Solidarity for Neglected Papuans

A bunch of Indonesian military members has badly tortured a Papuan villager. On a footage aired recently on Youtube, I saw one of the perpetrators scorched his genital with a burning-stick.

Another perpetrator tried to kill him by putting a big knife right on the preacher’s neck. On the other scene, another perpetrator trampled on his neck badly as if he was a dirty dog.

It was a real horror show designated by Indonesian military. Whoever the director, though the film only ran in few minutes, he successfully made a great scary movie. 

For several moment, I closed my eyes as I could not stand to watch the brutal scenes. Even the Youtube later decided to pull down the footage because of the brutal scenes.

Indonesian military commander confirmed that the human right abuse were committed by its soldiers.

That, however, was not the only footage showing military abuse in Papua. A few months earlier, a Papuan human rights activist was brutally killed by a group of local police. The final moment of the killing was aired on the Youtube.

Like the military commander, during an interview with Al Jazeera reporter, the chief of local police admitted the atrocity done by his member.

For sure, there were many similar atrocities, abductions, and other human rights violations in Papua. Most of which did not publicly air on video sharing applications because of strictly censorship, and, of course, brutal images.

There was another show depicting Papua as neglected province. A few weeks ago, as we saw on national televisions, hundreds of people died in Wasior district, West Papua, due to deadly floods. Thousands of villager lost their home.

While the survivors hardly sought save place and looked for food, President of Indonesia was attending soccer match between Indonesian football team and Uruguay. Instead of taking quick and serious responses, the President delayed his visit to the district for a couple days. The President has obviously downplayed the Papuan who struggles in floods of tears and grievances.

 

INDONESIA is a country of irony. The late Hasan Muhammad Tiro, top leader of Free Aceh Movement, once wrote the following statements:

“Indonesia is a state where a mourning of one group become a joke for other; a bunch of betrayer regarded as hero for another; atrocities against one group reckoned as a justice for the rest group; national solidarity is nothing but merely lip service and pamphlet.”

As cited from his book titled “Democracy for Indonesia, Tiro argues that there is no Indonesia nationalism. The truth about Indonesia’s nationalism is a nationalism of a majority group masquerading as a nationalism of Indonesia to legitimate its power. Tiro later concludes that such nationalism is part of “Javanese Colonialism”.

Looking back to numerous human rights violations by the state apparatus, it is so true. Human rights abuses are prevalent among people living in Papua, Aceh, and other remote places and rich-natural resources provinces. The military and police, which supposed to protect and to give security for the villagers, are continuing its strategy to establish state of horror. Thus, villagers are horrified at the insecure conditions prevailing in their region because of the military existence. The military and police would intimidate those who try to speak out.

Although the President, minister of defense and his aides promise to investigate the atrocities and human rights violation as to uphold the rule of law, there is nothing but lip service. It is merely political image obscuring the truth.

Let alone fair justice, we never find any government’s success story to imprison the perpetrators. The government, however, gives full protection and impunity to them. The real predators, including the late dictator Suharto, as Tiro exactly stated, are regarded as hero.

In the mean time, a giant mining company continues to exploit the rich-natural resources province. While millions of Papuan living in extreme poverty, number of military ranks are benefiting from the Papuan wealth by protecting the company. Ironically, some Indonesian elites in Jakarta are celebrating their coalition with the President and military ranks. END

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