Taking Traces of Love of Father of Democracy in Papua

Taking Traces of Love of Father of Democracy in Papua

goodmorningpapua.com – If recalling the records of the history of the human rights struggling in Papua, Gus Dur [KH.Abdurrahman Wahid] is a great name that will never be forgotten. In 2010, the Papua Custom Council awarded the title “Father of Papuan Democracy” for the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia, KH Abdurrahman Wahid.  A leader of the Papua Custom Council (DAP) (2010) Forkorus Yoboisembut said Gus Dur had contributed to Papua by returning the name of Papua from the before Irian Jaya and taking a more dialogical approach as well as respecting human rights.

During the New Order regime, it was taboo for Papuans to identify themselves as Papuans. The Suharto government politically identified Papua with the separatist movement of the Free Papua Organization. However, Gus Dur broke down the walls of fear. On December 30, 1999, President Gus Dur held a forum in Jayapura. Gus Dur apreciated to all questions, from those commending the Indonesian government to those demanding the independence.

After the meeting in Jayapura, President Gus Dur continued to provide support for the Papuan people. He also allowed the holding of the Second Congress of Papuan People which was attended by no less than 5,000 participants in the end of May 2000. In fact, wrote Tri Agung Kristanto who is summarized in the book The Political Journey of Gus Dur (2010), this great clergyman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) contributed funds amounting to 1 billion rupiah for the holding of the Second Congress of Papuan People.

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This congress discussed everything about Papua’s past and future, including the importance of resolving various cases of human rights violations, as well as the neglect of basic rights, especially in the economic, social and cultural fields of the Papuan people (tirto / 8/2019). For Papuans, Gus Dur is the only president of Indonesia who has openly re-recognized the Papuan people as a nation. It was stated by the General Chairman of the Papuan Custom Council at that time, Forkorus Yaboisembut.

The approach taken by Gus Dur on the Papuan issue stretched from a personal-dialogical approach to the transformation of government institutions, based on the vision of “diverse citizenship” (Suaedy, 2018). The Papua problem must be returned to the line of the Papua Special Autonomy Law, of course by promoting a dialogical approach, guaranteeing human rights, and ending racism. Ignoring these matters also means rejection of the vision of “bhineka citizenship” championed by Gus Dur (Pohan, 2019).

Although his term as President of the Republic of Indonesia was very short, Gus Dur has inspired the Papuan people to fight for peace. Even Neles Tebay, the coordinator of the Papua Peace Network (JDP), an institution that once intermediated the dialogue between Jakarta and Papua, called Gus Dur a man of peace.

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