Legislator Accuses Government of Trying to Undermine Melanesian Culture

Map of Melanesia - Supplied
Map of Melanesia – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – A Papuan legislator has accused the central government of using nefarious tactics to undermine the Melanesian culture in Papua and Papua Barat provinces.

Laurenzus Kadepa’s remarks were in response to a statement by Deputy of the Ministry of Political, Legal and Defense Affairs for Domestic Political Affairs, Major General Yoedi Swastono, about the central of Indonesian Melanesian Brotherhood Community (PMMI) that would be established in Manokwari, Papua Barat Province.

Kadepa, a member of Commission I at the Papua legislative council, said, “State institutions are playing tactices to undermine Melanesian culture in Papua. Earlier, there is an attempt to solve the customary institution in Papua by legitimizing the Customary Law Institution to paralyze the Papua Customary Council and Tribal Customary Council (DAP/DAS),” Kadepa told Jubi by phone on Sunday (31/1/2016).

And now appears PMMI, he said. That organization has declared in Ambon, Maluku on 6 October 2015. As a follow up, the Central Government plans to build the Central PMMI in Manokwari.

“Since the beginning, I have questioned what the reason for Papua to sign the PMMI declaration. Until now there has been no study that could be accounted for and stated if Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara are also Melanesian like Papua and Papua Barat,” he said.

He said, the establishment of PMMI was full of the political interest. He concerned it would be a polemic in the future; moreover it is related to race, culture and self-identity.

In the national seminar held by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences in Jakarta last week, as resource person, Yoedhi Swastono who also the Chairman of Papua and Aceh Desk of the Ministry of Political, Legal and Defense, said the government now paid more attention to Papua.

“The domestic cultural development is represented by the Melanesian community in Indonesia. On 6 October 2015, it has declared by five governors of East Timor, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua and witnessed by the President Jokowi in Ambon. PPMI is currently under the supervision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Melanesian Culture Center would be established in Manokwari in the term of cultural development,” he said at that time. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)