A total of 10 Indonesian students from Papua graduated from Corban University, Salem, Oregon state, United States. The students come from various regions in Papua. During their study in the US, they received support for a special autonomy scholarship from the Papua Provincial Government and successfully completed their education in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
These Papuan students are part of about 240 scholarship recipients who graduated in the first semester of this year. Although they had experienced great challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the graduates from Papua finally proved their hard work in completing their studies at one of the best universities in the city of Salem. They managed to graduate and adapt while studying abroad and showed academic achievements.
The long-awaited graduation ceremony was also attended by representatives from the Indonesian Consulate General in San Francisco who could at least replace the presence of the parents of Papuan graduates. One of the graduates, Nathanael Alvin Affar, stated that the absence of their parents was due to the limitations caused by the pandemic.
One of the graduates named Milda Kogoya expressed her desire to be part of an agent of change that provides benefits for the development and progress of Indonesia in general, especially in Papua. Meanwhile, other graduates, Deswan Wanimbo and Aimur Pagawak, also wish to continue their studies at the S2 and S3 levels. It is hoped that later the contribution of the nation’s young generation will be able to contribute to the progress of national and regional development where they come from.
All of these Papuan graduates are also part of about 28 Papuan youths and women who were sent to study in the state of Oregon. They receive scholarship support from the special autonomy fund as an effort to improve human resources for the Papuan people. Since the scholarship program was launched, there have been no less than 1,000 recipients of scholarships for Papuan students and around 600 of them have studied abroad, including in Oregon, USA.
Indonesia is a large country consisting of many islands. This caused some treatment differences that urban areas and 3T areas (“Tertinggal” Lagged, “Terdepan” Frontier and “Terluar” Outermost) had to experience.
Starting from internet access, transportation and even educational facilities for the young generation. However, there is good news from the easternmost island of Indonesia. Papua Province in the near future will soon have an international standard campus. On top of that the campus which will be called International University of Papua, is said to be a competitor to Harvard University in the United States.
This is after the central government officially received the Decree (Surat Keputusan) of the Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Mendikbud Ristek) number 24/E/O/2022 regarding the permit for the establishment and inauguration of the International University of Papua (UIP) on Monday (14/2/2022).
Leading Faculty in UIP
This step was taken as the government’s support in the education sector by advancing human resources in Papua.
Quoting from the Instagram account of the Directorate General of Higher Education, Research and Technology (Ditjen Diktiristek), Wednesday (16/2/2022), UIP has two leading faculties, namely: 1. Science and Technology 2. Teacher Training and Education.
UIP is also equipped with an International Research Center to support student learning.
Bring in teachers from Papua and abroad
The campus will bring in teachers from Papua and abroad Indonesia with background knowledge that is in accordance with the needs of UIP as an acceleration of progress in the Land of Papua.
The construction of the International University of Papua (UIP) campus is part of the efforts to accelerate development of Human Resources in Papua. This step is also part of the President’s focus in the realization of Presidential Instruction No. 09.2020 concerning the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua.
The Presidential Staff Office (KSP) appreciates the establishment of this International University which was marked by the Decree of the Permit to Establish the International University of Papua by the Head of the Higher Education Service Institution (LLDIKTI) Region XIV (14) Papua and West Papua, Suriel S Mofu, the Organizing Committee for the International University of Papua, Samuel Tabuni in Jayapura.
Producing qualified human resources in Papua
In addition, KSP appreciates the issuance of the decree and sees that UIP can contribute in producing an international quality of human resources (HR) in Papua.
Moreover, the Papua region has strategic potential in developing international education cooperation considering it is close to other countries such as Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand which have good diplomatic relations with Pacific countries.
In the future, it is hoped that UIP can facilitate the need of improving the quality of education in Eastern part of Indonesia through affirmations and accelerating the development of Papua’s welfare.
Deputy II of the Presidential Chief of Staff, Abetnego Tarigan, said that UIP is expected to be a beam of light from the east as a new foundation for the development in Eastern Indonesia.
