Papua is Us, We are Indonesia – The conditions in Papua have recently been ever heating up. The incidents of KKB have in several times resulted in casualties. Last month, a TNI soldier (a Chief of BIN in Papua) was killed. Of course, apart from this issue, what we need to highlight together is the question of Papuan’s aspiration to be separated from Indonesia. The discourse is rising back. The reasons for desiring the separation were influenced by several factors.

All nations have the right of self-determination on the basis that they are free to determine their political status and are free to carry out their economic and cultural development. Besides, the right to self-determination can also be used by the Indonesian government to show that the problems faced by Papua needn’t to be resolved by separation from Indonesia. The point is that Papua needn’t be an independent country in exercising its right to determine its own fate.

On the other hand, the Papuan people feel that there is a difference in their race compared to Indonesians in other regions. They originated from the Melanesian race and are not Malay like other Indonesians. It is the racial difference that makes them not feel to be fused with other Indonesian people. Moreover, there is an assumption that there is some kind of racial superiority at Indonesia.

However, the author needs to remind that Indonesia actually does not recognize the superiority of ethnic groups. No race is in a higher position than other one. As expressed in the motto of the Indonesian state, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. This country exists because of this country is rich in diversity, both in terms of cultural diversity, language and history, including ethnic groups.

Furthermore, the conviction that Papua is better off in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) can also be supported by the great role that Papua itself can take. If the previous argument focuses on the role of Indonesia in providing good rights for Papua, on the other hand, this argument is related to the big role of Papua for Indonesia. Papua is not only a pouch of gold in terms of its natural resources for Indonesia but also it is a source for understanding a more various cultural diversity.

Papua and its dynamics indeed looks so unique and the problem is unlikely solved immediately or as quickly as turning a hand and not only because of a matter of time. However, more than it, there must be a strong political will from the three domestic components. They are the Central Government, Regional Government and TNI and Polri. It is that the reformation of the entire nation’s life at Papua must take place gradually and have concrete evidence of its positive context.

From the beginning, Papua was part of the Indonesian brotherhood. Even though in its history Papua had only returned to be a part of Indonesia in 1963, it is noted that from the sense of one fate as a result of colonialism of the Dutch, in fact Papua had been part of Indonesian’s independence from the very early.

Sukarno himself confirmed this in a speech: “People sometimes say, put West Irian into the territory of the motherland. Wrong! Not! Since long time ago, West Irian has been part of the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. “

Papua is us. A province locating at the easternmost Indonesian region in Indonesia. This region is also often referred to as West Papua because the term of Papua can refer to the entire island of Papua.  It is including Papua New Guinea. This region has a lot of uniqueness. Apart from the beautiful nature, the customs are still strong. There are 255 native ethnic groups at Papua who speak their own languages. These tribes include Ansus, Amungme, Asmat, Ayamaru, Bauzi, Biak, Dani, Empur, Hatam, Iha, Komoro, Mee, Meyakh, Moskona, Nafri, Sentani, Souk, Waropen, Wamesa, Muyu, Tobati, Enggros, Korowai, Fuyu and many more. Papua is us, we are Indonesia. 

Author: Adhiya Muzaki (Coordinator of Indonesian Millennial Mover)

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