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Papuan People: We Are Prosperous with the Special Autonomy Policy | by Roland Levy

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Roland Levy | Bumi Cendrawasih Student Committee

Special Autonomy is a program given to the provinces of Papua and West Papua, so that the government can focus on developing these areas. The development of infrastructure, economy and human resources is a priority for the Indonesian government in realizing equitable development throughout Indonesia.

The implementation of Special Autonomy for the Papua and West Papua Provinces based on Law Number 21 of 2001 which has now been revised into Law Number 2 of 2021, is the result of a political compromise between the Papuan people and the central government to resolve the protracted multidimensional conflict since 1962.

Through this political compromise, the government is willing to make corrections so as not to repeat various policies and forms of development approaches in the past which were generally not in favor of the Papuan people, and had implications for the marginalization and backwardness of the Papuan people in all areas of development, thus accumulating in the strengthening of desires/aspirations, to separate themselves from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

Law Number 2 of 2022 also discusses the extension of the receipt of Special Autonomy funds for the next 20 years, until 2041. This extension is proof of the partiality of the Government and the Legislative Council in accelerating development and efforts to improve the welfare of the people in the Papua region. The Special Autonomy Fund is still very much needed to accelerate development in Papua. With this extension, it is hoped that in the next 20 years there will be a systematic, well-planned acceleration of development.

Chairman of the DPD Pemuda Mandala Trikora Papua Province, Albert Ali Kabiay said, Special Autonomy is here to answer the problems in Papua. Special Autonomy is important for the development of Papuan human resources, health, economic development in Papua. The Special Autonomy Fund is also an improvement in terms of distribution of the Special Autonomy budget in the regions, considering that the locations for coastal and mountainous areas are different.

Special autonomy to the Provinces of Papua and West Papua is granted in order to protect and uphold the dignity, affirmation, and protection of the basic rights of the Indigenous Papuans, both in the economic, political, and socio-cultural fields. The granting of such authority is carried out so that the administration of government and the implementation of development in the Papua Province can fulfill a sense of justice, accelerate the achievement of people’s welfare, support the establishment of law enforcement, and show respect for human rights in the Papua Province, especially the indigenous Papuan people.

The chairman of the Lira Youth, Stevez R. Mara assessed the implementation of Papua Special Autonomy as an approach taken by the central government in order to improve welfare, as well as to reduce the gap between Papua and other provinces. In Special Autonomy, more authority is given to the regions, as well as respect for the basic rights of indigenous Papuans. The community was directly involved in supervising. Special Autonomy is a policy for the welfare of the people in the Land of Papua.

The Director General of Regional Autonomy at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Akmal Malik, said that with the amendment to Law Number 2 of 2021 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua, it is hoped that the policy budget management will be right on target. So that it will have a positive impact on the lives of indigenous people and Papuans in the future.

The Papua Special Autonomy Law was formulated solely to create an advanced, prosperous, peaceful and dignified society in the Papua Province and West Papua Province as part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

In this case, the development approach requires the use of social, cultural, regional, customary, and ecological zone perspectives in the context of sustainable development. Apart from that, development efforts are focused on indigenous Papuans.

Special Autonomy funds are channeled to many fields, one of which is in the health sector. Not only to build hospitals and health centers, but also for various health programs, such as eradicating malaria which is endemic in Papua. The government of Papua also pays attention to the Papuan people because thanks to the Special Autonomy Law they can develop their own area. The Governor, Deputy Governor, Mayor, and their representatives must be native Papuans. The Papuan People’s Assembly is also there to accommodate the aspirations of the people on Earth of Cendrawasih. Not to mention this all happened thanks to the existence of Special Autonomy in the Land of Papua.

Special Autonomy has a positive impact on people in Papua, since the emergence of Special Autonomy in Papua, people can feel the comfort and direct public services. Therefore, let’s together support the sustainability of Papua’s Special Autonomy. So that the implementation of Special Autonomy can run smoothly and provide welfare as the original purpose of Special Autonomy was formulated.

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