Papua expansion will only exploit Papua’s natural resources: Students

The free pulpit demonstration against the expansion of the Meepago Region Student Solidarity in the study city of Jayapura at the Mimika dormitory, Wednesday (22/6/2022). – Jubi/Theo Kelen

Jayapura, Jubi – The Student Solidarity of the Meepago Region in Jayapura said the Papua expansion plan by the government was an attempt to exploit Papua’s natural resources. This was stated by Yapinus as the Solidarity’s coordinator during his speech at Mimika Dormitory, Jayapura City, on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

The students’ action was held for four hours to reject Papua expansion, Papua’s special autonomy, and criticize the Mimika Regent for his declaration to support the establishment of new autonomous regions, especially the Central Papua Province.

Papua expansion
Free pulpit demonstration for Student Solidarity in the Meepago Region in the study city of Jayapura at Mimika dormitory, Wednesday (22/6/2022). – Jubi/Theo Kelen

Yapinus said that Papua expansion would only provide space for investors to be even more unimpeded to enter and take natural resources in Papua, especially in the Meepago customary area.

“Natural resources are dredged through investments that enter Papua,” he said.

According to Yapinus, investments will not improve the welfare of the Papuan people. On the other hand, it will destroy Papua’s forests and nature, causing the Papuan people to lose their land and place to live, as is the case with the Kamoro and Amungme tribes in Timika. “Papua’s nature and forests will be damaged,” he said.

Yapinus said that Papua expansion was the desire of local and national political elites. According to him, the Papuan people have never been involved in the discussion of Papua expansion.

Further, the Meepago Student Solidarity in Jayapura also criticized the Mimika Regent, Eltinus Omaleng, who supported the expansion of Central Papua Province and said that on behalf of the Meepago community.

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Papua expansion
Free pulpit demonstration for Student Solidarity in the Meepago Region in the study city of Jayapura at Mimika dormitory, Wednesday (22/6/2022). – Jubi/Theo Kelen

According to Yapinus, the declaration made by Omaleng on June 14 was a political ambition for personal gain, not for the interests of the people. He said that the declaration did not involve the Papuan people, particularly the Meepago people.

Yapinus said he would submit the students’ aspirations to Papuan Legislative Council. He said his party would continue to reject the expansion and demand the revocation of the Papua special autonomy law. “And give the Papuan people the right to self-determination,” he said. (*)

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