15 Aug 2005

Papuan academic says Special Autonomy Law ensures the rights of people in the Indonesian province

6:51 pm on 15 August 2005

A senior lecturer from a university in Indonesia's Papua province has criticised a massive protest last Friday that rejected the Special Autonomy Law for Papua.

The Jakarta Post quotes Bambang Sugiono as saying there is nothing wrong with the Special Autonomy Law because all the rights of Papuans, which have been neglected for a long time, have been incorporated under the law.

Mr Bambanga, a lecturer at Cenderawasih University in Jayapura and also a member of the team that drafted the Special Autonomy Law, says the fault is with the law's implementation.

At least 10,000 Papuans on Friday demanded the government review the Special Autonomy Law of 2001.

They said that it has failed to improve the life of Papuans and therefore, it had to be rejected.

Although he criticised the protest, Mr Bambang said that it was useful feedback for the central government.

He says the central government has should now take strategic measures to improve the implementation of the autonomy law, which in turn would improve the life of Papuans.