2 May 2006

Indonesian academic says Jakarta now ready to try and resolve Papua tension

7:31 pm on 2 May 2006

An Indonesian academic is confident that the concerns of the people of Papua can be resolved by a proper application of the special autonomy granted to the province.

Dr Dewi Fortuna Anwar, who had been an advisor to former president B.J. Habibie, and is an analyst at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, says there is a real desire on the part of Jakarta to deal with the Papua issue.

She says the Government has made mistakes, such as splitting Papua into multiple provinces and not fully supporting the indigenous people's assembly, the MRP.

But she says the issues can be resolved if there is the will on both sides.

"The problem is that Indonesia has been distracted by so many issues. The Government has mostly been distracted by these natural disasters, so a lot of attention has gone on Aceh. So now we hope that once the law on Aceh has been passed, that can take care of itself, and more attention can be paid to the Papuan issue."