Opinion / Analysis
By Selpius Bobii in Abepura Prison,
11 October 2013
“ All leaders have notes of their mark in history, so I figure this forms mine in the history of Papua.” These were the words of the Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe to journalists following the acceptance of the draft Papuan ‘Special Autonomy (OTSUS) Plus’ legislation. The draft legislation was a result of work by the Cenderawasih University (UnCen) Academic Assistance Team together with the Papuan Provincial Government. The ceremony for the handing over of the draft OTSUS legislation (referred to as the ‘Papuan Governance Legislation’) took place at the Aston Hotel in Jayapura on 9 October 2013. (www.tabloidjubi.com/2013/10/10/draf-uu-otsus-plus-terus-digodok/).
To look more closely at the Governor’s comment, was he speaking out of some ambition to make a mark in history for the period he was governor in Papua whilst SBY was still President of Indonesia? Being noted as the governor present at the time the Otsus Plus legislation was forced onto the Papuan indigenous community. If we look back at what the indigenous Papuan community has had to endure we see the evidence that under leader after leader both at the national level and the Papuan regional level, that there has been nothing but a ‘blurring’ of history in Papua. The Otsus Plus legislation that is about to be applied in Papua will but add to that blurring of Papua’s history.
Until this time all policies in Papua have been set from Jakarta and the reins have always been held from Jakarta. Those in official positions within the provincial and kabupaten (regency) levels of government in Papua have acted as ‘bridges’ to enable the Central Government’s projects to be a ‘success’, in line with their ends of marginalisation, discrimination and making Papuans a minority. Which on the broader scale have amounted to a process of annihilation of the ethnic Papuan race.
No matter who holds the power at the provincial level, they will never liberate the people of Papua from the discrimination, marginalisation, being made a minority and the annihilation of the ethnic Papuan people, which has been planned and carried out by the Republic of Indonesia (RI) constantly until now. Since the time Papua was annexed by Indonesia, the efforts of Indonesia to this end have been nicely ‘wrapped’ so that they are systematic and ‘tidy’, but make no mistake they are planned and measured by the Central Government taking place through a number of strategies and tactics.
Governor Enembe has stated to journalists that all Papuans want “major changes” and one can only think that he perceives this draft legislation is the solution to awaken Papua and bring about those ‘major changes’. However what if the Otsus Plus legislation does NOT bring about those expected major positive changes or in fact any changes that lead to a better situation for indigenous Papuans? The Otsus Plus legislation is not only NOT the solution to bring an end to the problems in Papua but in fact will clearly have the opposite effect and bring nothing but calamity and disaster for the indigenous peoples of Papua.
The legislation is intended to protect the rights of and empower the indigenous people of Papua, however all agree that the application of OTSUS this last 12 years by Indonesia (2001-2013) has been a total failure, and that it has neither protected or respected the basic rights of indigenous Papuans (including even the most basic right to life or their basic political rights). The efforts of Indonesia to revise the Papuan Special Autonomy legislation so as to become the Papuan Special Autonomy Plus legislation is bound to meet exactly the same fate as the Special Autonomy legislation and completely fail!
Governor Enembe’s statement that the draft Otsus Plus legislation is the “desire and aspiration” of the Papuan community and “something to be struggled for” brings much shame on Papua and is in fact a public lie. As the Papuan community never wanted the Otsus Plus package that is now being forced on Papua and it has never been the ‘aspiration’ of the indigenous Papuan community. The revision of Otsus to become Otsus Plus is rather the desire and aspirations of the political elite in Jakarta and in particular of SBY’s Cabinet. These efforts are being driven by SBY due to both Otsus and then the UP4B program (the Accelerated Development Unit in Papua and West Papua) having previously failed.
The results of the work carried out by the Uncen Academic Assistance team as follow-up to the draft Otsus Plus legislation – the initial document of which was prepared by President SBY through Feliks Wanggai – simply cannot be claimed to be something of the desires and aspirations of the Papuan people. As the Uncen team is but part of the hands and feet of the Republic of Indonesia and has intentions to defend the oppression in Papua by RI and by so doing to extend the suffering of the indigenous people of Papua.
