By : Prof. Imron Cotan, observer of strategic issues, including the issue of Papua.
Recently circulating in the Whatsapp group, writings from Pastor Dr. Socrates S. Yoman, a Papuan religious figure, who essentially narrated that Indonesia along with Australia, the United States, and the Netherlands were part of the colonial powers.
Not only equalizing Indonesia with the Netherlands, which had indeed colonized the archipelago, Reverend Dr. Socrates S. Yoman, also narrated that Indonesia combined “colonialism” with “racism” in dealing with Papuan Orang Asli (OAP), as if the Indonesian nation only consisted of OAP and Non-OPA.
It is noteworthy that Indonesia is a “melting pot” country, which is home to approximately 500 ethnic groups, ethnicities, and races. None of these ethnic groups, ethnicities, or races feel themselves inferior to others. In fact, a small number of them consider their ethnicity, ethnicity, or race to be more “noble” than others.
I still clearly remember, when in the 1970s, I started my education in the heart of Javanese culture, Yogyakarta (UGM), where the general public at that time classified a person as: “Wong Jawa” and “Wong Sabrang” (barbarian).
At first I also suffered from “cultural shock”, because with the title “Wong Sabrang”, it tends to be difficult for me to find accommodation in the beautiful city of Yogyakarta. However, I did not necessarily “mutung”, returned to my village, went on a rampage and burned cities and killed innocent people in Sumatra, because I realized that the reaction of the people of Yogya was only artificial, not fundamental, after I mingled – not exclusively – with them .
Right now, I’m probably the only non-Javanese (Batak) person who received the highest title from the Yogyakarta Palace, namely Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung Duta Wirabangsa. Indeed, “prejudice” always accompanies when two cultures interact, which then evaporates leaving no trace, when the qualities of universal goodness are manifested. The Javanese proverb says: Love comes with habits (tresno jalaran soko kulino).
Good – bad is a universal trait, which exists in humans. For this reason, religion and culture emerged as an answer, instead of being used to dichotomize society, by positioning oneself as a victim (playing victim), while the other party is an oppressor.
Twisted Historical Reality:
As a religious figure and intellectual with a doctoral degree, Socrates S. Yoman, he should be able to sort out the information presented by social media with facts based on history and international law, regarding the status of the Land of Papua (West Papua) within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
Until now, there has been no statement by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which denies that its colonies (colonies) in the archipelago (modern Indonesia), stretched from Sabang to Merauke. When the VOC disbanded in 1800, the Dutch government took over the colonization of the archipelago.
For the record, although the VOC was a private company, the Dutch colonial government at that time gave the company executive, judicial and legislative powers to control the government in Indonesia. On that basis, the VOC had the authority to, among other things: issue legislation, collect taxes, force the people to work, arrest and punish them, if deemed disobedient.
As part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, when Indonesia declared its independence, August 17, 1945, the principle of international law – Uti Possidetis Juris – automatically stipulates juridically the boundaries of Indonesia’s territory, namely from Sabang to Merauke. The principle of international law Uti Possidetis Juris stipulates that: “the territorial boundaries of a newly independent country are the same as the boundaries of the territory when the territory was colonized”.
As is the bad habit of other colonial countries, by “playing” the Melanesian Race card, the Dutch tried to survive in Papua, forgetting the fact that the Melanesian Race was also spread in various parts of Eastern Indonesia.
Apart from wanting to maintain its status as a colonial state in order to stand on an equal footing with Great Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal, the main objectives of the Dutch colonials in surviving in Papua were: first, to accommodate Dutch citizens and collaborators, who did not want to return to the country. ; second, creating a protected area (sanctuary) for Dutch citizens and their followers; and, thirdly, preventing the migration or mass exodus of Dutch citizens, their families, and their collaborators to one of the smallest countries on the European continent.
If such a massive exodus occurs, it is certain that social unrest will arise in this small country, as is still happening in France today, which hosts migrants from its African colonies, including: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The descendants of these migrants are the perpetrators of most acts of terrorism in the country.
The strong desire of citizens of Dutch descent to survive in the tropics (equatorial paradise) cannot be underestimated. Even to create a “coffee house” (koffie huis), the colonialists undermined the sanctity of Borubudur Temple by building a terrace and painting the top of Borobudur Temple, circa 1900s, just for partying in the afternoon.
Indonesia’s response to Dutch disobedience was by waging war and launching diplomatic efforts to liberate Papua, which began in the early 1960s.
Getting world pressure, especially the United States, which did not want Indonesia to fall into the lap of communism, which was led by the Soviet Union, the Netherlands agreed with Indonesia to resolve the dispute through the People’s Opinion (Pepera) in Papua under the supervision of the United Nations (UN, 1969), the results of which were ratified by the United Nations General Assembly (SMU), through Resolution No.: 2504 (XXIV)/1969.
Since then, the Land of Papua has returned to the motherland and the Dutch colonial state withdrew from the region. Until now, the Netherlands has never again questioned the status of the Land of Papua as an integral part of Indonesia’s sovereign territory. Or, issue a statement that on a certain date and year the independence of the Land of Papua has been declared, as is often touted by the supporters of the separatist movement (twisted reality proponents).
It is a hallucinative thing, if they think that the leaders of countries in the world who support UN-SMU-SMU Resolution No.: 2504 (XXIV)/1969 are too stupid (stupid enough), instruct their country delegations at UN-SMU, to support the resolution.
Liberation Theology was initiated by the church leader Gustavo Guierrez Merino (Peru, 1970s). Basically, the ideology believes that the church is the savior of the people in the midst of chaos and oppression. Liberation theology has spread in almost all Latin American countries, such as: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. However, it has practically failed to change the “political landscape” of the Latin American region. It wasn’t a viable solution.
It seems that Reverend Socrates S. Yoman, still stunned by, and caught up in, the ideology of Liberation Theology that has proven to be a failure and has even been abandoned in the area where it was born, by trying to manipulate the sentiment that OAP is colonized, marginalized, and discriminated against .
It is ironic, if Law No.: 11/2001 on Regional Autonomy (Tanah Papua), which practically allocates all strategic government positions exclusively to OAP, while closing the opportunity for migrants to compete freely to fill positions referred to, based on the principle of meritocracy.
Practically, Non-OAP people are discriminated against in Papua, in the name of the “Papua for Papua” creed, while OAP still have the opportunity to compete and work throughout the territory of the Republic of Indonesia. It seems that Reverend Socrates S. Yoman also needs to reflect on what is currently happening in Timor Leste, which has been unable to form a government for many years, even though historically the two regions cannot be compared.
Root of the problem:
The essence of the problem in Tanah Papua is actually the corrupt actions of local elites in using trillions of rupiah in regional autonomy funds, so that the goal of developing 4 (four) strategic sectors in the region, namely: education, health, infrastructure, and the people’s economy, has not been achieved.
The demand to apply the principles of transparency and accountability in managing the APBD is always faced with the option of independence, so that “rampant corruption” persists in the Land of Papua.
It is a noble thing, as a religious figure, Reverend Socrates S. Yoman channeled his frustration to these corrupt elites, rather than “playing” the cards of colonialism and racial discrimination, to divert the root of the problems that exist in the Land of Papua. Indeed, if the two cards are pulled from the “equation”, Reverend Socrates S. Yoman seems to lose his existence.
Actually not, because by throwing away the “inlander mentaliteit” left by the Dutch colonial state and abandoning the failed Liberation Theology, Reverend Socrates S. Yoman will be a lamp – in fact a lamp – for his people in Papua, taking a strong step towards a Golden Indonesia in 2045. , along with other provinces in Indonesia.