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Statement by Senior Papuan Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate

March 25, 2013

The decision by the Papuan and West Papuan provincial administrations to hold an exhibition in Jakarta in the near future to evaluate the Special Autonomy Law for Papua is clearly unlawful and can also be said to be unconstitutional and in violation of Article 78 of Law No 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua,.

Why is this so? The Acting Governor of Papua Drh Constan Karma and the Governor of West Papua Abraham Octavianus Atururi should be reminded that the mandate to make such an evaluation of special autonomy is in the hands of all elements of Papuan society in the province of Papua and the province of West Papua.

Any intention to conduct an evaluation must be submitted to the Papuan people themselves, either directly or via the intermediary of the provincial assemblies, [DPRP, DPR PB] and the provincial assemblies as well as civil society organisations, religious institutions and the Papuan Traditional Councils.

The Papuan people are the ones who have the right and responsibility, along with the administrations and all stake-holders, to make an evaluation of the policy of special autonomy which, up to the present day, is regarded as having been a failure and having failed to deal with the problems of social inequalities and the social welfare of the Papuan people.

The same also applies, in my opinion, to decisions to divide up the territory of the Land of Papua which has been going on since 2003 and which has clearly been violated by the Papuan political elite who have been the ones who aspire to and proposed the division of the territory.

This is also the case with regard to the proposal by Governor Abraham Octavianus Atururi for the sub-divison into six autonomous regions which was made at a meeting of Commission II of the DPR [the Indonesian Parliament] on Tuesday, 19 March in Jakarta; that is to say, for its division into South-East Papua, South-West Papua, Central Papua, South Papua, and Cenderawasih Bay and Raja Ampat.

In my opinion, such a proposal does not take account of social,cultural and political rights and is in violationof the constitutional rights of the Papuan people, as stipulated in Article 76 of the Special Autonomy Law. This would entitle the Papuan people to take legal action against senior officials in West Papua.

In these matters, the Papuan people do not stand alone because these actions clearly violate the authority of the West Papua People’s Assembly as well as the People’s Legislative Assembly of West Papua which can be lawfully challenged as from now.

Yan Christian Warinussy, Senior Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate in Papua.

Translated by TAPOL

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