Papua is the big half of Indonesia’s largest island that most Indonesians have never been to. But cut it out of the map of our tanah air (archipelago, land and water) and we are left with a big gap: It just doesn’t look right and is totally unacceptable to what all Indonesians grew up with, beautifully starting with the island of Sumatra, sloping down to Java with the large islands in the middle, tiny gems on the top and others trailing off Java and ending with that big mass of Papua with a bird-like head.
But is this map and Papua’s bountiful resources all we care about?
With all the reports of violence stemming from the easternmost provinces, the latest following the declaration of independence at the Third Papua People’s Congress in Abepura last month, questions have again emerged over Papua’s prospects for peace.
There is no war going on there, but fr...