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Papua: Autonomy Isn’t Independence

Source: Le Monde Diplomatique

Linus, from Papua, said: “It doesn’t matter who the leader is, the dice are loaded against us.” For him, as for many others, the re-election in July 2009 of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (known as SBY) as Indonesian president was no surprise. Linus and his friend Agus are from Jayapura, the provincial capital of Papua, the western part of the island of New Guinea¬†(1). They are studying to be civil servants in the city of Surabaya in eastern Java.

“Instead of independence we have ‘special’ autonomy,” said Agus. That status was won in January 2002. “It is so special nobody trusts it. All I know is I will at last get a job in a new district in the south of Papua. To separatist Papuans, I am a traitor. To most of our Javanese teachers, I am a monkey they are trying to lure down from the trees. I just want to feed my family.” read more