Australia wants Papua to continue to be part of Indonesia

Bintang Papua, 28 March 2012

While the Australian government is keen to hear about the present situation in West Papua and is hoping to get inputs from a number of sources, in believes in principle that Papua should continue to be a part of Indonesia.

‘Australia fully agrees that Papua should continue to be a part of Indonesia,’ said Ruben Magai, chairman of commission A of the DPRP, when speaking with journalists during a closed meeting with Greg Ralph and Emily Whelan.

As a mark of its support for this position, it has decided to provide financial assistance via the World Bank, the UNDP and other agencies. ‘This is a sign of Australia’s interest in the Papuan people,’ said Magai. [No concern about what the Papuan people may want!!]

He said that Australia was showing its concern by providing financial assistance for the implementation of the OTSUS (special autonomy) law. This financial assistance is intended to help improve the infrastructure, to support the economic empowerment of the Papuan people as well as make provisions for their health and education .’But they need to control how their assistance is being used,’ said Magai.

He said that the election of the governor of the province of Papua had dragged on, and Australian diplomats were concerned about this.’We wanted to conduct the election in accordance with the Special Autonomy Law of 2001 but there are groups of people who have delayed these elections.’ But he did not say which groups of people he had in mind.

There were three points that should be borne in mind about the elections, firstly that the candidates should be indigenous Papuans, secondly, that the incumbent should serve a maximum of two terms.and thirdly regarding who should run the elctions, the DPRP or the election commission.

Australian diplomats also had a meeting with Dr Neles Tebay, rector of STFT, the College of Theology, during which they discussed the Third Papuan Peace Congress in Jayapura , the political status of West Papua as well as problems that have occurred in Papua including violations of human rights. Staff members of the embassy also held a meeting with the UP4B and an assistant of the governor of the province.

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