This brief article has no other intention but to questioning the rejection of special autonomy by separatist groups in Papua. On 27 June 2020, the spokesperson of West Papua National Committee (WPNC a.k.a KNPB), Victor Yeimo called for special autonomy rejection. Today, on 4 July 2020, several small groups of people in West Papua launch a petition to reject special autonomy facilitated by Tabloid Jubi senior journalist Victor Mambor.
There has always been a nagging thought somewhere in the back of people’s mind about the propaganda of special autonomy rejection. It started since the introduction of special autonomy in 2001 with a simple narrative of asking for independence. During the early, mid and end period of 20 years implementation, Papuan separatist activists continuously propagated the failure of special autonomy as if there is nothing good about it.
It seems that the people who join separatist movement and their supporters don’t have consideration about Papuan people in general. They act like hero but in reality don’t care. They continue to instigate conflict by propagating hatred, creating a gap between Melanesian and Indonesian, intimidating people who support peaceful development, provoking police and military, and to some extent killing innocent people (for the armed group).
Thousand reasons have been fired by separatist groups systematically with a coordinated movement to make the implementation of special autonomy looked bad. Do we have to put our curiosity to the back of our mind because Papuan separatists pose themselves as victim and depict the government of Indonesia as the great colonial devil ?
Instead of remaining worry and reacting to every move by separatists sympathizers with the reinforcement of extreme measures, Indonesian government need to start an objective research questioning the motivation of rejection of special autonomy. If the rejection is for purely Papuan without the interest of separatist group, then it should be heard why. However, if it is only a rejection for maximising separatist narratives, then there is no honesty within the rejection.
Special Autonomy is vital for the future of Papua and West Papua provinces. It is a continuation of funding Papua and West Papua or even perhaps an improvement from time to time. Starting from 2021, a new arrangement of funding should be discussed because both Papua and West Papua still need a lot of fund for social economic development.
Questioning the motivation of those who reject special autonomy is very important. The people of Papua and West Papua should know who actually care about them.