Having Uncen University involved in this way to give some false legitimacy to the legislation, was also practised by Indonesia in 1999 in order to force another of Jakarta’s projects onto Papua. It was at that time that the Uncen Assistance Team was formed by RI to be involved in the initial draft Special Autonomy legislation. Yet when the draft legislation was provided to the Central Government in Jakarta it was then cut right back. The final draft which was then totally according to Jakarta’s agenda was approved by the national Legislative Assembly and it was then applied under the order of the President in the year 2000 against firm opposition from the indigenous Papuan community becoming operative in 2001.
The draft legislation in this instance as prepared by the Academic Assistance Team together with the Papuan Provincial Government is merely intended to deceive the public, local, national and international. As the final draft legislation that will be presented for approval will actually be that prepared by President SBY’s Cabinet and in particular by the President’s Special Staff person in the area of Regional Autonomy Fileks Wanggai.
Sadly those lecturers at the Cenderawasih University who have been involved in the project have allowed themselves to be used as a ‘bridge’ to enable Jakarta’s project to pass through the system. The draft Papuan Otsus Plus legislation has been handed to the Papuan Governor by the University rector Professor Dr Karel Sesa. From the time Papua was initially annexed into the Republic of Indonesia on 1 May 1963 the Uncen University has always played a role of securing and legitimising programs from Jakarta. They managed to destroy all their important records that were a part of the regime of the colonising Indonesia and in so doing to bring much suffering on Papuans. This role of legitimising Jakarta’s agendas was in fact from the start one of Indonesia’s intentions in establishing Uncen University.
It is most ironic that despite the wave of rejection by the Papuan indigenous community of Otsus Plus, that the Uncen Assisting Team has been working together with the Papuan Provincial Government to ensure ‘success’ of Jakarta’s political package. In so doing they have pawned their very self-worth for positions of importance and wealth. Their consciences have become blinded by their passion for wealth and positions of influence. Their expert knowledge has been used to support the colonial domination of Indonesia rather that to rescue the nation of Papua from the crisis of this era under RI’s colonial power. This is a matter of great shame and which brings much sadness.
The fate of the Papuan nation”s community is being played with by these persons politically prostituting themselves for the sake of personal gain. The strength of the nation of Papua to resist the destructive effects of RI’s ways and means has been weakened with the support of certain Papuans themselves working both within and outside the Indonesian government systems. People working merely to chase personal importance and the interests of their own factions. The consequence being that the indigenous Papuan community has become the victim of their conspiracies of interests at the local, national and international level.
This oppression must be bought to an end! The entire Papuan community must be aware of these realities and commit to walk together so as to realise the goal together. Papuan activists in all locations need to consolidate and act as one, uniting agendas and stepping forward together. In particular youth and students in all locations need to strictly head only towards the struggle for the liberation of the nation of Papua. Whilst the international community in solidarity is asked to continue all efforts with actions, campaigns and diplomatic efforts to liberate Papua as their supportive efforts are so badly needed towards the end of upholding justice and the human dignity of Papua above all other interests.
To the Republic of Indonesia it is demanded that continuing discussion of the unilaterally prepared draft Otsus Plus legislation (referred to as the Papuan Governance legislation) stops immediately. The unilateral application of political packages of any kind by Jakarta will never bring an end to the problems in the land of Papua. Rather RI needs to enter into dignified dialogue and non-conditional consultations between RI and the nation of Papua, facilities by a neutral third party and held in a neutral location so as to find a dignified solution to the problems.
There is no word for ‘give-up’ in the dictionary of the revolution of liberation; and neither is there a term ‘too late’ in the field of struggle. There is still time. The people of Papua have strength, have faith, have hope and have the Lord. We must be strong and stay able. We must rise up and go forward. We must oppose all forms of tyranny and oppression and be firm in our convictions that we will eventually be victorious. That will indeed be a most glorious moment when the times comes..
‘ Unity without limits! Struggle until victorious!’
Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in Abepura Prison, Jayapura