Papuans demand Yudhoyono fulfill promise to improve regional welfare

Source – October 20, 2009
West Papuan protest against SBY (FWP)
West Papuan protest against SBY (FWP)

Elvan Dany Sutrisno, Jakarta – Twenty ‘black pearls’ formed an orderly line in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) Gelding Nusantara Building on October 20 demanding that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono fulfill his promise to improve the welfare of their country.

“We are waiting for what was promised by SBY, that after the inauguration we will hold a meeting to discuss Papuan development,” said Abdul Rahman Kossay, one of the leaders of Suku Lembah Baliyem, a group concerned with poverty in the western corner of Papua, speaking in front of the DPR building in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Standing in a line wearing black suits, the group said that they wanted the fortunes of their sisters and brothers to improve and hoped that with the regional decentralisation promised by Yudhoyono, they could eat better. “We want our region to be split up so we will advance more,” said Kossay.

Kossay said they would remain in Jakarta until Yudhoyono granted their request and realised his promise. “We will wait in Jakarta until it comes true”, he asserted. (van/nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]