SBY Hands Down Legacy on Papua Issues to Jokowi

Former Indonesia President, Soesilo Bambang Yoedhoyono - Supplied
Former Indonesia President, Soesilo Bambang Yoedhoyono – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – Former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yoedhoyono has passed three issues related to Papua to the President Joko Widodo, said the Deputy Chairman of the Commission I of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Tantowi Yahya, in the seminar titled “Following Up on the President Jokowi’s Policies for Papua the Land of Peace” held by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences on 27 January 2016 in Jakarta.

“The first is the reconstruction of the Law No. 21 on Special Autonomy to Special Autonomy Plus. Secondly, the conflict resolution in Papua, and the third is multi-sector developments in building both provinces of Papua and Papua Barat to become the prospective provinces,” said Tantowi in the forum.

He added it must be admitted that there is no Indonesian president who paid big attention towards Papua than Jokowi. His several visits to Papua have reflected his commitment in implementing these three ‘legacies’.

“Despites of the first point that is the reconstruction of the Law No. 21 on Special Autonomy, the two other points have been well implemented by the President Jojowi. He developed the infrastructures in Papua that during that time were only considered a dream. However, it then raises many simple questions of who’s going to get benefit from this development. We gathered those aspirations here in the House,” said Tantowi.

However, he thought the development in the economic sector must running along with development in other sectors, including the development of Defense, Security and Culture sectors.

“Disengage one of each sector would never get the concept (of conflict resolution in Papua) that we wanted,” he added.

In the same forum, the Directorate of Culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid, said currently the government desires to build Indonesia from “the marginalized”. This definition of ‘marginalized’, according to him, not only refers to geographical, economical or political problems. The ‘marginalized’ problems must be brought into the ‘central’ communication that often determined the policy over the ‘marginalized’.

“Obviously the culture is the most important sphere in this conversation. And we hope this cultural sphere could be more expanded. That it is not only a “room” but also enters into the main room and to comprehensively affect the handling of Papua problems,” said Hilmar Farid.

He acknowledged during the course of Indonesian history, the cultural approach had often being ignored.

“But, if talking about the cultural approach, we cannot deny the long journey of Papuan history that recorded the tortures, violence and unpleasant things against Papuans. It is now becoming something that so-called by Papuans as a Memoria Pasionis (narrative of suffering),” he explained.

Further, he said this Memoria Pasionis is becoming a grave memory of Papuans that cannot be denied; it must get a place in the ‘central’ conversation. “It is certainly not easy, because many forms of dialogue have been created, but its boundaries were determined by the interest of defense as well as the political interest. If we want to seriously include the cultural element, therefore such a room (Memoria Pasionis) should be opened. And one of the tasks of the Directorate of Culture is about this history which has proved to be centralistic,” said Hilmar Farid. (Victor Mambor/rom)