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PAPUA ISLAND OR IRIAN JAYA

Papua comprises most of the western half of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands. Its capital is Jayapura. It's the largest and easternmost province of Indonesia. The province originally covered the entire western half of New Guinea. In 2003, the Indonesian government declared the westernmost part of the island, around Bird's Head Peninsula, a separate province; its name was first West Irian Jaya and is now West Papua.

"Papua" is the official Indonesian and internationally recognized name for the province.

During the Dutch colonial era the region was known as part of "Dutch New Guinea" or "Netherlands New Guinea". Since its annexation in 1969, it became known as "West Irian" or "Irian Barat" until 1973, and thereafter renamed "Irian Jaya" (roughly translated, "Glorious Irian") by the Suharto administration. This was the official name until the name "Papua" was adopted in 2002. Today, natives of this province prefer to call themselves Papuans.

The name "West Papua" was adopted in 1961 by the New Guinea Council until the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) transferred administration to the Republic of Indonesia in 1963. "West Papua" has since been used by Papuans as a self-identifying term, especially by those demanding self-determination, and usually refers to the whole of the Indonesian portion of New Guinea. The other Indonesian province that shares New Guinea, West Irian Jaya, has been officially renamed as "West Papua".

Within Indonesia and West Papua itself, 'Papua' usually refers to the entire western half of New Guinea despite its division into separate provinces. Western New Guinea is generally referred to as 'West Papua' internationally – especially among networks of international solidarity with the West Papuan independence movement.


PAPUA PACKAGE TOURS

TANA TORAJA TOURS


BOROBUDUR HERRITAGE

GOVERNMENT


The province of Papua is governed by a directly elected governor (currently Barnabas Suebu) and a regional legislature, DPRP (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua). A government organization that only exists in Papua is the MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua / Papuan People's Council), which was formed by the Indonesian Government in 2005 as a coalition of Papuan tribal chiefs, tasked with arbitration and speaking on behalf of Papuan tribal customs.

Indonesian governance of Papua is recognized by the United Nations and practically all members of the international community. As in the other provinces of Indonesia, the central government in Jakarta has a strong influence in the Papua. Papua was a major beneficiary of a nation-wide decentralization process started in 1999 and the Special Autonomy status introduced in 2002. Measures included the formation of the MRP and redistribution of resource revenues.
In 1999 it was proposed to split the province into three government-controlled sectors, sparking Papuan protests. In January 2003 President Megawati Sukarnoputri signed an order dividing Papua into three provinces: Central Irian Jaya (Irian Jaya Tengah), Papua (or East Irian Jaya, Irian Jaya Timur), and West Papua (Irian Jaya Barat). The formality of installing a local government for Jaraka in Irian Jaya Barat (West) took place in February 2003 and a governor was appointed in November; a government for Irian Jaya Tengah (central) was delayed from August 2003 due to violent local protests. The creation of this separate central province was blocked by Indonesian courts, who declared it to be unconstitutional and in contravention of the Papua's special autonomy agreement. The previous division into two provinces was allowed to stand as an established fact.
In January 2006, 43 Papuan asylum seekers landed on the coast of Australia and stated that the Indonesian military is carrying out a genocide in Papua. They were transported to an Australian immigration detention facility on Christmas Island, 360 km (224 mi) south of the western end of Java. On 23 March 2006, the Australian government granted temporary visas to 42 of the 43 asylum seekers (the 43rd, who had a Japanese visa at the time of his arrival, received an Australian visa in early August 2006). The asylum seekers were granted visas on the basis of "well-found fear of persecution." Later, several of these refugees returned to Indonesia, saying they were "disillusioned" with the group.On 24 March 2006 Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Australia in protest at the granting of the visas.


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