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Papua Church leaders want fair talks

Local people not benefiting from development in the territory, say activists

Papua Church leaders want fair talks
Papuan pastors ask human rights commission for help
Konradus Epa, Jakarta
Indonesia

February 18, 2011

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Christian leaders in Papua have called on the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) , to mediate fair and immediate talks between Papuans and central government. “We urge the commission to mediate a comprehensive, unconditional and dignified dialogue immediately between the government and Papua, because the situation in Papua has worsened,” said Reverend Benny Giay of the Synod of Christian Churches in Papua. “As Church leaders we are called upon to echo the voices of the Papuans. Every day the military is killing Papuan people,” Rev Giay told Komnas HAM at a meeting in Jakarta yesterday. The delegation has also met Indonesian Bishops’ Conference, interreligious leaders, and Communion of Churches in Indonesia for support. Christian leaders in Papua have called on the to mediate dialogue between Papuans and central government. "We urge the Commission to hold a comprehensive, unconditional and dignified dialogue immediately between the government and Papua, because the situation in Papua has worsened," said Reverend Benny Giay of the Synod of Christian Churches in Papua. Rev Giay also asked the commission for continuous monitoring of the situation in Papua. He blamed government for failures to develop Papuan tribal people and cultures, leaving them for oppression, marginalization and injustice. Papuans say the Special Autonomy law has failed to benefit the indigenous people.  Activists say military infrastructure and industrial plants are built all over the region, but not to the advantage of Papuans. Ridha Saleh, Komnas HAM deputy head told the delegation that the commission will plan the dialogue and monitor the situation in Papua. “This is our priority,” he said. IJ13344.1641
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