Kamis, 26 Maret 2009

Papua: the Wound Is Still Not Cured

HIV, Special Autonomy, and Tribal Was are the most crucial problem to be solved in Papua. What the worse on those problem then has been written by young journalists of Papua, as they try to dismantle the problems and to share the information with us by the book titled Luka Papua: HIV, Otonomi Khusus, dan Perang Suku (Papua’s Wound: HIV, Special Autonomy, and Tribal War).
Deadly Virus

Papua has the second largest number of HIV/AIDS infected in Indonesia, after the Jakarta Province. Billions rupiah has been given by the government and fund organizations to overcome and prevent the epidemic. Miraculously, the more money is given, the more people are infected by this deadly virus. So, what is the problem?

A zero survey, which was conducted in 1992, concluded that HIV/AIDS was firstly found in 1993 in Merauke. People in Merauke, and other cities in Papua believed that AIDS was brought to Merauke by fishermen from Thailand. But lately, those who concern about HIV/AIDS in Papua doubted this presumption, for no research can ever prove it. From their point of view, fishermen from Thailand are only accused as the black sheep, because Merauke gives many opportunities to people who come to the city, as well as to its inhabitants to go in and out of the city, and they are free to have the unsafe sexual relationship.

The government and several NGOs have tried to prevent and overcome the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, but the number of infected people in Papua has not decreased yet. This situation then triggered an assumption about the misuse of fund for dealing with the HIV/AIDS. The assumption appeared because there is no transparency about the budget, and how the government allocate and manage the fund.

Instead of solving the problem of HIV/AIDS and trying to find the solution, the Papua administration are still unable to eradicate stigma and discrimination against the HIV/AIDS infected people. Religion figures and their institution have not given concrete solution in dealing with HIV/AIDS. For instance, people in Merauke often bury the body of people with HIV/AIDS in the night silently. The funeral was only attended by few people. Not to mention the story of people who committed suicide because of knowing him or herself positively infected by HIV.

Although Boven Digul Regent Yusak Yaluwo said that people with AIDS (ODHA) are also human and they need to be supported by the community, but Boven Digul Local Administration (Pemda) in fact has a plan to build a hospital with a special room for ODHA, so that ODHA will not be free to mingle with other people and spread the HIV/AIDS. Papua local administration even intends to installed microchip inside the body of ODHA. This issue is written on the local administration regulation in health sector that regulates about HIV/AIDS. The participants of the Second National Congress of ODHA in West Java on August 2007 seriously refuse that plan.

Prostitution, which happens in the downtown of Merauke and its forest, is pointed as the place where HIV/AIDS virus spreads out. In fact, the government tries to press the HIV/AIDS epidemic by displaying an advice to use condoms. But most of the prostitute’s customers are still unwilling to use it. As a matter of fact, the reluctant in using condom related to the culture that strongly embraced by Papua people until now. They have a belief that sperm should not be wasted for any reason, including considering that using condom while having sex is a taboo.

HIV/AIDS does not only cause a worry to the people who live in the city. Young journalists, who write this book, have also made an investigation which found that HIV/AIDS virus spread to the inside of forest. In Asmat forest, for example, the eaglewood tree become the trigger of this case. This research said that a prostitution area was built in 1997 in this hunting area. The prostitution area was only built under the blue tarpaulin and supported by rahai wood (Acacia Spp). The worst is, there are only three prostitutes who have to serve tens of eaglewood seekers. It has been going for a very long time, about two or three years. For this long time, the wood seekers have never used condoms.

The HIV/AIDS issue then becomes more interesting as rumors about genocide come up, and are related to the increasing HIV/AIDS cases in Papua. HIV/AIDS is assumed as a way to practice genocide in Papua and it is accused as the source of the decreasing of Papua people’s opportunity to live.. A report from West Papua Project and ELSHAM published in 2005 stated that Papua people have been living in fear for last 50 years. How the Indonesia military fight against the separatist groups - including the people who support them, how the HIV/AIDS rises, and how the malnutrition taunts them are pointed as the genocide toward the Papua people. Pro and contra appeared regarding to the issue of using HIV/AIDS as a genocide practice in Papua.

