Stop ‘Otsus Plus’ and return to Articles 77 and 78 of Otsus Papua

30 Jan 2014
By: 
Yan Christian Warinussey

After reading the contents of the Draft Law (Rancangan Undang-Undang, RUU ) on Papua Special Autonomy, recently known as ‘Otsus Plus,’ in particular the twelfth and thirteenth drafts, as a Senior Advocate Papuan Human Rights Defender,  I would like to urge the Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, and Governor of West Papua, Abraham Octavianus Atururi, to immediately return to the mandate of Articles 77 and 78, Law No. 21/2001 on Papua Special Autonomy as amended by Law No.35/2008.

Mandate of Article 77 No.21/2001: “Proposals for the amendment of this Law may be submitted by the people of the Papua Province through the MRP and DPRP to the House of People's Representatives or the Government according to the statutory regulations.” (To read the law in English click here). While article 78 No.21/2001 reads: “The application of this Law shall be evaluated annually and for the first time at the end of the third year after this Law comes into effect.”

In my opinion, both governors should have been aware that the two draft laws that have been submitted to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono were not rooted in the interests of the people of Papua, in particular indigenous Papuans.

This process has come about as a result of the desire of both provincial governments to amend the Papua Special Autonomy law without meeting the legal and mandatory constitutional requirements mandated in Article 77 and the 78.

This has been exacerbated further by the lack of understanding of the Papuan People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Rakyat Papua, MRP) about law making procedures and processes, and the failure of the institution to act as a cultural representation of the indigenous people and struggle for their aspirations; the people have already rejected Special Autonomy as a failure and they demand a peaceful dialogue facilitated by a neutral third party.

The draft ‘Governmental Law on Special Autonomy in the Land of Papua’ has now been submitted to the President, and if eventually used to formulate an Act to replace Law No.21/2001 on Papua Special Autonomy, then it will only open the floodgates to numerous judicial review applications in the Constitutional Court.

In addition, I am certain that the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat RI) will not accept and approve the bill on the basis that the drafted Otsus Plus law fails to respect the procedures and processes required by our constitutional law.

Moreover, the Papua Special Autonomy Law was initiated by the House of Representatives in 2001; any changes to the scope of the legislation would require it to go through various stages of readings in the House of Representatives itself.

Peace,

Yan Christian Warinussy

Executive Director LP3BH Manokwari / Winner of International  Human Rights Award, the John Humphrey Freedom Award in 2005 from Rights and Democracy in Canada / Member of the Steering Committee of Foker LSM Papua / Secretary of the Commission on Human Rights, Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation Working Committee, GKI Manokwari  diocese.