Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Papua

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Papua

Article excerpt

The condition in Irian Jaya or Papua was not much better. A similar special autonomy law to the one granted to Aceh was passed by the Parliament on 22 October, to be effective on 1 January 2002. The framework of the law was also quite similar, in the return of 70 per cent of oil and gas revenue as well as 80 per cent of other revenue sources. The law acknowledged that the official name of the province was Papua, after its unofficial usage for quite some time. The law also sets up a new institution, the Majelis Rakyat Papua (MRP, or Papuan People's Council), whose membership derives from various local, tribal, and religious leaders, as well as the representatives of women's groups. Unlike other provinces in Indonesia, Papua will be allowed to have its own flag and other local symbols.

Despite the special autonomy law, the call for independence in Papua remained strong. The Presidium Dewan Papua (PDP, or Presidium of Papuan Council), the most prominent of Papuan independence organizations, rejected the law, citing that the Indonesian Government should first and foremost revise the official history by acknowledging that Papua had indeed become independent on 1 December 1961, after the departure of the Dutch, before it was reintegrated with Indonesia. However, the security condition of the province was calmer than in Aceh, and PDP has pursued its aim of independence through legal and political means. …

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