Pastor Neles Tebay on promoting dialogue between Jakarta and Papua

JUBI, 25 March 2011

Pastor Neles Tebay, co-ordinator of the Papua Peace Network – JDP – who has been focusing on promoting dialogue between Jakarta and Papua said that the provincial governments of Papua and West Papua have not yet reached agreement about the agenda of such a dialogue.

‘They have not yet issued statements officially supporting Jakarta-Papua dialogue. Even though they have not yet reached agreement, we will continue to promote dialogue,’ he said.

He said that the governments have not yet adopted a position towards dialogue because it is seen as being a separatist move and in
opposition to what the Indonesian state is working for.

He said that he respects this viewpoint. Any individual who works for
the government who expresses support for the idea of a Jakarta-Papua dialogue is in danger of losing his job because he is likely to be seen as a separatist.

‘Anyone working for the government who expresses support for a dialogue places himself in danger and could lose his job,’ he said.

Even so, he said, the JDP which was created in order to promote the idea of dialogue will continue to popularise the idea in various parts of Papua.

The JDP was set up in January 2010 and has 32 members who come from a number of organisations and institutions in Papua. However, they are not representing their respective organisations. ‘They are each working on a personal basis and doing their work on the basis of their personal inclinations,’ he said.


JUBI, 25 March 2011

Jakarta-Papua Dialogue is not the solution

Many people seem to think that a dialogue between Jakarta and Papua will result in a solution to Papua’s problems, but the JDP does not see
dialogue as being the solution.

The co-ordinator of the JDP, Pastor Neles Tebay, said whilst it is not the solution, dialogue would bring together the two disputing sides, the Papuan people and the Indonesian government, to discuss the various problems that are being faced but have not been solved. The aim would be to discuss the problems and agree to the best possible solution.

”No solutions have yet been found to a number of problems and the aim of pushing for dialogue is to try to find solutions to these problems.’

Pastor Tebay said that so far, he has visited twelve districts in Papua
to hold consultations with people there. The districts he has visited so
far include Merauke, Biak, Enarotali, Timika, Wamena and Sorong.

He has also visited some other countries to discuss the question of
dialogue including PNG, Vanuatu and Australia where he met Papuans in a number of cities. Everywhere he went, he encountered a lot of enthusiasm over the idea of finding a peaceful solution by means of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.

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