Understanding the Papuan Development Aspiration

goodmorningpapua.com – During the two decades (2001-2021) of the implementation of special autonomy (otsus) in Papua based on Law No. 21/2001, we must be honest and admit that there have been many progresses experienced and felt by the people and region of Bumi Cenderawasih. But it is also realized that behind the success of Otsus there are still many shortcomings that cannot be denied.

Therefore, through the amendment of Law No. 21/2001 to Law No. 2/2021 concerning the Second Amendment to Law No. 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for the Papua Province and a set of government regulations (PP) and Presidential regulations, it becomes a compass that will direct implementation of special autonomy according to rails, so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

The question is, how can the implementation of development for the next 20 years within the framework of special autonomy be focused and directed according to the targets to be achieved, as well as measurable according to the Master Plan for the Acceleration of Development in Papua (RIPP). This cannot be separated from the approach that has been used so far that deserves to be evaluated so as not to be mistaken in understanding the aspirations and needs of the Papuan people, especially indigenous people, as the goal of implementing Otsus. This effort, of course, does not exclude other Papuans.

Honestly, it must be admitted that since the implementation of Special Autonomy for Papua in 2001, this region and society have only experienced and experienced changes from the implementation of development. During the New Order, Papua was like the backyard of the Republic of Indonesia that was neglected and maintained. After special autonomy, development has made various progress, one of which is shown by the success of Papua in implementing the new XX PON.

However, as mentioned earlier, the approach taken is still not quite right. In order not to be mistaken in interpreting Otsus, Geertz’s approach in interpreting the meaning behind the cultural symbols of the Indigenous Papuans (OAP) needs to be considered. That is, the cultural symbols reflect what is contained in their thoughts and feelings towards development.

So far, we have not been able to read and interpret what lies behind our thoughts and feelings. What are their aspirations and needs as human beings and social communities.

The understanding of OAP is only at the level of description and explanation, but it has not dived into understanding, mainly understanding its cultural symbols. The approach offered by Geertz through cultural interpretation can be an entry point to understand their future needs.

According to Manuel Kaisiepo in the introduction to the book “Papua versus Papua”, by immersing himself in the society being studied, Ngurah tries to know and explain so as to enable him to interpret the meaning of Papuan society and culture.

Thus, the development that will be carried out in the next 20 years of special autonomy will not only be oriented towards efforts to minimize poverty and increase human resources (HR), but also to be able to appreciate traditions, local philosophies, local arts and culture, including local literature in the local wisdom, by providing a space for the Papuan people to have a voice. With the voice, we can understand not only “sound” but ” spirit of development” by giving them the freedom to interpret their world.

Implementation of Papuan human resource development by means of boarding-based education by giving mandate and authority to educational foundations such as YPK (Christian Education Foundation) and YPPK (Catholic Education and School Foundation) and several other religious foundations. In addition to their successful empirical experience and having educated Papuan human resources who are smart and skilled, Papua’s nature has become an inspiration in social communities to construct their culture.

Nature is the locus of education as well as energy for OAP to grow their imagination and train their reasoning. Nature becomes their practice arena as part of their life. Therefore, nature plays an important role in shaping the character of the Papuan people. Nature and education become one unit in the totality of culture. Nature provides lessons and inspiration in the community’s efforts to construct its culture.

Therefore, the philosophy that underlies the drafting of the 2001 Papua Special Autonomy Law was the cultural dimension as its main basis. Culture inspires as well as education and imagination in the whole process of a special civilization (lex specialis). In other words, for me, it is not development that is the commander in chief but Papuan culture that dominates and colors the dynamics of development based on local wisdom.

Education does not produce intelligent, expert, and skilled people. Instead, education is a cultural strategy that not only considers the dimensions of rationality but also emotional and dignity.

Likewise, aspects of health, economy, and infrastructure, must lead to efforts to strengthen their identity.

Culture is a strategic issue in managing Papua. This culture contains an emancipatory and transformative perspective for Papuans. Ironically, for the past 20 years, pragmatism has also been practiced by Papuan elites who are in power and the bureaucracy. As a result, the term “Patipa”, Papua guile Papua, or the term I Ngurah Suryawan, Papua versus Papua emerged. We encounter this reality in our daily life when we relate to government and development activities.

This mistake has serious implications when the development carried out during the special autonomy period 20 years ago was unable to produce a significant positive impact on the reproduction of culture, power, and policy. In the end, we are unable to read and interpret the development aspiration in the Papuan context.

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