EDITORIAL: Special Autonomy its Casserole!


“For indigenous Papuans, Special Autonomy is like a ‘cake’ from 19 years ago and it has gone bad for the Papuan people. So, if it is continued and fed them, then it has become poison to them. ”

57 Indigenous Catholic priests from five dioceses in the Papua Region underlined this in their Pastoral Appeal against the rejection of the second Bill of Special Autonomy raised by various components of society the land of Papua. The Pastoral Appeal was delivered in Abepura, Jayapura City, Tuesday (21/7/2020).

 ‘Otsus Cake’

Indeed, Special Autonomy refers to Otsus is like a very delicious cake. It feels good on the tongue of the person who eats it, but on the contrary, feels hungry for those who don’t get it. The Papuan people on the side who do not receive it, often question when they will enjoy that cake. Of course, its natural action for them to rebel when they saw other people in front of their eyes freely enjoying that delicious cake alone. And, it has been going on for 19 years since Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Otsus for Papua was appointed and entered the land of Papua on November 21th, 2001.

The cake is very delicious because it has big funds for it. The pouring out of Otsus funds is trillions of rupiah and it has indeed attracted the high appetites of many parties. Of course, by certain parties: the tie and armed with their comprador in Jakarta and the land of Papua.


This is only a budget aspect, not yet anothers aspect. As everything is regulated in the law to reduce the aspirations for an independent Papua. There are 24 Chapters and 79 Articles in that Law.

Big funds, Zero Authority

The extent to which the implementation of each chapter and article of the Papua Special Autonomy Law is not clear to this day. Meanwhile, the Special Autonomy Law gives full authority to local governments to manage their households. But in fact that the funds are big, but its authority is zero. Still under the control of Jakarta.

The visible spirit of Otsus is a cultural institution: the Papuan People’s Council (MRP). Meanwhile, the establishment of reconciliation and judicial institution in Tanah Papua as regulated in Articles 45 and 46, has so far failed. Big zero! This includes the absence of recognition of regional symbols: The Morning Star, and the song My Land Papua (Hai Tanahku Papua).

This is the reality of the legal products created by the government of the Megawati Sukarnoputri regime.

State Big Homework

In the Papua Road Map, a report study by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), there is four substantive issues as a root problem of Papua. Two problems among them which is the cases of human rights violations by government officials on behalf of the state, and straightening the history of the integration of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia still hasn’t been touched by the government to this day.

We justify Frans Maniagasi’s statement that said “As long as Indonesia is independent and 57 years (1 May 1963-1 May 2020) post-integration or 20 years after the implementation of Otsus, Indonesia has never had the slightest political will to solve the root causes of Papua’s problems.”

The government’s political will is not limited to how much funds must be allocated each year for West Papua and Papua provinces. If the indicator is only funding, no matter how much money the government disbursed, it doesn’t change anything, because those funds are “blood money”, money from the bowels of the land of Papua which processed from the state. The state gave to Papua and the money returned to Jakarta again.

The Indonesian government has always failed to understand about Otsus. Think of giving big money to Papua could finish the problem? Gosh! Stop it! It is a deadly mistake, and that wrong perspective must be clear out because as long as the brain is still filled with thoughts about the funds ceiling, Indonesia has failed to handle Papua.

More than Funds

Special Autonomy is not just a fund, but the delegation of full authority and another principal and aspects as contained in the Otsus Law which is respect for human dignity and the right to live in peace on the land of their ancestors.

During dialogue with Papuan Community Leaders in Timika on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian said that the Otsus would continue for the next 20 years. Accompanied by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD and DPD Deputy Chairperson Nono Sampono, talked about the possibility that the central government would implement this policy even though the Papuan people have declared their opposition to refuse the Otsus second volume.

If we look carefully so far, it turns out that what they understanding about Otsus is still the same, big funds to shootout our mouth. Like Tito said that each year the budget amount will be increased from the previous one. “In 2020 the funds for Papua Province is more than 15 trillion. 8 trillion which comes from the Special Autonomy funds. Then the funds for West Papua Province is approximately 9.3 trillion, 5 trillion of them from the Special Autonomy funds”.

For the government, the increase in funds figures that is proof of the seriousness of accelerating development and increasing welfare in the Land of Papua.

But in the eyes of the Papuan people, big funds it’s not a solution to solve their problems. Talking about the funds so that the Papuan people are satisfied? calm and still accept the Second volume of Otsus? Oh, no way! Can’t silent them with the big funds. The more we heard about that sweet narrative from the state, it won’t make us sleep well.

The Otsus cake, which was cooked 19 years ago, was re-cooked using any decoration, did not attract appetites for those who did not have the chance to get it at that time. If you want to be processed again by adding various types of spices, it still looks the same. That cake may have the potential for new toxins for those who consume it. Otsus is Casserole! ***

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