Deadline of 22 March for DPRP to return OTSUS

Bintang Papua, 8 March 2011

[Abridged in translation,]

Several hundred people attended a demonstration in Jayapura on Tuesday 8 March, mostly from the Central Highlands Students Association, urging the provincial legislative assembly, the DPRP, to convene a special session to declare that OTSUS (the special autonomy law) has failed and that it should be sent back to the central government at the latest by 22 March this year.

The demo coordinator Selpius Bobii said that OTSUS had been a complete failure, it should be repealed and the MRP should be disbanded. The government should respond without delay to the eleven recommendations made last June and foreign countries should stop providing money to support OTSUS.

The churches should withdraw their members from the second-term MRP now eing formed. He also called for a halt to all investments in Papua which are exploiting its national resources, including Freeport, MIFEE, the Degeweo mining company, Ilaga and PLTA construction works.

There was also a call to the Pope in the Vatican and the World Council
of Churches in Geneva to pay attention to the serious problems in West Papua in order to save the people from annihilation. The Papuan people and supporters abroad should organise large demonstrations from 22 to 24 March, calling on the executive and legislatures in Papua and West Papua to return OTSUS to Jakarta.

A spokesman for the National Committee of West Papua, KNPB, called on the younger generation of Papuans to show the world that they want freedom. ‘Since Papua became part of Indonesia, there has only been bloodshed, oppression and killings everywhere in Papua,’ he said. Other speakers spoke in the same vein.

Some members and leaders of the DPRP met representatives of the
demonstrators afterwards.

The chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, Ruben Magai said that the
blame for the failure of OTSUS rests with the executive and that the
DPRP has no powers to take decisions to affect the situation.

The demonstrators also took their demands to the governor of the province.

Selpius Bobii also read out a statement saying that they would boycott
the elections now under way for mayor and governor if the national
parliament does not respond to these aspirations. They also threatened to occupy the office of the governor if these demands continue to be ignored. He said that they would wait till 4 April, at which time they would occupy the governor’s office, a statement that was responded to very enthusiastically by the demonstrators.

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