JUBI, 24 January, 2012
The Indonesian government’s inconsistencies in implementing a whole number of policies since West Papua was integrated as part of Indonesia have had a significant impact on the political movement of identity. Jakarta has even continued to violated the basic rights of the indigenous Papuan people
These comments were made by the Rev. Phil Erari, deputy chairman of the Alliance of Churches in Indonesia (GKI).
‘The special autonomy law , known as OTSUS, is just one example of the inconsistency in its policy towards Papua,’ he said.
In Erari’s opinion, the Papuan people have virtually no confidence the authority of the Indonesian government. Papuans regard Jakarta as being incapable of introducing a number of reforms on security, health and education or mapping the infrastructure of Papua. Added to all this is the incompetence of the bureaucracy which ‘stinks of corruption’.
The politics of identity which emerged in the second half of the twentieth century was intended to enable the organisation of the masses so as to ensure that the mass of people can identify themselves as part of the group to which they belong. The group is generally speaking based on the same identity of those within the group.
‘The political movement of identity in Papua is an integral part of the people’s affirmative position which must be respected. For many years, Jakarta has failed to include this as part of the curriculum; this is an example of the violation of the right of the Papuan people to get a decent education,’ said Erari.
Meanwhile, Kahar Nobara of Garda-P, the Papuan Democratic People’s Movement, told JUBI that Jakarta has hardly changed at all with regard to solving the Papuan problem.
‘Jakarta has taken no initiatives and its policy in most cases amounts to nothing more that responding to incidents, nothing more than patchwork, without dealing with the root of the problem and without any radical action for change. This is not democratic, and it displays no sensitivity whatsoever,’ said Nobara.
He went on to say, in connection with the political movement of identity, that the nationalism of the Papuan people is an integral part of their constant sufferings. Ths result of all this is that their desire for independence and sovereignty will continue to grow.
‘Jakarta’s inconsistencies provide the ammunition for the struggle of the Papuan people,’ he said.
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