Reiner Brabar, Sorong – Scores of activists from the Papua People's Solidarity Against Racism (SPMR) held a free speech forum in front of the Elin traffic light intersection in Sorong city, West Papua province.
The action was held to oppose racism against indigenous Papuans which is flourishing and rooted in the minds of Indonesian people. They urged the Indonesian government to immediately investigate cases of racism against indigenous Papuans (OAP).
"The contempt towards OAP is not something that has only happened recently in Indonesia. It has been happening for a long time but the Indonesian state continues to protect the perpetrators without acting firmly against them", said action coordinator Apey Tarami following the action on Monday March 29.
According to Tarami, the racist attitudes shown towards Papuan soccer player Patrik Wanggai is just one more note in a long record of racism in Indonesia which has befallen the Papuan people.
"The state protects the perpetrators of this flourishing racism. This is evidence of continued racism against Papuans this year. Meanwhile there no clear legal actions are taken even though it's reported to the police", said Tarami.
Tarami noted other cases which have occurred such as those against former rights commission member Natalius Pigai and the recent racist threats against Papuan students in Malang, East Java, by the Malang police chief (Kapolresta) as concrete examples of how the state protects the perpetrators.
Ando Sabarafek meanwhile said that each time there is a racist incident against Papuans it is always resolved by an apology through the mass media, but this does not heal the spiritual injury suffered by Papuans.
"The Malang Kapolresta must be sacked. Firm action must be taken against the perpetrators of racism against Patrik Wanggai though social media. An apology can never heal the hearts of Papuan people", he asserted.
The activist from the group Kaki Abu also called on the Indonesian government to immediately give the Papuan people the right to self-determination as a democratic solution to heal the hearts of the Papuan people.
"The NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] is a racist state. Papuan independence is the best solution so that the Papuan people will be free to determine their own future. As long as the Papuan people are under Indonesian [rule], racism against Papuans will continue to flourish and never disappear from the face of the earth and the character of the Indonesian people", he said in conclusion.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Rasisme Terhadap OAP Tumbuh Subur di Indonesia".]