Sendius Wonda in his book “Tenggelamnya Rumpun Melanesia: Pertarungan Politik NKRI di Papua Barat (The Disappear of Melanesia Clump: A Republic of Indonesia Political Fight in West Papua)” also states that HIV/AIDS is one of the genocide triggers in Papua. That book was banned by the District Attorney of Jayapura based on the General Attorney decree on Kep-123/A/JA/11/2007. But, it is still too soon to talk about the Papua genocide.. Genocide can be happened if the military violence, terror, and HIV/AIDS strike in the same time. As long as there is still effort to tackle the HIV/AIDS from the government, the society, and the non-governmental organization, genocide doesn’t need to be discussed.

Money Rain on the Papua Land

Since the presidential decree about Papua Development Acceleration No. 5 Year 2007 announced officially, Papua looked like flooded with money. That Presidential decree is manifested in a Special Local Administration Regulation (Perda) about Special Autonomy which is approved by the Papua People Council. On this Special Perda, Papua and West Papua Province Administrations explain the function of local administration authority in allocating, using, and accounting for the whole special autonomy funds. On that special Perda is also stated that special autonomy funds are purposed to upgrade the quality and prosperity of Papua natives’ life.

One of the Special Autonomy programs, as declared by the Papua Province Administration is to pour in the fund for Strategic Plan for Village Economy Development (Respek). Citizens in 4,000 villages in Papua deserve to receive grant as much as 100 millions rupiah to develop their villages. The Respek fund is classified into three categories, which are: grant from province and regency administration, grant from foundation, and grant in the form of program which is given at the sectors decided by the central administration, province administration, and regency administration.

In theory, the Respek fund deliverance mechanism is distributed directly to the village through the villagers’ collective account. The money can be cleared at the nearest local treasurer/bank/post office. In a forum, the villagers then will decide what the fund will be used for. The financial report will be delivered, also in an open forum, twice a year. A group that implements the program will deliver the report to the forum, where the fund managing institution will verify the report. If the financial report is accepted, the money will be given for the next term. But if the report is rejected, the managing institution has to give an alternative to solve the problem, and it has to be agreed by the forum.

In fact, the money is not distributed well. Most people in Papua villages admit that they never receive money as part of Respek program. The lack of strict regulation on allocation of this money has made the people who don’t receive the money feel disappointed. Lacks of control and monitoring on distribution of this money also have made this good program manipulated by heads of village. Practically, there is no assistance from the province administration to make this program more effective. In fact, Respek is more likely a wasting money program than an increasing the quality of Papua people’s life.

Never Ending War

Custom war which is usually called as tribal war in Papua is not always related to violence. Tribal war is held to preserve the dignity and fulfill the justice. Revenge in tribal war is often considered as a step to find the social balance which is more likely to competition than social riot. For that reason, in every tribal war, there will always be a demand about numbers of victims which should be equal between the conflicted tribes. Violation against the war rules will be fined, such a big compensation after the war end. One of the war rules is they will decide the place, the time, and the person in charge for that war.

This custom war can be triggered by various reasons. In Amungme tribe, a war can be triggered by, let say, unsettled bride-price payment, woman robbery, pig robbery, or border trespassing. Meanwhile in Nduga tribe, it can be triggered by sweet potato robbery, red fruit robbery, adultery, farm border trespassing, lie, and prejudice. Most of the times, a small problem turns to be big because it is provoked by other parties. As the result, people can be easily played against another, and tribal war happens.

This book tries to disentangle three tribal wars which are most highlighted: Central Papua spreading-out War, Kwamki Lama War, and Banti – Kimbeli War. Tribal war becomes bigger because the conflicted tribes are easily provoked with undependable issue.

It is often mentioned, that custom war happened because of a provocation from some groups that have special interest, particularly for their own good, in Papua. Those groups generate conflicts which are attached to the tribal war tradition. Mostly, Papua people still consider that the custom war is their forefather’s spiritual advice to preserve their values of life. Whatever the trigger is, custom war leaves wounds among Papua people.

Actually, this book which is written by Papua journalists is only reveal some issues out of many issues about the life of Papua people. At least, they deserve to be applauded for their courage to bring out those sensitive issues in Papua.

Source : www.PapuaToday.com

Tidak ada komentar:

Proyek Bersih Parpol Hanya Slogan - AntiKorupsi.org