Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Papua administration has urged residents and bureaucrats to join the celebration of Indonesia's 76th Independence Day by displaying the Red and White flag in front of their homes, shops, and offices.

They have also been encouraged to decorate their neighborhood areas with outdoor decorative flags, assistant to Papua provincial government's secretary for administrative affairs, Doren Wakerkwa, said here on Saturday.

Displaying the flag is meant to show the nation's respect for all the men and women who fought for independence, he said while reminding local residents of a circular letter, which has mandated hoisting the flag.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the simplicity of celebrations is expected not to weaken the spirit of commemorating the country's Independence day, he said.

The Papua administration will still hold a flag-hoisting ceremony on August 17, 2021 at Jayapura city's State Building Dok V, but the number of attendants would be restricted, he disclosed.

ANTARA has reported that this year's Independence Day celebration will be held in Papua and West Papua a month after the House of Representatives (DPR) ratified the bill amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law No.21 of 2001.

The bill that the House members enacted during a plenary session on July 15, 2021 accommodates 18 revised chapters and two new chapters, according to head of the House's Special Committee for Amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law, Komarudin Watubun.

The enacted bill has accommodated the need to regulate the privileges of indigenous Papuans in the political, education, health, labor, and economic sectors, as well as to support customary communities, he said.

It offers more room to native Papuans to get involved in politics and in such organizations as the Papuan People's Assembly (MRP) and Papua legislative councils (DPRK) in districts/cities.

At least 250 seats will now be reserved for native Papuans in district- and city-level Papua legislative councils (DPRK), Watubun disclosed. At the same time, 30 percent of the DPRK seats will be reserved for native Papuan women, he added.

In response to the enactment of the bill, Jayapura city government's secretary, Frans Pekey, recently said that the renewed Papua special autonomy law will help local governments in Papua to fulfill the basic rights of customary law communities in the province.

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Translator: Hendrina DK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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