Calls for dialog as funds wasted

Andi Hajramurni , The Jakarta Post , Makassar | Fri, 09/11/2009 2:51 PM | The Archipelago

Papuas have urged Vice President Jusuf Kalla to act as a mediator to settle problems with the regional autonomy program and improve relations with Jakarta, an official said Thursday.

“Kalla has proved himself able to settle conflicts in the country. As a person from eastern Indonesia, Kalla has a greater understanding of Papuan people and the problems they face,” West Papua legislative speaker Jimmy Demianus Ijie said in a meeting Thursday with Vice President Jusuf Kalla in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Kalla has previously said that he is ready to be appointed as a mediator to settle problems across the country if given authority by the government to do so after his term as vice president ends.

However, Jimmy said the central government should not be blamed entirely for the failure of special autonomy in Papua and West Papua, saying the provincial administrations and the people of Papua should admit their mistakes.

“To be fair, Papuans, especially the provincial administration, should be sincere and admit they have made mistakes in implementing special autonomy in Papua and West Papua,” he said.

Consequently, he said the Rp 30 trillion (US$3 billion) in funds given by the central government for the implementation of special autonomy in Papua, have been spent without results. “Had the funds been distributed to the native people of Papua, the welfare and dignity of around 1.5 million Papuans could definitely have been improved.

“The administrations should not have accepted the funds because the government still has not issued a regulation on the special autonomy funds. In reality, both provincial administrations have accepted the funds that have only benefited officials, while the people of Papua remain deprived and suffering,” Jimmy said.

He said the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had deployed a team to investigate the alleged misuse of the regional autonomy funds and the provincial budgets, but that their results were unclear. “A KPK team has frequently investigated, but it was still unclear. We are worried that the cases are never resolved because of money.”

He disclosed that the West Papua administration had ordered a Rp 100 billion (US$10 million) ship even though it is in dire need of funds to finance education, health and poverty eradication programs.

1 comment so far

  1. Ronnie on

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