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Papua expansion will not hinder formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission

July 13, 2022

Papua expansion will not hinder formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Truth And Reconciliation Commission – News Desk 13 July 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – Head of the Cenderawasih University’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) Team Melkias Hetharia says the expansion of Papua through the formation of three new provinces in Papua will not hinder the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Hetharia said that the establishment of KKR was mandated by Papua Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law No. 21/2001 and remained unchanged in Law No. 2/2021 on the Second Amendment to Otsus Law.

Article 46 paragraph (3) of the Otsus Law states that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Papua can be established by Presidential Decree, following a proposal from the Governor of Papua. Hetharia said the provision had been in effect since 2001 when the land had only one province. According to him, the KKR can still be formed on the basis of the proposal of the Papua Governor.

“So the formation of the New Autonomous Regions has no effect on the formation of the KKR. In Papua, the process of establishing the KKR has been going on for 3 years. Even though Jakarta wants the KKR to be established immediately, we have to follow the procedures as stipulated by law,” said Hetharia on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

The Papua Provincial Government and the Cenderawasih University are currently drafting an academic study to be used as the basis for the formation of KKR regulations. After the process is complete, Hetharia hoped, the Papua Governor could immediately propose the establishment of the KKR.

In accordance with Article 46 paragraph (2) of the Otsus Law, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is tasked with clarifying the history of Papua to strengthen national unity and integrity within Indonesia. The KKR is also tasked with formulating and determining reconciliation steps for cases of human rights violations.

According to Hetharia, the draft for the establishment of the KKR would continue to be discussed with women leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders, the Indonesian Military (TNI), National Police, and Ministry of Law and Human Rights. The preparation of the academic study also involves academics and non-governmental organizations in Papua.

Melkias Hetharia said that the concept of the Papua Truth and Reconciliation Commission had been adapted to the principles of conflict resolution in customary law, positive law, and international law. “We did that because we wanted the establishment of the KKR to create peace and harmony in the entire community, as well as between the community and government,” he said.

Head of the Legal Bureau of the Papua Province Regional Secretariat Derek Hegemur said the formation of the KDD indeed took a long time because it needed discussions to accommodate the interests of all parties.

“Today the Papuan Provincial Government invites all competent parties to discuss, so that the KKR, which will be formed later, can function and help all of us Papuans. The KKR is also an instrument that can be used to find facts, reveal, and formulate steps for reconciliation,” said Hegemur.

Hegemur believes that if the process of establishing the KKR is participatory, the level of public trust in the KKR will be higher. “It takes a long time because there needs to be a firm resolution to the Papuan problem. It is important so that the Papuan people’s distrust, disappointment, and fear that have been looming for a long time can slowly fade away,” he said. (*)

Writer: News DeskEditor: News Desk

2) TNI soldiers arrested by military police for alleged illegal arms trade
Illegal Arms Trade – News Desk 13 July 2022

Jayapura, Jubi TV – The Military Police of the XVII/Cenderawasih arrested on Monday, July 11, 2022, two Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers suspected of being involved in illegal firearms and ammunition trade in Papua. The arrest of the two was a development from the case of AN, a civil servant in Nduga Regency who was caught in possession of 615 bullets.

XVII/Cenderawasih head of Information Lt. Col. Kav. Herman Taryaman said the two TNI soldiers were Second Cpl. BI and First Cpl. TJR. “We’re still conducting further investigation on the alleged trade of ammunition involving TNI soldiers,” Herman said in a written statement received by Jubi in Jayapura on Monday night.

According to Herman, the two TNI soldiers were detained at the XVII/Cenderawasih Headquarters. He said that currently he did not know yet how many bullets were sold by BI and TJR to AN.

Previously, on June 29, 2022, the Yalimo Police arrested a civil servant of the Nduga Administration, AN, who was caught carrying 615 rounds of bullets. AN was arrested after the police saw his suspicious behavior while riding a motorcycle.

AN was also caught carrying a homemade. The Papua Police developed the case and traced the firearms and ammunition trade network. On July 2, 2022, the police arrested a resident named T in Jayapura City. T allegedly sold 160 rounds of bullets to AN. (*)

Writer: News DeskEditor: News Desk


3) The long-awaited birth of South Papua province
6 hours ago

The last day of June (June 30, 2022) marked a new history for Indonesia with the ratification of three bills on carving out three new autonomous regions from Papua.

One of the three regions is South Papua province.

To welcome the birth of South Papua, a 76-meter-long Indonesian national flag was displayed by the people in the yard of the Merauke district head’s office on June 30.

According to the regional secretary of Merauke district, Ruslan Ramli, the flag display was the community’s way to express joy over the formation of South Papua province—for which they have waited 20 years.

