05/08/2021

Papua Native Definition in the OTSUS Act To Be Reviewed

Jayapura, Jubi

The OAP definition in the OTSUS Act is currently being reviewed.

The Special Group in the Papuan DPR, comprising 14 appointed members of the Council have asked the DPRP Special Autonomy Special Committee to review the proposed changes to the definition of Papuan natives (OAP) in the results of their study.

And Papuan community leaders and activists have urged the central government to exercise prudence and involve Papuans when reviewing the special autonomy (Otsus) status of Papua and West Papua as Jakarta plans to amend the Otsus Law.

The chairman of the DPRP Special Group, John NR Gobai, said in his study, the Special Autonomy Special Committee proposed changing Article 1 letter (t) of the Special Autonomy Law (UU) regarding the definition of indigenous Papuans.

The law is the legal foundation for the Papua administration to manage its own political, cultural and economic affairs.

 It was enacted in 2001, before being revised in 2008 to grant West Papua similar special autonomy.

It also stipulates the allocation of special autonomy funds from the central government, set to stop in November 2021 in order to accelerate development in Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces.

Home Minister Tito Karnavian has hinted at the possibility of extending the special autonomy status for Papua and West Papua beyond 2021, with the deliberation of the latest Otsus Law revision having been included in this year.

The suggestion was conveyed by the Special Group in its opinion, during the plenary session of the results of the Special Committee for Special Autonomy DPRP, Tuesday (15/6/2021) night.

In Article 1 letter (t) of the Special Autonomy Law, it reads “Indigenous Papuans are people who come from the Melanesian racial group consisting of indigenous tribes in the Papua Province and/or people who are accepted and recognized as Papuan by indigenous Papuans.”

Meanwhile, the proposed changes to be submitted by the Special Autonomy Special Committee , namely point a states that OAP are “people who come from the Melanesian race of the indigenous Papuan tribes, whose father and mother, or whose father is from the Melanesian race of the indigenous Papuan tribes.”

Point b reads that a Papuan native is “a person who comes from the Melanesian race of the indigenous Papuan tribes whose mother comes from the Melanesian race of the indigenous Papuan tribes.”

The explanation section states the reasons for eliminating the phrase “people who are accepted and recognized as indigenous Papuans by the indigenous Papuan people” in order to provide protection and empowerment of OAP, especially with regard to the basic rights of indigenous Papuans as an effort to realize the dignity, worth and identity of indigenous people. Papuans.

“We appreciate the efforts of the Special Autonomy Special Committee to protect the basic rights of indigenous Papuans. However, we are worried that it will cause a polemic in the community. This is because the Papuan indigenous people adhere to a patri-linear understanding or father’s lineage,” said John Gobai to Jubi, Wednesday (16/6/2021).