Hundreds of students rallied to Merauke parliamentary office

A number of banners were taken during a demonstration at the
Merauke DPRD Office – Jubi / Frans L Kobun

Merauke, Jubi – Hundreds of students and youth who are members of the Alliance of Students of the South Papua ‘invaded’ Regional
Representative Office (DPRD) of Merauke Regency. The demonstration was to commemorate the World Day of Human Rights (human rights) every December 10.

On Monday (December 11), before heading to the office of the council, hundreds of students held speech in the Brawijaya Circle (Libra). They
then rallied headed to Merauke parliament.

Various banners were carried contained condemnation to the TNI/Polri who committed acts of persecution against Papuan people, also
the indigenous land grabbed for investment activities.

At the office yard, alternately a number of students made speech. They demanded the completion of number of human rights cases that occurred in Merauke Regency.

In their statement, there are number of important points read out by Frans Wanima, the rally coordinator. Some of these issues urging the government to restore the sovereignty of the land and forests of the people of South Papua.

Another thing is to close PT Korindo Group, since after 25 years of their operation, did not bring development impact and prosperity for people in the South Papua.

“We also demand to stop the custom of money penalty to the victims which despises law and make the TNI/ Police officers become accustomed
and legal to conduct violence and killing in South Papua,” said Frans.

The Student Alliance of South Papua also strongly rejected the efforts of Menkopolhukam, Wiranto, which encouraged the settlement of various
human rights cases in the Council of National Harmony (DKN). Because, they said, it will not provide justice to indigenous Papuans who were the victims.

In response to a number of statements, Chairman at Commission A of Merauke Regency House of Representatives, Moses Kaibu, said they would follow up various aspirations in consultation with the chairman of the board.

“I cannot make decision now. Of course, the aspirations set forth in the demands will be submitted to the speaker of Merauke Parliament,
Francis Sirfefa, and we will have to discuss for scheduled hearing together,” he said.

On MIFEE Program in Merauke

At the same occasion, MRP member, John Wob, when speaking in front of the rally at Merauke DPRD Office claimed that he once
submitted a letter of rejection to the Secretary General of the United Nations related to Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE)
program in Merauke Regency since 2010.

He was also written to the then President of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

He said at the time, the impact of MIFEE program will make Marind people extinct, especially because it increasingly cleared community
forest for investment activities.

“Frankly, there is no positive impact that Marind people can feel with the existence of MIFEE in Merauke,” he said. John Wob promised to continue to speak loudly at the MRP and urged the central government to immediately revoke the MIFEE program, as it would gradually ‘wipe out’ the indigenous Marind-Papuans.

Three districts in South Papua are cautioned to limit investment

Separately, in the same day, three Regency in South Papua, such as Merauke, Boven Digoel and Mappi, are reminded to limit investments
leading to large-scale forest clearance.

This was conveyed by Director of the Secretariat of Justice and Peace (SKP) Archdiocese of Merauke, Father Anselmus Amo, to Jubi.

At least, he said, the governments of the three regencies should oversee the implementation of investment so as not to create conflicts
among indigenous peoples and environmental degradation on a wide scale.

Father Anselmus also asks government to develop local food that ensures the cultural sustainability of indigenous peoples.

In addition, he said, it is necessary to mapping customary territory of the clan boundaries so there would be certainty and protection of administration of customary territory among the people themselves.

Father Anselmus added that the three regencies need to have firm stance to ensure access to education and health for communities in
their respective villages.

Previously, Pastor Pius Manu also highlighted investments made in Merauke Regency, where most indigenous peoples’ forests are cleared
only for palm oil development.

As more forest is cleared for the sake of investment, the habitats within it are gradually extinct, he said.(tabloidjubi.com/Zely)