Churches call for revision of contract with Freeport

Bintang Papua, 8 June 2011The Alliance of Churches in the Land of Papua, PGGP, has called on the government to revise the work contract concluded with the mining company, Freeport.

‘The presence of this foreign company in the district of Mimika has not resulted in any improvements in the conditions of the local people,’ said Wiem Maury, secretary of the PGGP. He said that in addition to this,  the very presence of Freeport in the area has always been a very serious problem for the people.

‘The welfare of the people who are the true owners of the rich natural resource continue to be a matter of great concern. Nor is there any guarantee about security in the area either,’ he added..

He said that the call for a revision of the contract was one of 22  recommendations agreed at the Papuan Transformation Conference that took place from 3-5 June this year.

He said that a representative of the government had attended the conference, along with representatives of all the different Christian denominations that are present in both Papua and West Papua.

The purpose of the conference was to try to reach a common perception  between church leaders and the government on the crucial  issues of empowerment of the community, education and spiritual attitudes.

‘The conference also sought to reach a common position between Papuans with regard to the substance of the special autonomy concerning the issue of taking the side of the local communities, their protectiona and empowerment,’ he said.

Another aim was to reach a common approach between the churches and the government , as the centre as well as in the regions.

According to Victor Abraham Abaidata, the secretary of the organising committee of the conference, a decision was taken to set up a team composed of a representative of the government, representatives of all the churches in Papua as well as a representative of the church at the national level.

‘We have already presented the 22 recommendations to the provincial governments and will soon present them to the central governmentl,’ he said.

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