Jayapura, Jubi – Former political prisoner Filep Jacob Samuel Karma said he was concerned about the current situation facing indigenous Papuans. He said currently discrimination is not only being practiced by non-Papuans to Papuans or vice versa, but also among Papuans. He described the situation as a time bomb that is ready to explode at anytime.
“Racism is not only coming from non-Papuans but also emerging among Papuans. We accuse the Indonesians of being racist, but the fact is we are also racist against them. It means we are doing the same thing. Instead of solving the problem, it will trigger a new problem. We don’t have to vengeful. Striking back with violence would not solve the problem but create a new one instead,” stated Karma at Kingmi Synod Office, Jayapura City on Monday (30/11/2015).
He said the state is racist towards Papuans. However, sometimes Papuans who are fighting for their rights also do the same. Rather stopping the racism, he said, Papuans promote it.
“I see this is like a time bomb. When Papua was succeed and Indonesia returns home, the time bomb would be exploded, but I don’t want it going to be happened,” he said.
Karma thought it is a trick played by the Indonesian Government to bring Papuans into a conflict among each other, including the regional extension that recently happened. It is a way to split Papuans.
He further said now the terms such as the highlander and the beach, north and south, or the valley and the coast are rising among Papuans.
“It is not different from the divide and rule politics used in Dutch era. Before I was put in jail, I have told this to Parjal activists whether they saw this situation. I am concerned, if Papua gained independence; there would be a tribal war. If Papuans killed each other, I would regret to fight for its independence,” he said.
Karma also thought the prison had been used to silence some activists, especially those who live in Papua. But he reminds them to not be afraid. They must turn on their voice even facing a prison. “If we are still together to build public awareness, we could even destroyed the prison,” he said.
Karma demonstrated his consistency when he was sentenced for 15 years in prison eleven years ago. Although he was behind the bar, he never stops to voice for the injustice against Papuans.
At that time, he said, he just spoke about his aspiration, not the intention of building a new State and yet to meet a criteria of treason. “I was confused why I was charged for treason. The article used to punish me wasn’t appropriate. I admit that I have an intention to it, just it. I am waiting the State to admit its mistake,” he added.
He also refused his release from the prison, but both authorities of Abepura Prison and the Legal and Security Affairs Papua Region forced him to accept this.
The Division Head of Legal and Security Affairs Papua Region, Johan Yarangga, said he was obliged enforcing Karma and everyone who declared officially free from the charge should take their freedom.
“We don’t have any rights to detain people without a legal reference. Mr. Filep Karma is currently free, there is no reason for us to detain him,” Johan Yarangga said during the day Karma was released. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)