“With the existence of UIP, it can increase competitiveness as well as to improve performance and upgrade potential workforce who are qualified in their fields,” said Abetnego.
President Joko Widodo has just appointed Fientje Maritje Suebu as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Indonesia to New Zealand and concurrently Samoa, Kingdom of Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue.
She was sworn in along with two other ambassadors at the State Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday (12/1/2022). Fientje is the only female ambassador sworn in that day, and she is also the first woman from Papua to serve as Indonesian ambassador.
According to Kompas TV, Fientje Suebu is the only daughter among the five sons of a tribal chief in Papua. The woman (red: Fientje) who was born in Sentani has been an active diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 31 years.
After she graduate from University, Fientje continued studied at the Diplomatic Training School. After graduating, she was recruited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and moved to Jakarta. Prior being appointed as Ambassador of New Zealand, Fientje served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to India. She has served as DCM in Indonesian Embassy in India since February 2018. In July 2021, the People’s Representative Council of Indonesia (DPR RI) declared that Fientje had passed the fit and proper test as an ambassador.
Papuan women are capable
Fientje admits that her decades of career in diplomacy as well as being a mother of three children is not easy. Her profession required her and the family to travel to another country every three to four years. One of the challenges they are facing is to adapt to different education systems in different countries. Luckily, she has the full support of her husband, Philipus Sarwom.
With her career achievements, Fientje wants to show that Papuans are capable of being empowered like other people from different province in Indonesia. She believes that Papuan women are capable of becoming agents of change in their respective fields. Not only securing the position at executive, legislative, or judicial positions, but most importantly being able to compete in this era of globalization. “Achievements lead to happiness. We try our best in this life and we feel good about it,” said Fientje. “Whether at the office, at home, raising a family and nurturing a relationships, educating children, or anything that leads to satisfaction is a success,” she added.
“The mothers are diligent and patient while drawing the batik patterns. They are happy they could introduce Papua arts and culture that are manifested in the Port Numbay batik patterns“
Jayapura, Papua – Papuan mothers’ skilled hands steadily draw intricate and distinct patterns to create a batik fabric popularly known as Port Numbay.
The Port Numbay batik was initiated by Jimmy Afaar, a native Papuan, by combining patterns from Papua’s 250 ethnic groups. His creation has been proven popular among domestic and international markets, and it provides more choices for visitors looking for locally-made crafts.
Despite his official duties for the Papua women’s volleyball team during the PON XX National Games, Afaar has not ceased to assist the mothers to complete orders and promote the fabric.
Recalling the inception of Port Numbay batik, Afaar said his greatest motivation for developing the batik was to empower local mothers, who were skilled in weaving or painting yet received no economic gain from their skills.
Afaar decided to exploit the popularity of batik, recognized as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009, to enhance local mothers’ livelihood and empower them.
“We want to empower the mothers economically to allow them earning a living not only for daily foods but also to pay for their offsprings’ school tuition,” Afaar, who is also known as Opa by those close by him, said.
To fulfill his goal, Afaar decided to go to Java Island to study the batik-making process. After spending years gaining experience, he decided to return home and share his newly acquired knowledge of batik with local mothers.
Empower local mothers and inspire creative economy
Upon returning to his native land, he began his first mission: he needed to convince the mothers to participate in his endeavour. He later asked his cousin to persuade her friends to join the batik-making class, and 15 mothers gathered in his early batik classes 17 years ago.
To further hone the mothers’ batik-making skills, Afaar invited batik trainers from Yogyakarta to hold batik classes for them. Besides batik-making skills, he also taught the mothers time management so they could balance their house chores and batik production.
Afaar also introduced more intricate and diverse batik patterns as the mothers’ ability increased over time. Starting from bird-of-paradise patterns, he gave the women the liberty to create and innovate with new patterns.
