Aug 19, 2008

West Papua: Conditions Not Improving, Say Activists

Sample ImageWest Paupan activists dismiss claims that the regional standard of living is improving.


Below is an article published by the Radio New Zealand International:

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation has dismissed claims by Indonesia that the living standard of Papuans is improving due to development in their region.

The claims surfaced this week in discussions between the foreign ministers of Indonesia and Australia in Jakarta.

Australia’s Stephen Smith told reporters he welcomed the fact that resources are being applied to substantially improve the Papuan economy for the betterment of Papuans.

But the Secretary General of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Rex Rumakiek, says Papuans are living in worse conditions than ever under Indonesian rule.

“The people living under trauma for so long. Unless you really remove this cause of trauma, they cannot be participating in any meaningful way in development. So if they really want to help, they could send the military to the barracks, improve the court system and the police, and there is peace in society - no violence - then people might want to listen to any plans for development.”

Rex Rumakiek also dismisses claims by Indonesia’s Foreign Minister that some West Papuan refugees in Australia want to return to Indonesia.