Is West Papua being eco-colonised?

April 7, 2008

A very nice and enlightened article by Lee Jones at spiked-online

A student writer believes greens are trying to preserve West Papua as an archaic backgarden for Westerners disillusioned by modernity.

Independence movements, once determined to win self-determination by force of arms, have increasingly come to rely on appeals for Western intervention to win freedom on their behalf. Rather than demanding our respect as self-determining peoples, independence movements have learned to depict themselves as victims, to appeal to Western prejudices and paternalism – with the result that, for instance, people in Kosovo are still not trusted to run their own affairs without our supervision (1). Now, in an effort to win backing for independence from Indonesia, West Papuans are even appealing to environmentalism.West Papua was integrated into Indonesia in 1969 via the ‘Act of Free Choice’, a stage-managed consultation of tribal elders, stitched up in advance by Indonesia, the United States, the Netherlands and the UN to produce this outcome. Like other outlying areas of Indonesia, West Papua’s resources were pillaged by powerful Javanese interests and foreign investors like the notorious Freeport mining company, while its people were brutalised by the Indonesian military. The Papuan people have seen little benefit, mostly continuing to live in tribal settlements in grim socio-economic conditions. The Organisasi Papua Merdeka (Organisation for a Free Papua), armed with bows and arrows, was no match for Indonesian troops. Faced with armed defeat, the movement decided to focus entirely on seeking international support for its little-known struggle (2). Read the rest of this entry »

Special Autonomy: International Image versus Reality

April 7, 2008

April 5 2008, Muridan Widjojo wrote a very interesting analysis on recent political development in Papua. He said that there are hardliner elements in Papua and in Jakarta who have a nationalist banal perspective in responding the political development in Papua. Those elements are in agreement to see conflict in Papua and international pressure as a failure of propaganda on the success story of development in Papua. They never thought that problem in Papua is the result of government policy and its implementation. I should fairly say that Muridan get the point and we can criticize Papuan local government, Indonesian central government, and also legislative to be more serious in handling the problem in Papua. Furthermore, Muridan also believed that those nationalist banal hardliners are still using the old perspective of New Order with its military approach in the name of national integration. Read the rest of this entry »