Once the women began to accumulate completed batik fabrics, Afaar was ready for his second mission: Searching for potential markets and selling the batik. He relied upon a connection with government employees for his first batik orders.
“I started the marketing process by promoting the batik from door to door. I also called my friend who worked in the Governor’s office and brought the batik fabric to their office. I often commuted in a public bus to sell the batik fabric, and my batik began to attract more buyers,” said Afaar, recounting his struggle in building the Port Numbay batik business.
Despite the fatigue of commuting far distances to sell batik, Afaar’s spirit quickly returned when he saw the happy faces of women empowered and able to earn a living on their own. He said his batik products truly embody a “from mothers, by mothers, and to mothers” spirit.
His tireless efforts began to bear fruit once foreign tourists began to favor the Port Numbay batik, and the mothers participating in the production process became more enthused to finish more batik fabrics.
“The mothers are diligent and patient while drawing the batik patterns. They are happy they could introduce Papua arts and culture that are manifested in the Port Numbay batik patterns,” Afaar said.
At present, Afaar sells two-meter batik fabric for Rp600 thousand (around US$42), two-and-a-half meter batik fabric for Rp650 thousand (around US$45.5), and three-meter batik fabric for Rp700 thousand (around US$49).
The PON XX National Games hosted in Papua province have also brought economic advantage to mothers producing the batik. Afaar said he had to hire more women and pay them on a daily basis to satisfy the increasing demand for the batik fabric.
“We started only with 15 mothers, and currently we have 36 mothers who have joined our endeavour to create batik with us. To accommodate the increasing demand during the PON Games, we even resorted to hiring more mothers that would be paid daily,” Afaar added.
Message of peace, diversity from Papua
Afaar’s simpler designs and patterns that were utilized earlier in the Port Numbay batik have over time been eclipsed by new symbols and motifs deliberately conceived by him to introduce Papuan ethnic groups to the world.
The diverse designs include farming utensils, marine resources from coastal tribes, and Noken – a local woven bag native to Papua – as an auspicious symbol of blessing. Those symbols have been introduced by Afaar to depict Papua’s natural and cultural diversity.
The message of peace conveyed by the Port Numbay batik later brought a special mission for him when he was assigned to create batik designs for President Joko Widodo and the First Lady Iriana in 2015.
To complete the task, he decided to draw a boat and paddle pattern — a symbol of command among the Tobati and Enggros ethnic groups native to Jayapura – in the batik fabric for the President as an expression of hope for his successful leadership.
“In our customs, when the tribe leader directed the rowers to row the boat, the leader should ensure the boat would safely reach the destination no matter how huge the waves, winds, or other obstacles they should brave,” Afaar said.
Afaar expressed hope his endeavour, besides successfully empowering Papuan mothers, would also successfully introduce the message of peace and diversity from Papua to the world.
“All of the patterns conceived in the Port Numbay batik embodied social or cultural values. We did not include any patterns that might be interpreted as symbols of violence or discrimination because our main goal is to convey the message of peace and unity for Indonesia,” Afaar remarked.
The TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa changed the title of the task force (Satgas) located in Papua and West Papua. He said the title of the Task Force and units in Papua must be the same as other regions in Indonesia.
This was done following President Jokowi’s direction, who wanted activities in Papua to run normally.
“With normal TNI titles as in other provinces, we can also help create security for example, because from the military aspect, security is our strong point,” Andika said at a press conference at Kodam XII/Cenderawasih Papua, accessed from the Puspen TNI Youtube account (4/12).
“With an example that within the period of 2 years, from last year until now, the operation carried out by the TNI Headquarters in Papua succeeded in obtaining 111 weapons,” he continued.
Andika said the change would essentially organize the Task Force held by TNI Headquarters into units that carry out the organic main tasks and functions (tupoksi).
The task force which has been held in Papua for the Army has become the Military District Command (Kodim) with troops under it the Military District Command (Koramil). Its main function is to focus on territorial development and social communication.
