Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Biggest Obstacle for Tourists Visiting West Papua is the Security Situation of the Region?

I have been mentioning this many times to various parties, and many people also agree with me, that the biggest obstacle of tourism in West Papua (or Indonesia's Papua and West Papua provinces) is the security situation/ condition. In one side, government officials claim that situations in West Papua is safe and conducive. They even openly invite anybody can visit West Papua, and should be concerned about the security situation in the area, because the insecure situation is just a "created image", not a reality. By saying "a created image", it means there is a creator. Who is it?

In theory, it should be commonly accepted that "the government" and government officials are the ones responsible for the "security situation" in a region, inside a modern nation-state. However, the government officials themselves are blaming somebody else "creating the image in insecurity in West Papua". It should be said that the ones responsible for the security are the ones that creating or dealing with the insecure situation. The ones that creating the insecure situation in West Papua are those who are supposed to be responsible for the security and peace in Papua Soil.

Just look to the daily life experience in West Papua. Anybody can see any policemen or members of the Indonesian armed forces walking around anywhere and at any time in West Papua. This reality is uncommon in other parts of Indonesia. In addition, almost all policemen or armed forces carry shot machine guns on their shoulders wherever they go and at all times in West Papua, a scene that is not familiar in other parts of Indonesia. Anybody, right at the Airports and seaports when they enter West Papua, can easily conclude that this part of the world is a "Military Zone". This is not just an image, the reality is that almost one Papuan get shot or killed every month, a number that is illogical and unacceptable in this post modern era. Nobody seems to be care of this situation.

It does not mean the world is not doing anything. In many occasions, particularly human rights groups in West Papua, Indonesia and Asia have been spreading updated information on human rights situation in West Papua. However the world has chosen not to care about it. It is much comfortable to deal with Indonesia's deadly regime rather than take any notice on humanitarian catastrophic situation that has been developing in West Papua since 1960s.

The victim of this situation is of course, our freedom, human freedom to travel to the world and enjoy our lives. Any governments in the world take benefits of any situations anywhere in the world. If the situation benefits them, then they will always choose to ignore anything that disturbs them, at the cost of human lives. They do not care of "freedom" to live as human beings, and freedom to express ourselves as human beings being greatly sabotaged in this part of the world.

If the world can assist Indonesian government to bring peace and harmony in West Papua, then this New Guinea Island will finally become "the paradise Island" for our humanity and freedom. We can come here and enjoy our lives, without any fear of being shot dead, or just being hearing any gunshots around us. I hope, ... I really hope... peace will finally reign in this Island, just as it was before colonialism began.

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