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Cultural Destruction, Land Conversion Threaten Indigenous Papuans

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Indigenous peoples of Papua - Jubi

Indigenous peoples of Papua – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The destruction of Papuan culture is gradually happening and is threatening the lives of indigenous people, a student group said.

The issue at heart is not the reduced number of Papuans, or a number of birth and mortality. But the most important is the lost of cultural values, replacement pattern (ignoring the sacred land), a ban to used the local languages in some urban schools, as well as the lost of local content education in school, said the Chaiman of Papua Highland Student Association in Indonesia (AMPTPI) for Eastern Indonesia Region, Natan Naftali Tebai.

He said the most crucial is the lost of tenure rights on land, water and the values of life. “The process of land conversation such as the sago forest was destroyed becoming the oil palm plantation was counted as the process of the extermination towards the values and heritage plant in Papua,” Tebai said in Jayapura on Monday (19/10/2015).

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According to him, once Papua was recognized as the sago barn but it is now recognized as the oil palm barn. During the time the number of population in Papua is still politicized by some bureaucracy elites, therefore the population of Papua blooms up to more than three million.
“The Papua Provincial Government should be firm and realistic about the population number of indigenous people. The Regional Parliament, Papua Representative Council, Papua’s People Assembly and Papua Provincial Government do not stay still and watch the reality of genocide,” Tebay said.

He added they must establish the strategic stages, such as forming the Special Regional Regulation, establishing the particular institution to manage the migrants and provide sanctions over them if necessary.

“This is also prohibiting the development process. The Central Government also implements several policies that are not synergy with the Governor’s policies. Thus the regents and majors must observe this situation, therefore they shouldn’t necessarily ask the Central Government for supports,” he said.

It could be seen through several oil palm plantation companies, illegal logging and illegal fishing were happened without prior communication with the Provincial Government.

Further he asked the Papua Governor to immediately issue the regulation about the population restriction and form a special body about the population issue in Papua. He also suggested the requirement of the regulation of local transmigration regulation both people and government officials.

Earlier, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the transmigration program in Papua initiated by the Minister of Village, Rural Development and Transmigration Marwan Jafar was a depopulation threat for indigenous Papua.
“We have rejected the transmigration program from the Central Government. If still want to realize it, it should be a local transmigration instead of replacing people from Java or other regions to Papua. Replacing poor people to Papua means taking a problem to Papua. It’s not only related to the economy or the employment or the social problem, but I do worried that the program would reduce the number of indigenous Papua on this land in ten or twenty years; depopulation of indigenous Papua,” Enembe told Jubi at his official resident on Saturday evening (17/10/2015) in Jayapura.

Further he said until today no institution has the valid data about the number of indigenous People. So how could we protect the indigenous Papua of the transmigration is still running without knowing the accurate data on the number of indigenous people. (Abeth You/rom)

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