IB 2020/24 The Competing Perceptions of Jakarta and Papua towards the Special Autonomy Law
The historical roots of special autonomy in Papua can be traced back to two major events. The first was a meeting of 100 Papuan representatives with President Habibie in Jakarta on 26 February 1999, and the second was the 2nd Papuan Congress held in Jayapura city from 29 May to 4 June 2000. In both events, Papuans expressed their demand for political independence. In response, the central government granted special autonomy through the enactment of Law No. 2½001 (Special Autonomy Law). Although special autonomy is valid for an unspecified period of time, Article 34(6) of the Law states that special autonomy funding shall be valid for 20 years; it will come to an end in 2021. While the central government has decided to extend the allocation of special autonomy funds, various Papuan groups recently voiced their opposition. This rejection arguably has roots in differing perceptions of special autonomy between Jakarta and Papua. This In Brief examines these differences and suggests a way forward.