Doing the right thing: The UN echoes the positive responses over West Papuan incident

Madam Michelle Bachelet (credit: Al Jazeera)

The racism incident against West Papuan Indonesia recently has been attracting massive coverage responses both home and abroad as it deserves. Most of Indonesians have declared that they are ashamed of what has happened. They ensured that the incident was never reflecting the Indonesian values and West Papuans are as precious as other people from other ethnicities in the country. Internationally, it is no wonder, the positive responses Indonesians showed was echoed by the UN human rights’ (UNHRCR) chief Mrs. Michelle Bachelet as she encourages pertinent stakeholders to prioritized dialogs to resolve the unfortunate problem. It shows how positive the UN has responded the way Indonesians dealt with that sort of 21-century-unbeliveble incident.

Unfortunately, though, instead of being part of positive echoes regarding the West Papuan incident resolution, some parties just keep at their negative trajectory of provocations and promote hatred and disintegrating messages.

Embrace and fix the wrongdoings

Nobody can accept racism in this modern era where people already uphold equality in almost every aspect of our life. But some people are just modernity-mobs that cannot understand the value and importance of equality. Indonesia has recently been caught in media spotlight because of a degrading statement aimed at calling some West Papuan Indonesians in some Javanese city called Surabaya.

Soon after, messages of apologies and equality assurance inundated social media in Indonesia. Indonesians in general were disgusted by the incident because it was done to their own fellow Indonesians, who happen to come from a different ethnicity. Many peaceful events and dialogs followed up the incident. It shows how Indonesians see the problem as any civilized group of people in other parts of the world. People from diverse ethnicities gather more due to the unfortunate incident. Vigils to ensure quality across the country have been held that mostly are ended with a lot of hugs.

How Indonesians responded to the incidents have been echoed and endorsed by the world, even though minimal. But great public figures have come to the same direction including the UN. The organizations’ human rights’ chief, Mrs. Michelle Bachelet. In some occasions, the Chilean leader expressed her concern about the development of human rights violation resolution in Indonesia, especially in the case of West Papua, as well as in other countries. To her, resolution to the dark cases of violation in the past should be handled well. To reach that objective, dialogs are and always should be prioritized.

What has been the UN’s stance for prioritizing dialogs are praised widely back home in Indonesia. Regarding the case of West Papua, as you may read above and from other positive media, Indonesians directly responded the incident with meetings and sharing their guilty feeling for what happened. More importantly, these Indonesians are including public figures and government leaders. All people from diverse elements and levels seem to automatically see that dialogs are the very first they need to do when clashes such as the West Papuan outbreaks happen.

Evil claims

It is very unfortunate that some people are instead using the incident as a hot matter to seek fame and sensation. These entities include individuals, media and foreign and home organizations that claim their existence is to provide problem solving. Let’s see some individuals like Benny Wenda and Veronica Koman who continuously use the recent West Papuan incident to support their claim that West Papuans are seen negatively by their fellow Indonesians from other ethnicities.

It is true that some people still see other people including the West Papuans differently, but they can never represent how the majority people in Indonesia are seeing and will always be seeing their West Papuan fellows as brothers and sisters under one family. Indonesians has put first and shared the value of diversity with each other for so long. That some things from the way they implement the values are not yet perfect, that is what Indonesians are working hard at the moment.

Mrs Bachelet as a global and Chilean leader, has shown how she must respond to the West Papuan case because she knows what diversity means and the risk of safeguarding it. Living in diversity needs positive and open minds to always put first. And, that is what Indonesians are doing now.

It is tragic to see the way entities like individuals mentioned above and other organizations like some media (RNZ, SBS Australia, etc), framed the incident to blame all Indonesians on degrading their fellow West Papuans. They use provocative words like second-class, sub-human etc to corner Indonesians and accuse them of promoting racism. These media that mostly come from developed countries forget how their countries used to best degrade their indigenous people (up until now, probably).

Our media promotes a positive alternative stance amidst various negative, provoking, derogating perspectives promoted by many individuals and media. We promote genuine and positive way of looking at crucial and sensitive things. We do not say that West Papua and Indonesia, in this sense, had a bright past. No! However, we appreciate how diverse Indonesians, from all fields and levels, have worked hard doing the right thing, fixing their dark past and choosing to focus and pursue a brighter future. (*)

For more stories, visit us at

Enriching discourse and understanding. A protest to Indonesian govt that unsuccessfully serves the world fair info about West Papua.