Indonesian priests concerned about injustice in West Papua

At least 75 diocesan priests from five dioceses in the West Papua region have voiced concern over the treatment of the Papuan people that has spurred various acts of violence in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

“We see injustices in the fields of economy, social, culture and politics in the land of Papua. We are concerned about various acts of violence happening in the Bird of Paradise Land. Violence is faced by violence.

“All these violent acts hamper the development, harm the peace, and hurt the feeling of so many people,” the priests said in a statement released following their recent meeting in Jayapura, Papua province.

Among those diocesan priests attending the June 30-July 5 meeting was Father Neles Kebadabi Tebay from Jayapura diocese. Other dioceses included Agats-Asmat, Manokwari-Sorong and Timika as well as the Merauke archdiocese.

Speaking with over the phone on July 13, Tebay said that such injustices could be seen in the development programs that focused only on district towns, where migrants mostly from Java now stay.

“It’s based on what we see in our parishes located in remote areas,” he said.

Tebay said that migrants comprise about 70 percent of the total population in district towns such as Jayapura, Keerom, Manokwari, Merauke, Mimika, Nabire and Sorong.

In March Tebay received South Korea’s Tji Hak-soon Justice and Peace Award.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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