Jakarta – Vice President Jusuf Kalla says that the government has done all kind of things to reconcile with Papua including providing facilities as well as special policies for Indonesia’s Eastern-most region.
He made the statement following the recent fatal shooting of Trans Papua road project construction workers and TNI (Indonesian military) personnel in Nduga, Papua.
“Everything has been given to the region, except independence. We have provided extraordinary subsidies to Papua, political administration has also been handed over to them. The governor, the regents must be indigenous Papuans”, said Kalla at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday December 11.
West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) commander Egianus Kogoya has claimed responsibility for the shooting in Nduga.
The group said that the shooting was carried out in order to stop the road project. They believe that the infrastructure development being carried out in Papua is another form of colonialism.
Kalla also said that the government has given a great deal of thought to criticisms by various parties over the Trans Papua road project. The construction of this road will in fact facilitate the entry of foreign investment into Papua.
“We’re building the Trans Papua highway because we believe that it is important for advancing Papua. But rebellious parties say, ‘Wah it will bring even more people from outside into Papua’”, said Kalla.
Because of this therefore, continued Kalla, an approach by regional governments in Papua is needed so that the development carried out by the government can be enjoyed by all parties.
“Political [administration] has already been given to them, they control the economy. What else is there to discuss. So all that’s left is an understanding on the part of respective leaders so that everyone can enjoy it”, said Kalla. (psp/osc)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “JK: Semua Dikasih ke Papua, Kecuali Kemerdekaan”.]