all the Papuan people. The president is inviting the people to have false hopes. Yet up until now these two things [dialogue and negotiations] have not been implemented, and instead humanitarian crimes continue to be committed in Papua.

“The government’s programs such as special autonomy, the UP4B and breaking up the region into new provinces and districts will only complicate the Papuan problem. Humanitarian crimes will only increase instead”, said Goo.

In his speech, the president asserted that the government is implementing the UP4B for the sake of the Papuan people. The UP4B is a central government program that is being forced on the Papuan people. Special autonomy meanwhile, which has a higher position than the UP4B, has not been consistently implemented by the central government.

Because of this therefore, Goo believes that the UP4B is just an effort by the government to divert attention and stifle the Papuan people’s good intentions to immediately hold a dialogue and negotiations to resolve the Papuan problem comprehensively.

“The state must immediately hold negotiations between Jakarta and Papua, which are mediated by a neutral third party. The president must immediately stop deceiving the public by trading off the Papuan people for a profit in the name of development and the like, through statements and speeches that are illogical”, he asserted. (Ones Madai)

[Nasional Papua Solidary (NAPAS) Menilai, Pidato Presiden Berlebihan – 18 Agu 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]