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Developments in Papua (as of August 2008) Web Memo

August 13, 2008



After Indonesia government succeeds to implement special autonomy in Papua, both central and local government are actively promoting the development of economic and social infrastructures covering city building, energy systems, communication, health care, and education.  To increase Papuan standard of living government has established integrated cities. In the North, for instance, Keerom regency has been planned as one of self service cities (Kota Terpadu Mandiri) like BSD in Jakarta.  In the south, an integrated city covering 35.235 ha located at Salor District Alim Anim Merauke will also be built in 2009. Small-scale enterprises office (UKM) has been established along the border from the North to the South since 2006 such as markets at Lereh village, Kaerom District, at Skouw village, Jayapura District, at Tanah Merah village in Boven Digul District and at Sota village, Merauke District.  

Dealing with energy, on April 2008 Solar Power Energy (PLTS) funded by “Special Autonomy Fund” (Dana Otsus) from 2008 onwards has been built in the two regencies in Yapen Regency (98 units) and in Supiori regency (220 units).  Last year, Papua Pemprov has also built 50 units of PLTS spreading in Tolikara, Boven Digoel and Pegunungan Bintang.  Moreover, the development of the third turbin of Micro Hydro Power Plant (PLTMH) in Mulia Puncak Jaya has been operating. As noted that Turbine 1 and 2 have started operating. The Mining and Energy Service of Papua Province in 2007 has also been programming 8 PLTMHs in some regencies such as in Wamena (2), in Paniai (1), Puncak Jaya (1), Yahukimo (1), Yapen (1) and Jayapura (2).  All of those projects have been completed and has been operating except in Puncak Jaya which just operating 2 from 3 total turbines.

Again using Otsus, Central Electronic Data Board (BPDE) of Papua Province provides free internet facilities (Warnet). This matter is meant to socialize the development of technology to community in order to help them, especially students in accessing various information. According the head of BPDE Thobias Solossa,SH, MM his office has paid around Rp 60 million monthly.

In education field, local government has been cooperating with Patimura University by contracting out 10 teachers to teach in Sorong Selatan Regency and  developing education infrastructure. In the future Regional Government will recruit its own local teachers because there have been many local teachers have got high level education. At the late February 2008 totaling 1,500 prospective non-commissioned officers (Caba) of Republic of Indonesia State Police from Papua have been sent to follow education to three their respective educational agencies that are the Polisi Negara School (SPN) Singaraja (Bali), SPN Mojokerto (Surabaya), and SPN Purwokerto (Central Java). In health services, as of operated in the last 2005 until the end of April 2008, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) or Testing Clinic and Voluntary Counseling of HIV at Regional Public Hospital of Abepura assist free for any person to get short consultation.

The central government through Menkokesra has also built isolated and remote area in Kanero Village, Distrik Bokoneri, Tolikara, starting from three houses or honai becoming 47 house (type 36) provided with elementary school,  public heath service, electricity, 1 village hall unit,  and agricultural (cultivation seed and post harvest treatment).

The implementation of special autonomy has attracted many Papuan living at overseas. Displacement happened in the past have been reduced due to the success of repatriation. Hundreds of TPN/OPM members are ready to come back to the city and wants to be the Republic of Indonesia Citizen (NKRI). Chairman of Laskar Merah Putih of Papua Province Nico Mauri stated until now they (OPM in the jungle) have been utilized by  OPM politicians who live in the city or overseas to rise fund and they miserable and it is time to come back to the city, live among society and build Indonesia together. Repratiation programs appreciated by US Ambasador for PNG Mrs. Liesly, Director of UNHCR for PNG Mrs. Walaya Pura as well as PNG goverment. One of NGO which accelerating the program is an Independent Group Supporting the Special Autonomous Regional of Papua Republic of Indonesia (IGSSARPRI).

The conducive situation in Papua  conducive. Three US officials of American Embassy in Indonesia, namely, Staff for Political Section Mr.Matthew Cenzer, Assistant for Army Attaché Letkol Marc Harrelson and  Attache  Marinir Letcol Ron Domingue who paid a visit to Makodam, Papua on 7 March 2008 appreciated the political and security situation and condition in Papua. Again, concerning US commitment towards the NKRI sovereignty, Mr. Matthew Cenzer said clearly that the US Government supports the Papuan integrity to the territory of NKRI.  On the same month, the similar statement goes from the Australian government.  It was stated by Air Force Defense Attaché from Australian Embassy during two days visit in Papua on 12-13 March 2008 that its side supports Special Autonomy to build remote areas development.

Indonesia government guarantees of political equality and equal treatment under the law.  A lot of Papuans have got distinguished achievements in national level. Freddy Numberi who took  military’s top job has promoted to be Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.  Papuan-born George Saa won International Olympic in Science. Nobo enjoyed the best four of Indonesian Idol and Persipura Jayapura won the Indonesian Football League in 2007.  Most of local government are also managed by their own Papuan-born peoples.

In Papua your dream will come true. We appreciate Franz Albert Joku who had been living in exile in PNG since childhood to return to Papua. We also appreciate Nick Messet.  Of cource, their decision come after observing the real condition in Indonesia and the international political climate. They said,” We believe Indonesia will be better, more democratic, free, prosperous and peaceful in the future,”. They believe Vice President Jusuf Kalla statement that Jakarta gets fund from Freeport Rp 17 trillion, meanwhile Jakarta gives back financial support to Papua Rp 29 trillion or double  from that is taken from Papua.  “So again it is untrue if Jakarta only obtained money from Papua,”he added.