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Jakarta Post

Not always black or white: Downside of polarizing Papua discourse

Papua conflict illustration(JP/Hengky Wijaya)
Saskia Raishaputri (The Jakarta Post)
London   ●   Wed, November 25 2020

Papua is brewing, its people taking to the streets last year in large numbers to show their discontent at being a part of Indonesia. It has been 51 years since the last Dutch colonial bastion in this region joined the Republic, but instead of rejoicing, the demonstrations and protests have continued.

A series of racist slurs against Papuan students in the East Java capital of Surabaya triggered massive protests in August and September 2019.

But the Papuan problem is much deeper than racism. The people’s discontent reflects the wider range of problems they have been experiencing, from violent conflicts to ill-suited development projects, to human right violations and other forms of injustice.

Should we still be questioning why a growing number of Papuans are demanding a referendum for self-determination?

The two provinces of Papua and West ...

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