President SBY intends to make evaluation of OTSUS after Ramadhan; DPRP's reaction

Bintang Papua, 31 August 2010

President SBY intends to make evaluation of OTSUS after Ramadhan

Responding to the political dynamics in West Papua where attention has been given to the Special Autonomy Law (OTSUS) for failing to improve the living conditions of the Papuan people, the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has begun to show that he has registered these developments.He has now said that he would soon make an evaluation of OTSUS in both Papua and West Papua. This will happen after the end of the fasting month, Ramadhan (which ends on 10 September).

During a one-hour meeting with members of the president’s special staff, they were told that the President had expressed his concern that, despite to large sums of money that have been allocated to Papua every year, the quality of life has not improved. The president believes that there is a need for a ‘Grand Design’ to deal comprehensively with the problems in West Papua.

He has said that the focus will be on improving the supply of foodstuffs, educational and health facilities and introducing an
affirmative policy to promote the role of the Papuan people.

As the first move, he would seek to improve communications between the central government and the DPRP, the DPRD, and the MRP.

The Grand Design would focus on a grand strategy, for the coming twenty years to develop several main sectors such as education, health and the people’s economy.

During the first five-year period they would investigate how many
Papuans had reached certain levels of education, how many hospitals had been built with OTSUS funds, how many doctors were working in the hospitals and so on.

Papua has been provided with plenty of money, which now amounts to Rp 28 trillion (approx. $2,800,000,000) which is far higher that the money allocated to other provinces. OTSUS money has risen from 1.9 trillion in 2002 to 3.5 trillion in 2008, then to 4.1 trillion in 2009, and even more in 2010.

Nevertheless, there have been many demands from the Papuan people to ‘return OTSUS to the central government’. There had been demonstrations in 2008, and now in 2010, people are calling for a referendum.

All this has drawn the attention of the president who has now decided to carry out an evaluation of OTSUS, in order to see whether this situation can be improved.

[This item is heavily abridged and is full of what I can only call
‘management speak’ about the government’s intentions.]

Bintang Papua, 1 September 2010

The chairman of the DPRP, John Ibo and the chairman of the MRP, Agus Alua have said that the decision of the president to conduct an
evaluation of OTSUS is far too late. They pointed out that the OTSUS
law provides for the need to conduct an evaluation every three months.
Although an evaluation was undertaken by the DPRP in 2005, no one from the central government bothered to attend, even though they had been invited.

Nevertheless, an evaluation was very necessary. Whether the government was still keen to implement OTSUS would be discussed by the main executive bodies of the two provinces and the MRP at a meeting to be held in the third week of October.

According to Ibo, during the past nine years since the OTSUS law was
passed, he and others had been the subject of political suspicion and
stigmas, and accusations about the OPM. He himself has also been the
butt of criticism from the people about the implementation of
OTSUS. ‘Stigmatising people as OPM is an old yarn,’ he said. ‘We need a serious political discussion, in accord with the development of
democracy,’ he said

MRP chairman Agus Alua said that it is clear that OTSUS has failed in
four critical areas, health, education, the economy and the
infrastructure. But what is also important is that the dignity of the
Papuan people has been increasingly thwarted with Papuans being pushed aside or their very existence being threatened in their own land. He said that all this has nothing to do with money, but with their very right to life, their empowerment, the need for government to ‘side with’ he people, all of which the central government has failed to
understand. It’s not a question of money but the very right to life,
where Papuans are empowered in all aspects of political life. ‘This is
what we mean,’ he said.

‘But if the president now wants an evaluation of OTSUS, the people must be involved, without third party intervention. It is just between the people and the government, while the role of academics will be very important,’ he said.

The dean of the politics faculty of the Cenderawasih University, Derk
Vebluum said that he felt it was not too late to conduct the valuation.
As regard the four areas of concern, the economy, education, health and the infrastructure, there are no indicators available to measure
implementation. An example is about economic achievement, with Papuan women (‘mama-mama) not having a decent place for them to carry out their business. This has still not been attended to.

He said that the evaluation should involve the universities, the
executive, the provincial legislative assemblies , the MPR and the people.

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