Hundreds of Native Papuan Students Urge the Ratification of the DOB Bill – As many as 200 students who are members of the Papuan Student Forum for the New Autonomous Region (DOB) of Jabodetabek held a demonstration at two spots in Jakarta, Thursday, June 23, 2022. They urged the immediate ratification of the DOB Bill.

The demonstration was held in the Horse Statue area, Central Jakarta, at 10.30-12.00 WIB and at the DPR/MPR-RI Building, Senayan, Jakarta, at 12.30-14.00 WIB. The mass of indigenous Papuan students (OAP) came from a number of areas in Greater Jakarta, Bandung, and several other areas in West Java.

From the Monas courtyard area, the masses moved towards the Presidential Palace. However, this plan was blocked by the police beside the Horse Statue, so the masses moved back to Monas and continued their action to the DPR/MPR Building to convey the same demands.

A coordinator of the mass action, Charles Kossay, said that the ratification of the new autonomous region bill must be carried out as soon as possible, so that the Papuan people can have prosperity like other provinces in Indonesia. “The region division of the new autonomous regions will put the welfare of the land of Papua and OAP on a par with their brothers in other provinces,” said Charles.

As stated by him, the expansion will shorten the logistics route in Papua, which is geographically full of natural challenges, so that logistics can be fulfilled quickly, effectively, efficiently and cheaply. Besides, it can shorten the administrative command line, so that public services can be carried out quickly, especially in remote areas.

“This region division will equalize the results of development, which so far have practically only been enjoyed by OAP residents who are in urban areas, whose infrastructure has been built,” he argued. With the region division of new autonomous regions, according to Charles, new job opportunities will also be wide open for OAP.

Charles also explained that the OAP student forums for new autonomous regions in Central Papua, Central Highlands Papua, and South Papua are fully aware that President Jokowi’s initiative has the potential to interfere with the narrow interests of a handful of elites. This is because the special autonomy funds and other APBD funds will be allocated equally to the three new autonomous regions. “So their corrupt practices are getting narrower,” said Charles.

For this reason, the student forum urges all law enforcement officers, including the KPK, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Indonesian Police to immediately arrest elites who have been practicing corruption so that they no longer hinder efforts to improve the welfare of the Papuan people, especially OAP. “This is as mandated by the Special Autonomy Law Number 20 of 2021 and the Presidential Instruction Number 9 of 2020 concerning the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua,” explained Charles.

“The student forum also believes that the concrete evidence of the abuse of special autonomy funds and other APBD ones has been owned by law enforcement officials,” he said.

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