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Papua Must be Protected from Foreign Persons

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By: Timothy Gobay )*

Peace in Indonesia, especially Papua, is threatened by foreign intervention who wants the Earth of Cendrawasih to be separated from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. Whereas according to state law and international law, Papua is a legal part of Indonesia, because it was a former Dutch colony.

Indonesia stretches from Sabang to Merauke and there are many provinces in the country, including Papua, West Papua, South Papua, Central Papua and Central Highlands Papua. Even though Papua is far from Jakarta, its people are very much protected by the government. Especially when the issue of Papua was mentioned by foreign elements, Indonesian diplomats immediately installed their bodies and defended them all out.

A foreign person who often brings up issues about Papua is Vanuatu. A small country located in the South Pacific Sea since 2016 raised the issue of human rights (HAM) at the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN). Vanuatu urged Indonesia to liberate Papua, and was immediately debated by the Indonesian delegation.

In 2018, Indonesian Vice President (at the time) Jusuf Kalla made a speech about the importance of respecting the sovereignty of other countries, with the intention of satirizing Vanuatu. Jusuf Kalla stated that the entry of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia was part of a UN resolution. Vanuatu as a member of the United Nations must comply with the resolution.

Vanuatu’s insolence continued again when in 2021, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Bob Loughman Weibur stated in a public forum that people in West Papua suffer human rights violations. Therefore, he asked the United Nations to come to Earth of Cendrawasih, to conduct an independent assessment.

Papua must be protected from foreign intervention such as Vanuatu. Because they carried out attacks many times before the UN Council. First, they tarnished Indonesia’s face and accused them of human rights violations. In fact, there has never been a violation of human rights in Papua. If there are members of the separatist group who are injured, it is because of them that they attacked first.

When foreign parties such as Vanuatu bring up the issue of human rights violations, they should not be pro-Separatist and Terrorist Groups (KST) and the Free Papua Organization (OPM). If KST is defended, it is tantamount to allowing criminalization to spread in Papua, because they have repeatedly carried out attacks that have claimed many lives.

Don’t let criminals be defended on the grounds of human rights, even though KST itself has committed human rights violations. The public cannot understand Vanuatu, who always brings up human rights issues. Have they never read the news about the KST attack that caused material losses, injuries, and fatalities?

Second, Vanuatu does not know what is really going on in Indonesia, but concludes on its own. In fact, Vanuatu never came to Papua to know about the condition of the people there. If only they had the opportunity to travel to Cendrawasih Earth, they would see that the lives of its citizens are fine, and that there are no human rights violations as they alleged.

The allegations of human rights violations made by Vanuatu are very fatal because they can vilify the name of Indonesia in the eyes of the international community. It is possible for foreign tourists to cancel their plans to travel to Raja Ampat, because of security issues. Therefore, Vanuatu must be slapped so that it is no longer annoying and interferes in Indonesian affairs, let alone asking the United Nations to conduct an inspection of Papua.

If judging from the history, then Indonesia and Vanuatu are both former colonies. If Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch, then Vanuatu was colonized by France and England. However, Vanuatu is not yet fully independent because it is still part of the United Kingdom.

Vanuatu empathizes with the Papuan people because they are both of the Melanesian race, so they have physical and cultural similarities. They have also felt the pain of being colonized by other nations. However, this empathy was turned into an invitation to liberate Papua. The reason is because they think that Indonesia colonized Papua.

Whereas according to international law, the territory of the archipelago, which was a former Dutch colony, automatically becomes Indonesian territory. Apart from that, there was no colonization, because the Papuan people themselves joined Indonesia from the results of the Act of Free Choice (Perpresuan Rakyat) in 1969 ago. Logically, if Indonesia were to colonize, then there would be no Youtefa Bridge and other infrastructure built in Papua.

Unfortunately, Vanuatu’s statement is supported by Papuans like Benny Wenda. Even though Benny is no longer an Indonesian citizen, he still comes from the Earth of Cendrawasih. However, it even incited many parties to liberate Papua. Benny is known as an OPM member who lives abroad and becomes a provocateur. If he returned home, he would have been shaken so as not to heat up the situation.

Papua must be protected from foreign elements who want the Earth of Cendrawasih region to become independent. Ja

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