Mimika People’s Paradigm in Supporting the Expansion of the Papua Region

goodmorningpapua.com – The establishment of a New Autonomous Region (DOB) in Papua has received wide acceptance from the public. On April 13, 2022, thousands of people in Mimika Regency, Papua, held a huge declaration in support of regional expansion.

Papua used to be called Irian Jaya. During the new order there was only one province but in 1999 there was one more province, namely West Papua. Currently, there is a proposal for regional division or the addition of a province that was put forward by the OAP (indigenous Papuans). They had an audience with President Jokowi and request for division so that there would be new provinces, namely Central Highlands Papua, Tabi Saireri, and South Papua.

The division of the territory is fully supported by the natives of the Earth of Cendrawasih. As many as 3,000 residents in Mimika Regency, Papua, took to the streets to express their support for the establishment of a new autonomous region (DOB) for Central Papua on April 13, 2022. They moved from Timika City to the Mimika Regent’s Office. They consist of traditional leaders and representatives from 18 tribes in Timika.

The head of the Declaration of Action, Karel Kum, stated that this action was a form of support for the government for the formation of the Province of Central Papua with its capital city Timika. The Amaro and Amungme tribes expressed their support for the provincial capital to be placed in Timika.

The support from indigenous Papuans shows that they encourage the formation of regional expansion, because this program is very useful. First, the expansion of the region will make it easier to access administrative arrangements because the residents of Timika do not have to go all the way to Jayapura to take care of important papers. When management is easy, they will obey and will not be late in taking care of the administration.

The distance from Timika to Jayapura is 480 kilometers if taken by land and this is very tiring. Indeed, there is an air route but not everyone can afford to buy a plane ticket. Moreover, the price of avtur is also high.

Second, if there is a new province, the people of Timika and its surroundings will benefit. The addition of a province means an increase in APBD funds and the money is used for the benefit of the residents there. For example for the construction of representative roads, construction of schools, etc.

The regional division is indeed synonymous with progress because if there is a new province, a wholesale market will be built as a trade center, schools to high school level so that Papuan children can study and become smarter, etc. This modernization is expected by the people because they want to move forward.

In addition, if there is an expansion of territory, there will be a new governor and deputy governor, because the Special Autonomy Law requires that the leader must be a native Papuan. They are Papuan sons who excel and keep the people’s trust in moving forward.

The support from the Timika community and traditional leaders shows that the division of the territory was a proposal from the indigenous Papuans themselves. This removes the slander that has been blown by the separatist group which says that the division of territory is only a covert program of the government. In fact, the people of Cendrawasih Earth agreed.

People also don’t want to be pitted against each other by separatist groups because they believe in government programs. Even though they don’t live in Timika, the citizens also support regional expansion because they know that this program has many benefits. They do not want to be instigated by the Separatist and Terrorist Group (KST) which often carries out propaganda in cyberspace.

When there are thousands of Timika citizens holding a peaceful demonstration to support the division of the region, this shows that the proposed addition of a province has been accommodated. With this new autonomous region, progress in Papua is expected to be realized soon.

Author: Rebecca Marian (The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta)

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