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Transmigration deemed critical threat to Papuans

October 26, 2015

Transmigration deemed critical threat to Papuans

Radio New Zealand International – October 23, 2015

The Governor of Indonesia’s Papua province has warned that indigenous Papuans could disappear as a people if they remain marginalised in their own land.

Lukas Enembe’s warning came as he delivered a stern rebuke for transmigration — Indonesia’s state programme of resettling people from over-populated regions into less crowded regions such as Papua.

Mr Enembe has called for an end to transmigration in its current form which has changed the face of society in Papua in recent years.

However Jakarta has recently recommitted to it, with various national government figures arguing transmigration is beneficial to Papuans by encouraging them to learn new skills and to compete in modern systems.

One government spokesperson explained that Indonesians have a right to move around the republic without hindrance.

But the Governor says indigenous people struggle to compete with the migrants in economic terms, and warns transmigration introduces new social problems and further dilutes Papuan culture.

"If you asked me 10 or 20 years again in the future, I thought Papuans might be gone already, if we don’t protect them. I mean, they’ll vanish because nowadays we haven’t got the exact number of Papuans but it’s decreasing very rapidly."

Meanwhile, Lukas Enembe says Papua needs a new, remodelled package of the special autonomy which Indonesia granted it a decade and a half ago, one which he says must focus serious efforts on building Papuan capacity and protect their interests as a sustainable society.

The current special autonomy package was formally rejected by the Papuan People’s Assembly several years ago.



Asia Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN)
Email : apsn
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Posted by: APSN <asiapacificsolidaritynet>

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