What actually happened in West Papua? How do foreign media preach it to foreign readers? What information is spread outside Indonesia about Papua, especially in the Pacific and European countries? Why foreign journalists never or rarely use the term Papua and West Papua provinces? Why foreign media most the time used the term West Papua is accordance to separatists’ view as a whole region?
Both the civilians and the Papuan security personnel have suffered losses due to terrorism by armed separatist movement. Why some foreign journalist only highlighted human rights violation by security personnel?
There are so many questions that even most Indonesian human rights activists and students are neglected. They started to believe that the problem in Papua and West Papua provinces is the government, especially security personnel. They rarely think that separatism is core of the problem. Majority Papuan have accepted the huge change in Indonesia’s democracy, but all efforts to develop Papua democratically may crumbled because over exaggerated stories about West Papua from the lense of Papuan separatist.
When you type the keywords Papua or West Papua in the Google search engine, you will immediately realize one thing: the dominance of political news and the conflict in Papua from the perspective of separatist and their sympathizers. Most of the news were and are still continue endorsing separatism in Papua and West Papua provinces. In the name of freedom of speech and democracy, many of journalists, observers, and activists wrote their piece of news and articles in support to separatism.
The dominance of political news in support to separatism in Papua and West Papua do not reflects the reality of the daily life of its people. Most of the news and article are very opinionated. Very to similar to this blog, which is also opinionated in support to peaceful development of Papua and West Papua provinces. In addition, the dominance of separatist narratives is not only occured in mainstream online media, it also appeared massively in social media. This blog is the only survivor of online campaign debunking Free Papua Movement since 2005.
Keywords “Papua” and “West Papua” without a search year have been overpopulated by separatist narratives. Indonesia as a government never tried to control the flow of news and article. In contrast, Free West Papua Campaign and their supporters continue to spread lies and fake news. The face of Papua and West Papua provinces in the news and articles online heavily represented Papuan separatists views.
The differences of opinion between the Indonesian government and those who claimed advocate for freedom of the press is very simple. Indonesian government wants to protect the population from violent conflict by preventing provocative news and article, while foreign media wants to write anything that will become “real news” from the region. Some separatist supporters especially the center-left media like the Guardian, may not realise the danger of supporting separatism is that ordinary people are stuck in a conflicted situation.