Jakarta – Lawyer and Papua advocate Veronica Koman has criticised the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government for ratifying the Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law on Papua, saying that the law only represents the interests of the government.
Koman said she regrets that the law was ratified when it has been rejected by Papuans and that the interests of the Papuan people were not considered in the law.
"The extension of Papua Otsus is from Jakarta, by Jakarta and for Jakarta, because the MRP [Papua People's Council] has already said that the majority of Papuan people reject Otsus", said Koman in an SMS message sent to CNN Indonesia on Thursday July 15.
Koman also highlighted a number of revisions to the law, one of which is article 76 on regional decentralisation in Papua.
She said that the article will make it easier for the central government to create new administrative regions in Papua. Yet in terms of legislation, the population density requirements for this have not been met. In addition to this, it will also have the potential to give rise to conflicts.
"Regional decentralisation in Papua is one of the tactics of divide et impera which has been effective in marginalising Papuans. This would mean that there will be new administrative regions, and there will be talk of transmigration again", she said.
Koman also criticised the removal of paragraphs (1) and (2) from Article 28 which stipulated the Papuan people's right to establish local political parties.
Koman said that the removal of these two paragraphs will make it impossible for Papuans to create local parties. Yet in other special regions such as Aceh, this is allowed.
"Even prior to this it wasn't implemented because of the huge stigma and pressure from Jakarta so local parties in Papua have never existed in Papua. Moreover, now in black and white it no longer exists", said Koman.
Earlier today the government and the DPR agreed to enact the Draft Law on Papuan Special Autonomy which revised Law Number 21/2021.
The revised law contains 20 articles, 18 of which represent revisions to the existing law. Two other articles meanwhile are new to the law. (dhf/wis)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Veronica Kritik UU Otsus Papua: Dari, Oleh dan Untuk Jakarta".]