Note: “Papua is Indonesia” is an article writen by Thobias Rumbiak S.Sos., M.Sc.; a Papuan anthropologist:
Indonesia, a vast country consisting of tens of thousands of islands decorating the Indonesian ocean from Sabang to Merauke.
Unity in Diversity is not just a motto, heterogeneous society, cultural differences, ethnicity, race, and religion are indeed contained in Indonesia. Also, Mutual Assistance as a belief to help each other.
“Unity in Diversity = Different but still one”
In 2019, lots of propaganda has taken place intending to divide the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. Especially Papua, the easternmost region of Indonesia, which is known for its rich natural resources. It’s being a vulnerable objective for propagandists to raise the referendum issue of Papua.
Previously, Mahfud MD, the former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia, explained about the referendum and the law on Papua concern.
First, Papua is a legal part of Indonesia and according to the constitution, Indonesia does not allow referendums. Indonesian law also does not recognize the referendum for regions that exactly were Indonesian territory.
Second is the international law, particularly the convention of political rights and civil rights and the convention of economic, social, and cultural. The convention says a country that has legal authority over its territory may take any steps including the military to protect its territory. The point is that the convention was contained in Indonesian constitution in Undang-Undang Nomor 12 Tahun 2005 which was ratified by the 6th President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“The Constitution explains that the Unitary Republic of Indonesia must be protected with all its strength and with any force,” – Mahfud MD.
In this context, the desired referendum does not come from indigenous Papuans, but rather those who intend to take advantage of Papua’s natural wealth. There have been many commitments from the Papuans who risked their lives to keep Papua as a part of Indonesia. That statement comes from the Chairperson of the Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) of Mimika, Ignatius Adii who calls the society to always maintain security and harmony. People are also encouraged to avoid being influenced by issues that weren’t surely correct and declared by irresponsible people to disturb Papua’s security and harmony.
In terms of religious, several religious organizations had agreed to keep the Land of Papua peaceful, secure, and conducive.
It is undoubted that not only Papuans who care about Papua. People from Sumatera, Kalimantan, Java, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, and even Maluku care about Papuans brother. Many teachers from Java had supported in improving the quality of life for Papuans.
Indonesia is large not because of its differences. Indonesia is independent not because given. Indonesia is strong because of its harmonious, justice, and prosperous which were packaged in a simple and sacred motto “Unity in Diversity”.