They are Indonesian citizens
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Free Papua Movement (OPM) ceases to exist owing to the Indonesian government's prosperity-oriented and humanistic approaches applied in Papua, a Papuan youth figure stated.

The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia has prioritized the Papuans' prosperity by offering those, who earlier joined the OPM, with equal opportunities to study and get recruited as state officials, Ali Kabiay noted in a statement that ANTARA quoted here, Friday.

"They are Indonesian citizens," he remarked, adding that if there is still a diction of OPM-TPNPB (the National Liberation Army of West Papua), then it is just a political intrusion.

In fact, the OPM-TPNPB-related diction was not genuinely from them since the organization had, in fact, been crushed and become non-existent, Kabiay pointed out.

Thus, if the OPM-TPNPB is claimed to still exist, it is nonsensical since what remained were just armed criminal groups operating in mountainous areas, he explained.

These armed criminals, who continue to commit crimes and acts of violence in Papua, have also been cornered, according to Kabiay.

Kabiay noted that OPM’s existence was triggered by the pro-independence movement of a figure named Terianus Aronggear in Manokwari in 1964.

"The name of OPM became more popular in 1965 owing to the armed rebellion of the Permenas Ferry Awom-led group in Manokwari," he remarked.

With passage of time, native Papuans actively participating in the OPM's moves against Indonesia were those residing in coastal areas.

However, the Indonesian government's prosperity-oriented and humanistic approaches helped to bring about an improvement in the welfare of Papuans in coastal areas, he stated.

The Indonesian government offered to recruit them as civil servants, military and police personnel, as well as athletes, according to Kabiay.

Moreover, the government offers scholarship programs to young Papuans to enable them to receive higher education and become successful in various fields in government agencies.

"Not only that. Many Papuan children are successful abroad. Their success has made Indonesia proud and make them content with the government's attention," he stated.

Papuan communities were also able to benefit from the outcomes of the government's infrastructure construction projects in Papua, he remarked.

The government's prosperity-oriented and humanistic approaches and the demise of old OPM figures have contributed to the organization's non-existence.

Family members of old OPM figures, who passed away, did not carry forward OPM's agenda, so the organization ceased to exist, according to Kabiay.

Kabiay drew reference to Yanto Eluay, the son of slain Papuan independence activist Theys Hiyo Eluay, who had become a member of Jayapura District's legislative body.

Yanto Eluay, whose slain father had also headed the Presidium of the Papuan Customary Council, won the people's mandate to sit at the legislative body and work along with the government to boost Papua's development within the Unitary State of the Republic Indonesia, he affirmed.
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Translator: Muhsidin, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2021