satunusantara – Jakarta. In Papua, the land belongs to the people, the government is there only to build, and that is if the people want their land to be utilized by the government. Now, Papua continues to build. Moreover, Jokowi government programs encourage development in these peripheral areas such as Papua.

“The development in Papua received quite a lot of assistance from South Korea, so we are asking South Korean Embassy in Indonesia to help us,” Said Sebastian Ndiken, the Head of the Customary Community Council (Lembaga Masyarakat Adat), during a visit to the South Korean embassy in Jakarta on Wednesday (9/27).

Sebastian, together with eight other people from Papua came  to the South Korean Embassy to deliver their complaints due to intervention of Korean NGO called Korean Federation for Environment Movement (KFEM). Representing the people of Merauke and Boven Digoel, Sebastian complains that it is now hard to put food on the table due to intervention from NGOs, Mighty Earth and KFEM, that restricts them to cultivate their own land.

While Petrus Kinggo, one of the customary rights owners from Bovel Digoel regency added that the point is the people of Papua do not want to deal with NGOs, both foreign and local.

“Moreover, until now, we have been partners for a long time with one of Korean companies, such as Korindo. And we have made many agreements. So the NGOs do not have the right to tell us what to do,” he said.

Responding to the complaints of the people of Papua, the Korean Embassy said that recently, the embassy has visited Papua. According to them, they saw a lot of developments in Papua which is assisted by South Korean companies.

“I am very happy because the Korean parties can help Papua in terms of health and the community’s economic welfare, said one of the representatives of South Korean Embassy at the Korean Embassy in Jakarta.

In a meeting with representatives of the Korean Embassy, ​​the Papuans expressed their stance regarding the development of oil palm plantations in their area. The statement of their stance is as follows:

Since last year, a foreign NGO from the United States, called Mighty Earth, and a South Korean NGO, KFEM, have conducted negative campaign against the development of oil palm plantations in their customary land.

Afterward, the negative campaign harmed the community, because oil palm companies have stopped land clearing for oil palm plantation development, so the development of plasma plantations for the local communities has not yet been done to this date.

Furthermore, on the statement, they want plasma plantation to be built immediately for the community in order to improve the welfare of the community as customary rights owners. Because the people of Papua also want to progress, gain prosperity and to be equal to their brothers in other regions outside Papua.

They also asked for assistance to the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta to remind NGOs in Korea, such as KFEM, to not conduct negative campaign and interfere with the development of their oil palm plantations because they are already in accordance with the Indonesian government’s regulation and have been approved by the community as the customary rights owners.

And lastly, they asked if there are any parties who want to help, then the NGOs do not need to conduct negative campaign outside of Papua. The community will invite them to come directly to Merauke and Boven Digoel, in coordination with the local government, and then improve the welfare of the community together. (ray)


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