Rilly P. | Papuan Observer
According to a senior Papuan figure, Michael Manufandu, the various progress that Papua has made over the past 20 years cannot be separated from the existence of a special autonomy policy as stipulated in Law 21/2001.
Manufandu said that as a witness to history and as a historical actor, he saw that with the existence of Law 21/2001, many Papuan rights were lifted so that we can see that the developments over the past 20 years have been extraordinary.
Manufandu, who is now entrusted with the government’s advisory role in Papuan affairs, said that Law 21/2001 was issued as a result of 37 years of decline, backwardness and marginalization in Papua.
During the era of President Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur, he said, the president rejected the bill on Papua Special Autonomy, both proposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Provincial Government of Irian Jaya at that time.
Furthermore, President Gus Dur summoned four Papuan figures, namely Michael Manufandu, Simon Morin, Lukas Degei and Erari to convey to the Papuan people that the Papua Special Autonomy Law was drafted by the Papuans themselves according to the wishes, desires and wishes of the Papuans themselves, but still within the framework of the Papuan people. NKRI.
On this basis, educated Papuan sons and daughters drafted the Papua Special Autonomy Bill which was later approved and ratified by the Indonesian Parliament on November 21, 2001.
“Without Law Number 21 of 2001, he said, it is impossible for Papua to have two provinces, 42 regencies/cities. 733 sub-districts or districts and 7,143 villages or villages.”
With Law 21/2001, the government is trying to be closer to the people, providing services that are faster, more precise, closer and harmonious with the people.
The former Indonesian Ambassador to Colombia and the Mobile Ambassador for Papua Affairs reminded certain groups not to keep highlighting the failure of the Papua Special Autonomy program.
In terms of infrastructure, he said, the Special Autonomy Law for Papua encourages the growth of many international-class airports in Papua, as well as sea ports, trans-Papuan highways that connect one district with other districts to the interior of Papua.
Meanwhile, in terms of human resource development, now many Papuans have become educated and attend various universities and colleges both at home and abroad. As for politics, he said, almost all positions were filled by native Papuans.
He welcomed the results of the revision of Law 21/2001 which was ratified by the DPR on July 15, 2021 in an effort to improve the welfare of indigenous Papuans within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
Prior to the issuance of the Papua Special Autonomy Law, he said, the vast territory consisted of only one province, one governor, nine regents, 117 sub-districts and 892 villages.
However, 20 years after the Papua Special Autonomy policy, development in the provinces of Papua and West Papua is far ahead of the progress of development in neighboring Papua New Guinea.