Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Here we go again ...

In a nation of hundreds of cultures, cobbled together under one flag, cultural uprisings aren't that uncommon. Like earthquakes in the volcanic archipelago, it seems like they happen every few days. That's what happens when you live on a fault line.

And so to the news from Papua, where a number of recent arrests were made for the unfurling of a separatist flag. It's the latest chapter in a very long story, dating back to Indonesia claiming the western half of Papua New Guinea, along with an election that may or not have been a sham. It's a lot of land and a lot of resources at stake, since huge mining operations produce barrelfuls of money for both themselves and for government coffers.

The saddest part of the report, though: The seizure of a number of "bows and arrows". This constitutes a threat to the state? Truly? Perhaps anyone with a slingshot will be next. Let's hope that the current Indonesian administration talks with the Papuans, instead of letting affairs reach a crisis point. Perhaps by offering more political sovereignty, perhaps by keeping more resource money on the island instead of directing it to Jakarta.

One thing we can all agree on: The kind of East Timor-like rupture that scarred a nation's psyche, and damaged it in the eyes of the world, is in no one's interests.

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1 comment:

One Simple Tech said...

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