Jayapura, Jubi – The handling of Papua problems must not only focus on defense and political interests, but also on the cultural aspect.
The Directorate General of Culture of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid, said cultural approaches could prove to work to ease tensions.
“How to find a new way in solving the problems in Papua. Culture is a tribute towards diversity. In the Papua context, it must be seriously considered. It is not only referring to diversity of opinion but also the diversity of the way of life. If it is well noted, it would contribute to develop a peaceful Papua,” said Hilmar last week in Jakarta.
According to him, a simple example connected to the way of life. The indigenous Papuans depend on taro for living. But in the last twenty years, many Papuans eat rice and forget about the taro, and even gave not enough space for it to be developed.
“When take a look, it is part of an ecosystem. The culture is not only about to live symbolically or formally, but it is connected to life chances. It needs to pay attention to people’s understanding about the rights in connection with their land,” he said.
He believed it’s time to pay attention to history. Especially for Papua and other places in Indonesia, had a diverse and centralistic history in the political and social life. Talking about the past is important, that we cannot talk about the present and the future without it. However, he said, it would better if seeing Papua in the future framework.
“It’s not talking about what was happened within two or ten years. Papua is currently one of the few places that relatively protect its nature, although it doesn’t mean any destruction. It is not only good for Papua, but also for Indonesia and the world as well,” he said.
According to him, talking about forecast Papua within the future framework, it could be built in the argument in every dialogue. Papua could be projected to rescue this planet. That people live to protect nature with care in the way of life that has started to change.
“Starting from modernization, the pressure of many parties including the pressure to live as people in other places is very strong. As a result of this friction, we can see its manifestation during the time. So, I think it’s good to set Papua in many things,” he said.
At the same place, Director of the Alliance for Democracy in Papua (ALDP), Latifah Anum Siregar, said to understand Papua it should be viewed in many perspectives for the right approach and solution.
“The President Jokowi has enough good communication with Papuans. About dialogue, it’s not expected to come to Papua for one or two hours or invite people from Jakarta. What people want is to invite people to sit together and talk in the same forum,” said Siregar.
She said, if they wanted a dialogue, each party should have similar point of view. Many parties should be involved. Additionally, it should be cleared who’s going to be appointed by the president to take care of Papua. Papuans should talk to whom and the Central Government must talk to whom. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)