03 Aug Indonesia must reach political deal with Papua: ICG (AFP)
JAKARTA — Indonesia must reach a political settlement with restive Papua province to prevent simmering anger about broken promises of autonomy boiling over into violence, a think-tank said Tuesday.
Indigenous resentments over the eastern territory’s autonomy came to a head last month when protesters presented the provincial parliament with demands including a referendum on independence and international mediation.
This was followed by a promise from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to audit central government spending in Papua and West Papua provinces to ensure their special autonomy status was being well implemented.
In a new report, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (IGC) said an audit would not be enough unless it was followed by a genuine attempt to negotiate with indigenous Papuans about their political aspirations.
Indonesian officials all too often demonstrated a “contemptuous disdain” for indigenous Papuan representatives, even those who accepted autonomy within the Indonesian state and did not advocate independence, it said. … Go to article.