A Separate Issue
Following my post yesterday wherein I stated that "it is questionable whether Papua should be part of Indonesia", Iwan has asked Jakartass, in the comments
, the following: So, you don't think Papua is part of Indonesia? Are you separatist?
Firstly Iwan, if you've been reading my musings for a while, I would have hoped that by now you would understand that Jakartass is pluralistic in outlook. Webster's defines pluralism as the existence within a nation or society of groups distinctive in ethnic origin, cultural patterns, religion or the like.
If you read my post more carefully you'll see that I, and George Monbiot ~ as well as Aangirfan
who is also an admirer of Monbiot's writing ~ believe that Papua should not have been annexed by Indonesia in the first place. The major reason for separatist groups in Papua, Aceh and East Timor has been the plundering of the resources by malevolent forces intent upon temporal wealth. Remember, you can't take it with you. So the simple answer to your second question is 'no'.
Papua was a Dutch colony. It is now a colonial outpost of Jakarta. It was annexed by force and remains a playground of TNI, the Indonesian military, with the backing of multi-national conglomerates pillaging the immense natural resources in Papua without due regard for the distinct indigenous population. Massive human rights violations have been common there for the past 35 years and they will continue until such time as the Papuans are given the degree of self-rule granted to other provinces in Indonesia.
Not that there will be a fair distribution of wealth. Elsewhere in Indonesia, since the implementation of a degree of local autonomy, governors and regents have enriched themselves beyond all that is reasonable and I don't expect corrupt practices to cease any time soon.
However, I do expect a reasonable debate on this page rather than simplistic comments.
Jakartass will always express support for groups and individuals who speak and act on behalf of the seemingly powerless sectors of society. It is, therefore, with a sense of sadness that I learned today of the death on Monday of Bob Hunter
, who changed the face of environmental protest and as Greenpeace member 000 set out to save the planet.
In the seventies he said, "An eco-shitstorm is coming ... everything rests upon whether or not we come to terms with the politics of earth and sky, evolution and transformation. Otherwise, in our lifetimes, we shall suffer ... the fall of nature itself."
This is understood by the Papuans who know best how to live in partnership with their environment. If they feel they need to live separately in order to ensure that our children will inherit the earth, then I support them. However, I think, Iwan, you'll find that they would prefer a genuine pluralistic partnership with the rest of Indonesia.
If only there were a level of trust and mutual understanding.