Movement of Hundreds of Papuan Students Supports the Establishment of DOB – Hundreds of students who are members of the Papuan Student Forum for the New Autonomous Region (DOB) Jabodetabek held a demonstration on June 23, 2022, in Jakarta. They expressed their aspirations for the expansion of the Papua region to be implemented immediately.

Currently, Papua has 2 provinces, namely Papua and West Papua. The community wants the addition of a new province because for an area the size of Papua, there are too few if there are 2 provinces. Representatives of indigenous Papuans finally had an audience with President Jokowi and their wish was granted, because the government will add 3 new autonomous regions in Bumi Cendrawasih.

Actions to support the establishment of DOB also received student support. A total of 200 students calling themselves the Papuan Student Forum held demonstrations in two areas, namely the Patung Kuda [Horse Statue] Area and in front of the Jakarta DPR/MPR Building, on June 23, 2022. The purpose of this action was to urge that the Autonomous Region Law Plan A new bill (RUU DOB) will be inaugurated soon.

Charles Kossay, a Coordinator of the Action, stated that the new autonomous region bill must be implemented as soon as possible, so that the Papuan people can experience prosperity like in other provinces in Indonesia. In addition, Papuan Orang Asli (OAP) will be able to be equal with other Indonesian citizens.

Charles Kossay continued, the region division of the Papua would equalize the results of development. The existence of infrastructure does not only exist in big cities or regencies, but is evenly distributed throughout the Earth of Cendrawasih. The division of the territory will shorten the logistics route, where Papua is geographically full of natural challenges.

In a sense, if there is a division of the region, then infrastructure in the form of roads and bridges that are representative will also be built. That way it will add land routes and the community will no longer be hindered by the natural geographical conditions of Papua. If the logistics route is easier, it will be faster, cheaper and more efficient.

In addition, the addition of new autonomous regions will shorten the administrative command line. If an area the size of Papua only has 2 provinces, it will be a bit difficult to regulate it. However, when it is added and there are 5 provinces in total, it will make administrative arrangements easier and make it easier for the people. The arrangement and coordination of the Provincial Government is also easier because the distance is closer.

 The government has not officially announced when the new DOB Bill will be promulgated. However, it is certain that it will soon be inaugurated so that the 3 new provinces in Papua can be established, administratively and have a strong legal umbrella. The target is that before the election there will be 3 new provinces, and administrative adjustments will be made for recording addresses and data on Papuans.

Students who take action are considered natural because they express their hearts and are even positive because they openly support the formation of new autonomous regions. They just want the division of the territory to be carried out immediately and that is a natural thing. The reason is because the students want the Earth of Cendrawasih area to be more advanced, so they took action and urged the acceleration of the inauguration of the DOB Bill.

Papuan people and students are expected to patiently wait for the new autonomous regions bill to be enacted so that they can have new provinces. The government will continue to fulfill its promise to divide the territory of Papua. It is only a matter of time until the new autonomous region bill is passed and they can have a new autonomous region and of course a new governor and deputy governor.

The support of Papuan students who want the formation of new autonomous regions is a reflection of public aspirations, especially those from academic circles and indigenous Papuans. With the support from the Papuan student elements, the formation of DOB can be realized immediately and the polemic of implementing the policy can be ended.

Author: Saby Kossay (the author is a Papuan student living in Yogyakarta)

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