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Jakarta Post

Equality of opportunity matters

  • Rob Goodfellow


Jakarta   /   Sat, July 11 2020   /  01:00 am
Education for all: Students of YPK junior high school in Sumuri in Bintuni Bay regency in West Papua listen to their teacher during a class on Nov. 26, 2014. Papua and West Papua provinces were granted special autonomy to close the gap between them and the rest of Indonesia. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

On Aug. 17 this year it will be a mere 75 years since the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence from the Dutch. In contrast, it has been 239 years since the Declaration of American Independence from British colonial rule. For America’s black population, the lofty constitutional proclamation that, “All Men are Created Equal” is still profoundly contested as the nation-wide Black Lives Matter protests have revealed. Inspired by the killing of George Floyd, a broad global movement has now emerged with the key demand of ensuring “the social, economic, and political power necessary for people of color to thrive”. My question is, can these milestones be addressed in Indonesia with respect to the people of Papua? An old expression says that, “an illustration is more convincing than a demonstration”. Three Indonesian Papuans—a career dip...