Indonesia parliament passes law to create more provinces in Papua amidst fears of government repression
© Wikipedia (Davidelit)
Indonesia parliament passes law to create more provinces in Papua amidst fears of government repression

Indonesia’s People’s Representative Council Thursday passed legislation to establish three new provinces in the Papua region.

The decision came during the 26th plenary session when all the members unanimously agreed to approve three bills that established the new provinces. Presently Indonesia’s easternmost region is divided into two regions, Papua and West Papua. However, now it will be divided into five provinces.

The new three provinces have been named, South Papua Province with Merauke as its capital, Central Papua Province with Nabire as its capital, and Mountains Papua Province with Jaya wijaya as its capital.

Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung, Chair of the Commission of the Council, stated that:

The purpose of the division of Papua is to accelerate equitable development, accelerate the improvement of public services, accelerate the welfare of the community and raise the dignity of the indigenous Papuan people. By taking into account the political, administrative, legal aspects, socio-cultural unity, readiness of human resources, basic infrastructure, economic capacity, future developments and the aspirations of the Papuan people.

Veronica Koman from Amnesty International Australia voiced concern about how the legislation would affect Papuans. She said that by “slicing and dicing Papua into smaller administrative units, [the Indonesian government] hopes to divide and conquer Papuan identity and resistance.”