Franz Magnis: A dialog with Papuan citizens compulsary

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Franz Magnis Suseno states firmly that Papua will remain a part of our Motherland, Indonesia. No matter what, Papua will never separate itself from Indonesia, as did East Timor, as Papua is a legitimate part of the Republic of Indonesia. (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Jakarta – Clergyman / culturalist Father Franz Magnis Suseno (“Father Magnis”) has stated firmly that Papua will remain a part of our Motherland, Indonesia. No matter what, Papua will never separate itself from Indonesia, as did East Timor, as Papua is a legitimate part of the Republic of Indonesia.

Father Magnis did however urge the Government to seek solutions to assuage the righteous anger of Papuan citizens, as doing so will go far toward preventing the Independent Papua Organizations (Organisasi Papua Merdeka – “OPM”) from exploiting grievances to cut Papua off from Indonesia. “OPMs, I plead for you to cease your armed campaign. It has no future, and you are bringing grief to your fellow Papuans. Papua is legally part of Indonesia and it will remain part of Indonesia. Do not attempt to equate Papua with East Timor – instead, seek to unite with Indonesia,” he said.

However, Father Magnis wondered about Papua’s longtime relationship with Indonesia. “We have been under the Indonesian government for nearly 60 years. How come we are still not at peace with each other? Look what happened today following the ‘zoning’,” he observed.

Incidents in Surabaya and Malang caused Papuans to feel insulted and belittled, unappreciated by their own nation. Their rage exploded and some demanded to separate themselves through a referendum. “They note demeaning words as something they always hear and always face, and they have had enough with this disrespect. Whenever a riot occurs in Papua, many people die. Some insist on raising the wrong flag (OPM), five people end up dead; these Papuan citizens really feel unappreciated by their own nation,” Father Magnis said.

Therefore, in order to avoid dissolution, the Government must act quickly and establish a meaningful dialog with Papuans. “We hope that the Government will find a way to resolve the issue freely and securely, without involving the military. Establish an honest dialog and talk everything over thoroughly. Surprise inspections are not enough. Seek the facts openly – you will find that most Papuan citizens understand the issue and are willing to talk and make concessions. We all want Papua to become a success story,” Father Magnis said. (dsy)