Pluralism, tolerance, peace and security in interactions among tribes of Papuans and between Papuans and other ethnic groups is under democratic umbrella. Indonesian is a pluralistic society; that is many differences within one Indonesia. All ethnic groups can live peacefully and interact each other within the spirit of pluralism. It is very similar to the United States society, but there is one big problem of unequal economic distribution. Read the rest of this entry »
After the New Order Suharto regime stepped down in 1998, the aspiration for democracy was aired throughout West Papua and other parts of Indonesia. East Timor was given options to vote for independence or autonomy within Indonesia because East Timor has a strong historical background as non Dutch colony, whereas other parts of Indonesia, particularly Acheh and West Papua was given the special autonomy, democratically offered by Jakarta.
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The Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka or OPM) continues to operate throughout Papua and all of Papua’s major cities have seen violently suppressed riots. The OPM has also kidnapped Western hostages on two occasions, although their targets are mining company employees and Indonesian security personnel, not tourists. Travel permits (surat jalan) are required for travel beyond the major cities; they can be obtained at Jayapura and Biak. Some parts are off-limits to all visitors and journalists of any stripe are not welcome.
Large saltwater crocodiles can be encountered in all low-lying waterways and beaches.