Opinion / Analysis
by Selpius Bobii
January 19, 2014
There’s no means outside what’s acceptable in terms of methods the Indonesian Government allows to be used to deal with the movement of the Struggle for Independence of the nation (people) of Papua. One such means is the practice of deceit. It’s not only through people’s words but rather deception is also seen through a range of government developmental policies.
The majority of officials at the various levels of government in Papua are themselves deceived by the cunning of Jakarta. But then the officials of the Papuan Provincial government in turn also imitate the style of intentional deception as practised by the Guru (Teacher) – the Central Indonesian Government – as the Papuan Provincial government deceives its own people, the indigenous people of Papua. There is as it were, a continual chain of deception with Jakarta tricking Papua, some Papuans deceiving Jakarta and Papua tricking its own people.. A ‘trilogy of deception’.
The tactics of this deception as being practised by the Indonesian central government towards Papua are being nicely wrapped of course, so it’s not blatantly obvious. Consider for instance the present rapid expansion of new government administrative areas under the new package of special autonomy for the region. An expansion that happens to be not even in accordance with the conditions under which special autonomy was formed in the first place! As at mid 2013 there were 2 provinces in Papua and 41 regencies / city administrative areas. However by the end of 2013 on the instruction of the Indonesian President on 27 December 2013, there was approval for the creation of 3 new provinces and 26 new regencies / city areas formed, bringing the total of government administrative areas in Papua to 74 regencies and 5 provinces.
It’s interesting to compare that number to the formation of new regencies in all other areas from Sabang at the tip of Aceh to Ambon in the west – from one end of Indonesia to the other – throughout 2013. The combined total for all other areas totalled a mere 32 new regencies, compared to 26 in Papua alone! In spite of the fact that the population in Papua is a mere 4 million persons compared to eastern, western and central Java where there are populations in each respective area of more than 50 million people. The political prisoner Agus Kraar commented in this regard “ That means the people of Papua are really and truly drowning in accordance with the words of Sendius Wonda and Reverend Socrates Yoman (of the Baptist Church) in their book entitled ‘The Drowning and Annihilation of Ethnic Melanesians’ (Tenggelamnya Rumpun Melanesia dan Pemusnahan Etnis Melanesia.)
Until this time Jakarta has continued to manipulate and deceive Papuans with so many promises and sweet offers, yet the reality when it turns out is bitter and has the effect of quietly killing the people and ensuring there will be no continuation of life for indigenous Papuans over time. The Special Autonomy deal for example has now become like the logo for systemic humanitarian evil in Papua. Interestingly it’s known of in Jakarta (NGO community) as ‘The Papuan Deceit’ (in Indonesian, ‘Jakarta Tipu Papua”).
There are sadly also some Papuans who chase after government positions which bring respect and wealth. Some of which use the issue of Papuan Independence like a bargaining position to further their own, or perhaps their group’s, interests. In fact the Writer considers that if it were not for such persons, the rest of those in the Struggle for Papua would undoubtedly go on to in time achieve independence for Papua. Those persons using the issue of Papuan Independence for their own gain are not persons who have any determining influence on the Papuan Independence Struggle but rather mere ‘Political Prostitutes’. Jakarta has been fooled into thinking that are persons of influence / decision-making power and in this way some Papuans are imitating the teacher and actually deceiving Jakarta. This is the second level of deceit in the Trilogy.
Then there’s the third level in the picture, with Papuans deceiving Papuans. Shameful as it is indeed there are certain Papuans deceiving their fellow indigenous Papuans. Papuans themselves in some instances are campaigning that the opening up of new regencies or provinces will increase welfare for Papuans. Yet the reality always proves different and quite the contrary, as the opening up of new administrative regions in Papua has been proven to act as a bridge opening the way for discrimination, the indigenous people being made a minority and human rights violations. All of which have contributed to the consequence of the slow but sure annihilation of the Papuan ethnic race.
There are also certain Papuans deceiving fellow indigenous Papuans during election campaigns, whether for Head of regencies or Province, general elections for the Regional Legislative Assembly, or the national presidential election. They campaign that their candidate will declare independence for Papua or will lift the level of welfare to the Papuan community. Yet that never eventuates and promises are never fulfilled. Such persons play a key role in becoming the hands and feet of the Republic of Indonesia in the Indonesia’s colonial domination of the indigenous people of Papua.
Deception has become the tradition of the State of Indonesia, like its ’hallmark’. A glance at the history of Indonesia shows clearly that much of its history is a series of engineered situations that have involved in each instance high level deceit. Indonesian deception was first applied against Papua in the 1960’s with the annexation of Papua into Indonesia and has continued unrelentlessly ever since.
In the 1960’s Indonesia succeeded to deceive a small number of Papuans into thinking the State was well-meaning , though post occupation by Indonesia brought the sudden realisation of the true character and demeanour of Indonesia. Papuans have had over 50 years to learn about the character of Indonesia from its unlimited cruelty to the people of Papua. They have allowed, and in fact encouraged, constant violations of Papuans’ human rights, have robbed Papuans of their natural resources, have murdered and displayed enormous cruelty to the indigenous people of Papua. Yet still to this day there are some Papuans who are fooled and who continue faithfully to echo the interests of the Republic of Indonesia.
Such is the Trilogy with Jakarta deceiving Papua, some Papuans deceiving Jakarta and Papuans deceiving Papuans. A ‘Trilogy of Deception!
A Trilogy that has its roots in Indonesian political practices. Roots which are extremely complicated to pull out once they have taken hold, or even to lessen the impact thereof. (Unless of course there is a miracle from God.) Hence why until this time Papua remains under the colonial domination of Indonesia. There is simply no other way for Papua to escape from the tactics of the Indonesian Government’s deception other than for Papua to become independent.
The time has come when every indigenous person and every Papuan sympathiser wherever they may be, be they workers within the Indonesian system or outside those system, need to work to develop Papuan national unity’ Each needs to bring themselves back on-track so we are all heading together towards the total liberation and restoration of the nation of Papua.
Such deceptive practices are not the tradition of the ancestors of the people of Papua. Rather that is the style and tradition of the Indonesian Government! Sadly at this time such a style is being inherited by some local government officials operating in Papua. To those Papuan Officials who have allowed themselves to become involved in this Trilogy of Deception, it is dearly hoped they will stop prostituting themselves in Indonesia’s dirty games. May all be aware not to imitate this style of deception! The tradition of Papuan ancestors is of honesty and where there are major problems they are to be taken to the traditional customary council for application of their wisdom so that goodness and peace can reign.
When will Indonesia stop the deception? So that rather we can move together forward with dialogue facilitated by a neutral third party so as to bring an end to the problems of Papua peacefully. In the interests of upholding the dignity of humanity in Papua above all other interests.
Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA, and is a Political Prisoner who has written this article for West Papua Media from Abepura Prison, Jayapura, Papua.