Many communities have engaged themselves in a continuous struggle for identity and the fight against oppression. As we browse deeper into the annals of a nation’s history, we cannot dismiss the fact that others have taken an ultimate pride in prompting an indigent group’s displacement within its social structure for another group’s gain. Consumed with avarice for economic gains, civilized society implants its superiority by taking possession and control of its minerals and resources while ultimately driving its cultural minorities into dry and arid wastelands.
Under a cloak of sovereignty and ironic preservation agenda, human rights are suppressed and abused in order to embrace technological and economic advancement. Driven away from the homeland of their forefathers, ethnic communities at the same time harbor a desire to regain control over their ancestral domain by marked rebellion. The ensuing conflict results to a vast displacement of heritage that has endangered cultural minorities and managed to change a society filled with a cycle of violence and vindication in order to protect its natural bounty or interests.
In Indonesia’s verdant soil, the by-products of its natural reserve has seen an ensuing clamor for control that gave an entirely new meaning to moral and human rights deprivation in the face of burgeoning economic development and globalization. The positive effects of globalization encouraged cultural penetration yet causing an overlapping of new and old traditions. In a social space fraught with Indonesian cultural traditions, “an obstacle arises however due to the interplay of pre-existing historical and political traditions that pre-exist current developmental changes” .
While globalization have placed economies and societies with an improving quality of life that could indicate positive transformation, the interplay of traditions and people’s growing instabilities brought “pre-existent conflicts to the core”. Indonesia’s pre-existent tribal confusion has in the past led armed conflicts as different factions employ every available reason and resource to destabilize and eliminate its traditional foe. Subjected to massive government corruption, national bondage is held in check as lowly citizens submit to the manipulations of its sovereign powers.
Men killing innocent women and children; the well and sick are the fervent cries as governments whose plans for economic advancement sends an ambiguous signal to the world to exercise vigilance and study the true nature of the violence in Indonesia. Roots of Violence Different waves of democracy slowly ebbed in order to give Indonesia the freedom to practice the spirit of independence that spun lifelong decades of struggle against colonialism.
Several centuries of colonialist attitude have been judged to border on cruelty which has besieged the country in a slow journey towards economic stability and social awareness. However inter cultural disputes culminated amidst the precarious existence of authoritarian powers. Civil strife soon arose as people lay at the behest of government powers intent to insist their methods of control. The common regions in Indonesia relates how specific injustices arise that no sooner provided a domino effect across the regions while endorsing human rights violations across the nation.
West Papua or Irian Jaya In Indonesia’s easternmost province, Papua, its important resource for wealth and bio-diversity is also a “host to the country’s largest and projected investments by foreign corporations”. Ample historical evidence revealed that the people of Papua or Irian Jaya are “ethnically different from the people of mainland Indonesia with Malay roots and Chinese descent”. Papua’s inhabitants are mostly of Melanesian descent belonging to ethnic tribes as “an indigenous race with deep physical and spiritual roots”.
During the colonial era, the sparsely populated region was controlled by the Netherlands Dutch who was forced to relinquish control upon UN prodding. Sometime in 1969, “selected delegates voted unanimously to join the Republic of Indonesia under the Act of Free Choice” which sealed Papua’s fate under Indonesian rule. Political violence erupted as most Papuans resisted Indonesian governance which “resulted in deaths of 500,000 people as the Suharto regime fought for control” , through the use of its undisciplined security forces.
To ensure stability, the regime enforced transnational migration intent to “decongest the densely Indonesian provinces and relocate localities in the sparsely populated regions of West Papua”. The move soon saw rising struggles brought about by drastic integration as overlapping and interplay of cultural traditions created challenges and unresolved sentiments among local tribes and communities. Amidst cultural penetration, a rising challenge arose among Papuan communities forced to accept a new government fighting for control over the vast Papuan natural resource.