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Beware of the Provocation of Rejection of Special Autonomy and Papua New Guinea

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By: Rebecca Marian)*

The Special Autonomy Policy (Otsus) and the New Autonomous Region (DOB) are policies that aim to improve welfare in Papua, but it would be strange if this policy actually rejected it and even provoked people in Papua to reject the Otsus and DOB policies.

In Otsus itself there are four priority programs that spur the development of the people and the Papua region, namely education, health, people’s economic empowerment, and infrastructure development.

Through special autonomy, a plan for the expansion or formation of new autonomous regions in Papua is produced which is a solution in accelerating and equitable development. The establishment of new autonomous regions also aims to shorten the span of control of services to the community so that it becomes a concrete step in advancing Papua which has a large area.

However, there are still a few parties who feel disturbed by the benefits of these two policies. Instead of the rejection being done in a good way, the rejection was carried out in a bad way, such as provoking other people to reject Otsus and DOB.

In a number of actions in the name of the Papuan People’s Petition (PRP) where one of the demands is the rejection of Otsus and the new autonomous regions, it is clear that they are not purely representing the Papuan people with full of political interests.

This group has narrow ideals that actually feel disadvantaged if the development carried out by the government in Papua has been successful and evenly distributed. This is because the group is alleged to have been secretly controlling and enjoying Papua’s various welfare benefits for its own sake.

PRP feels the need to return to carrying out the action by inviting the Papuan people to participate in taking to the streets. According to them, the provincial expansion policy is not in favor of indigenous Papuans (OAP). In addition, this policy is also a form of colonization by the central government against the people living in Papua.

The emergence of this statement of course needs to be watched out for, because it has repeatedly happened which ended with a political charge, namely the involvement of separatist groups who also rode with the demands of a referendum.

Meanwhile, in the end, the demands for the rejection of new autonomous regions were only a prelude to seeking public sympathy. Then the question arises who is the mastermind behind the PRP? It turns out that the PRP was initiated by organizations opposed to Indonesian sovereignty, such as the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), in which it is clear that these organizations do not want Papua to become a peaceful and prosperous region with the Republic of Indonesia.

KNPB itself is one of the organizations that is still echoing the narrative of the separation of Papua from Indonesia. The Papuan people must be vigilant and critical in responding to various appeals or calls for rejection of Otsus and DOB. The provocation is actually part of the interests of certain groups or personal goals in it.

Previously, the PRP had held a similar action on April 1, 2022. As a result, the Papuan people only suffered losses. However, they actually want to do it again, while now the people have understood and realized that the actions initiated by the PRP were not useful.

The demonstration did not have official permission from the police. So there is no guarantee of security from this action. In various decisions, the pros and cons of a policy are of course a natural thing. However, PRP is a stupid step, they do not realize that with the existence of special autonomy, many young people in Papua can actually get higher education. Imagine if there was no special autonomy, young people in Papua, especially the less fortunate, would find it difficult to get higher education.

In addition, policies related to the division of the province in Papua must also be handled wisely so as not to cause turmoil. The entire community should be vigilant so as not to be influenced by issues or provocation actions carried out by certain elements that can disrupt security and order as well as the smoothness and tranquility of the community in their daily activities.

On a different occasion, the Association of Regents of the Central Highlands of Papua agreed to support the new autonomous regions in Papua. They assessed that the expansion of new autonomous regions would improve the welfare of the community. Support for the expansion in Papua continues to flow from traditional leaders, mayors and regents in the Central Highlands of Papua.

The proposed expansion in the Papua region has gone through a series of political processes before the new provincial bill (RUU) is passed by the DPR. The process includes the discussion and absorption of aspirations through the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and the Papuan People’s Representative Council (DP).

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