The impact of #BlackLivesMatter campaign in the US and other countries in the world has reached to Papua and West Papua provinces. Some people in Australia, UK, US, and also in Indonesia somehow used the issue of Racism against Papuan People to provoke separatism and perhaps didn’t realise its direct connection to potential violent communal conflict in Papua and West Papua. Several articles like ‘deeply rooted’ racial injustice towards West Papuans, comparing Black Lives Matter and Papuan Lives Matter, West Papua and Black Lives Matter, How Black Lives Matter Inspired Solidarity with Papuans, Black Lives Matter in Indonesia, Global Protest throw spotlight on alleged police abuses in West Papua, Black Melanesian Lives Matter in West Papua, and so on.
Most of the article may only send a simple message of Papuan Lives Matter the same as Black Lives Matter and also All Lives Matter. In short it is a message about the very basic human rights: the right lo life. However, some West Papua separatist supporters consciously bring up the issue to highlight a different perspective: the right to life within the context of Papuan Lives Matter is used to push separatist agenda: the right for self-determination.
Last week, a friend of West Papua Blog shared views about racism from West Papuan influential figures. It is very important for us to know that many Papuans have very positive views about the current condition of Papua and West Papuan provinces. Please read the following views from Papua and West Papua.
Yoel Mulait (Chair of the Papua People’s Assembly Religious Work Group)
It was stated that currently there were 50 MRP teams visiting Makassar, Bali, Jogja and Manado. He said that the Indonesian government had provided security guarantees for Papuan students
Responding to Racism Yoel said that Papuan students in Manado when he visited told him that they occasionally received unpleasant treatment, in campus or the dormitory environment, including frequent visit by security forces.
He further explained that the policy to recruit 100 Papuan skilled labour Papua has only been started last year, many Papuan manpower were great and smart, but the implementation was still lacking. He said that until now there was still policy of discrimination without realising, one of them was in the recruitment process. So he suggested that the government had to change policies in the recruitment process. Let Papuan children be included in several ministries, without discrimination. He said if diversity should be a pride not just a symbol.
Free translation from Kompas TV
My comment on Yoel Mulait views is fair enough. He didn’t mix the problem of discrimination with separatism. He tried to pursue a moderated way of protecting Papuan without making the problem worse by conflict provocation.