14-18 May 2014 – Office for Justice and Peace, Archdiocese of Merauke (SKP KAME) held regular monitoring on economic, social, and culrutal (ECOSOC) rights situation on parish area of Erom, Tana Miring District of Merauke Regency.There are about 1,000 people living in the area consists of various ethnic groups of Papuans (Marind, Muyu, Mandobo, Auyu, Mappi) , and non-Papuans such as Flores (Maumere, Lio, Bajawa, Manggarai), Sumba, Jawa, Batak, Toraja, Kei, and Tanimbar. Almost of them working as traditional farmers and just a few are small vendors and civil servants.
In the meeting with local priest, Father Raymond Pr., we got information that there no religious teachers in some schools in the area such as in elementary schools in the villages of Semayam and Senayu, and in two junior high schools there. One of them, Public Junior High School No.4, even lack of teachers in general. There are only two public (civil servant) teachers in that school.
Other issue is legal status of land in Soa-Senayu Village which is still bounded as customary land of local communities. This is frequently raising a problem of tenurial conflicts. The local Chief and Head of Village is not working optimally to serve his people. Many development funds from government (asuch as PNPM Mandiri, RESPEK, dan GERBANGKU) is not openly be informed to villagers and there is no transparent accountability by village officials. For example, the Village Treasure was suspected to abuse rice subsidy for poor families.
We have also heard that a big company –PT. Anugerah Rejeki Nusantara (ARN) of Wilmar Group– have a a new investment plan on the customary lands of local communities.**KH, JNg