As stated in the bill on its establishment, the carving out of South Papua is part of the government’s efforts to manage the region so that the provision of public services can be made more optimal.

It is also expected to encourage the acceleration of community welfare improvement, the strengthening of the region’s competitiveness, and boost the integrity of Indonesia.

In the context of implementing regional autonomy, South Papua province will have to undertake a number of tasks, such as carrying out efforts to increase economic capacity, preparing government facilities and infrastructure, empowering and increasing human resources, and managing natural resources, in accordance with the laws.

The history of South Papua

The journey to the establishment of South Papua has been long, according to one of the community leaders in Merauke who is also the initiator of calls for the formation of the province, Johanes Gluba Gebze.

According to Gebze, the initial aspiration for the formation of South Papua province was first declared in 2002 and was raised again in 2020.

Thus, it took about 20 years to make South Papua—also known as the Anim Ha customary territory—a new province.

With God’s blessings, six major tribes have inhabited the southern part of Papua, namely the Marind, Muyu, Mandobo, Awyu, Mappi, and Asmat, Gebze said.

Long before the arrival of the Europeans in the area, it was inhabited by tribes who survived by hunting, gathering, and gardening. Then, in the 19th century, Europeans began to colonize Papua island. They divided the island in a straight line, thus, the western part became Dutch New Guinea and the eastern part became British territory.

Even so, the Marind people, who were known as head-hunters, often crossed the border, prompting the Dutch government to establish a military post on the eastern tip of South Papua in 1902.

The post, which was located near Maro River, was set up to strengthen security on the border and put an end to the hunting tradition of the Marind people. In addition, the Dutch also made it a place to spread Catholicism, a move that was also intended to stop the head-hunting tradition of the Marind people.

Gradually, the post became increasingly crowded because of its location on Maro River. The Dutch government then named the area "Merauke" and designated it as the capital of South New Guinea province. The Javanese people then began to arrive in the area and set up rice fields there.

Over time, the Dutch government learned of the existence of a larger river, namely Digul River, and moved quickly to make an expedition there. In fact, in the 1920s, the Dutch used the interior area of Papua as a detention camp, which they named “Tanah Merah.”

In other words, the Digul area was used by the Dutch to lock away some of the nation’s historical figures and proclaimers, such as Sutan Sjahrir and Moh. Hatta, Gebze said.

By the time the Dutch left in the 1960s, Tanah Merah had become more and more crowded, and it eventually became the district of Boven Digoel. At this time, all of Dutch New Guinea was successfully controlled by Indonesia, and the area of South New Guinea was changed to Merauke district.

Then, in 2002, Merauke district was divided into four districts: Merauke, Boven Digoel, Mappi, and Asmat. This year, all these districts will finally be unified into the province of South Papua.

South Papua as a new province

The government has designated Merauke district as the capital of South Papua province.

According to data from the website, South Papua is spread over an area of 127,280 square kilometers.

Based on data provided on the website of Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Papua province, the total population of Merauke, Boven Digoel, Mappi, and Asmat districts was 517,623 in 2021.

Given their diversity, the people of South Papua will use a number of languages. Besides the Indonesian language, Asmat, Mandobo, Auyu, Wambon, Muyu, and even Javanese languages will be used in the province.

As an autonomous region, South Papua province will be authorized to manage natural resources in the sea in its area, and the procedures for drawing the boundary of its management authority will be in accordance with the provisions of the applicable laws.

Regarding its governance framework, in addition to having a governor who will lead all authorities at the provincial level and district heads and mayors for regional administration, there will also be legislative bodies that will balance the control of power in South Papua.

They will be the Legislative Council (DPR) and the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP). The DPR of South Papua will be a provincial representative institution, which will be a part of the regional administration of the province.

Meanwhile, the MRP of South Papua province will be a governmental institution representing the native culture of Papua, and it will enjoy a certain authority for protecting the basic rights of native Papuans, based on respect for customs and culture, women’s empowerment, and the strengthening of religious harmony, as regulated by laws.

South Papua province will also have special autonomy, namely special authority recognized and granted by the central government to Papua province and provinces in the Papua region to regulate and manage the interests of the local community according to their own initiative and based on the aspirations and basic rights of the Papuan people, as regulated by laws.

In the near future, as stated by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, the government will form the administrations of the three new provinces in Papua, including South Papua, and regulate the availability of people’s representatives there.

Hopefully, all the good intentions, such as the aim to advance Papua, realize equitable development, accelerate public services, improve community welfare, and uplift native Papuans’ dignity, which underlie the formation of South Papua province and the other two provinces, would be achieved.

Related news: Establishment of C Papua Province hopefully boosts Papuans’ prosperity
Related news: Govt to consider issuing poll rules for new provinces

By Tri Meilani, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution

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