Theo van den Broek - Jubi

President Widodo’s Papua Visit Should Not Be Merely Ceremonial

Theo van den Broek - Jubi

Theo van den Broek – Jubi

By Theo van den Broek

PRESIDENT Joko Widodo visited Papua, once again. His attention to Papua is admirable and should be appreciated. Some activities are on his agenda. His visit  to Merauke was a kind of symbolic by planting the ‘time capsule’ containing his long-term visions (expected to be realized in 2085).  

There are seven points that reflect his ideal image.  Mostly, his hopes are related to the social-economy issues (human resources development, technology  education center, equal infrastructure, world economic growth barometer, influential and independent State) and two are related to socio-cultural (upholding the pluralism, cultural, religious and ethic values; citizens and State apparatuses are corruption free). Those aspects are certainly very important and thankfully it becomes a core and a policy’s platform to be executed by the president.

For Papuans, hearing these, the seven points contains the meaning and hope. We also realized these seven points were revealed in the midst of a reality of violence occurred in Papua. In fact, before the president’s visit, the cruel violence was occurred in Sinak. It impress the pattern of violence in Papua is
still becoming a chosen way by several parties to resolve the problem.


Along with this background, perhaps people in Papua are actually hoped another expectation could be included in the president’s sequence of hope, such as the expectation for Papuans to live in peaceful and free of violence, as well as to change the security approach to dialogue approach as the only dignified way in resolving the problem, despites how hard it is; it was certain that intended dialogue is much more wider than development dialogue sought by the president up to day.

Such a hope has become one of the highest ranks of wishes of Papuans, therefore it needs to be regretful that this aspect has less attention by the president when he filled the ‘time capsule’

Furthermore, the recent president’s visit could not be separated from his previous visits. So, it’s not exaggeration if then he was questioned about the resolution of several human right violations in Papua, including the severe human rights violation that was occurred in Enarotali on 8 December 2014.

The president’s commitment on this case has been said for several times, but the revelation of the case was still left by. We hope in his recent visit, he could give a clear point towards the settlement of Paniai Case (8 December 2014). The president’s visit would add value if the earlier commitment could be realized; if not, we are worried his visit would be categoried as such a ceremonial event. (*/rom)

* Writer is former Director of SKP Keuskupan Jayapura

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