Andika continued, for the elements of the Task Force from the Air Force to be part of the Air Base with the main tasks of fostering aerospace potential and social communication.
Meanwhile, the Task Force that will operate from the Navy became a Marine Base with the main tasks of fostering maritime potential and social communication.
These changes aim to make activities in Papua run normally.
“The President and the government have always wanted activities in Papua to be normal. For example, PON Papua. That’s what he decided from the first time he served as President, I know this because at that time I served as the Commander of Paspampres and I heard it myself what he wanted,” Andika said.
He then compared the title of TNI strength in Papua with other regions in Indonesia. In the past 2 years, operations carried out by TNI Headquarters in Papua have succeeded in obtaining 111 weapons.
But in Sumatra, without mentioning the province, Andika said Kodam managed to acquire 160 weapons within two years.
Meanwhile in Kalimantan, during the same period as normal activities, Kodam managed to get 516 weapons, almost 5 times more that of Papua.
He added that there was also a Kodam that obtained 620 weapons in normal activities within two years.
“However, have we ever heard of the frenzied use of violence in these places? Almost none at all,” said Andika.
“This means that with a normal strength title, we can provide help without anyone being victimized. Therefore, I have confidence that we can do the same thing here using the normal unit title concept,” he concluded.
Previously, the TNI had intended to change its approach in dealing with the Papuan conflict. The plan was revealed by the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, General Andika Perkasa, after being sworn in by President Jokowi.
The Army Chief of Staff, General Dudung Abdurachman, also reaffirmed the plan. Dudung sword to check the professionalism of the soldiers in Papua.
The excitement of the light show at Mandala Stadium illuminated a sense of equality from Papuan skies.
JAYAPURA, KOMPAS—Vice President Ma’ruf Amin officially opened the 2021 National Paralympic Games (Peparnas) on Friday evening, November 5th 2021, at Mandala Stadium in the city of Jayapura, Papua. A stunning light show performed by at least 500 drones marked the opening of the biggest national sporting event for disabled athletes. The lights in the skies above Papua implied a sense of equality for all the nation’s children.
Red, white, and blue lights flashed from above Mandala Stadium as hundreds of unmanned aircraft (drones) took different formations, ranging from garuda (eagle), cendrawasih (bird of paradise), the Red and White national flag, Papua Island, and to the words “Peparnas XVI”. The light show was the main attraction of the opening ceremony and was titled “Light from East Papua”.
The light show illuminated the skies above Jayapura before the ceremony ended with a fireworks display. The excitement during the event was reminiscent of the closing ceremony of the 2021 National Games (PON), which was also hosted in Papua on October 15th 2021 and was closed by the Vice President.
The excitement of the light show at Mandala Stadium illuminated a sense of equality from Papuan skies. Peparnas is not only a complementary event for PON, but also a unique event, as demonstrated by the event’s opening ceremony. In fact, the drones used for the light shows were imported from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and California, the United States. There was no such attraction during PON.
“Peparnas is a very special event. It is an event to break down one’s boundaries to emerge as a winner. This event is proof of solidarity and equality for us all. Let us celebrate with the spirit of brotherhood,” the Vice President said.
A lively celebration was also held in the stadium, with around 900 dancers taking part in a colossal performance featuring traditional dances from five regions. There were also performances by Papuan singers Nowela and Edo Kondologit as well as disabled singer Putri Ariani. Despite the light rain, the spectators enjoyed the series of performances.
Indonesian Paralympic Committee (NPC) chairman Senny Marbun expressed appreciation for the warm welcome of the Papuan people. “In my opinion, Peparnas is also a symbol of equality, just like PON. Everything is the same, from the service to the competition venues. They were also both opened by the Vice President and the President,” he said.
As with the PON opening and closing ceremonies, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe also attended the Peparnas opening ceremony. He pledged equal treatment of athletes with disabilities in Papua, saying that they were tough people who were able to conquer their limitations.
“Peparnas is not a complementary event. Peparnas is an equivalent forum. We, as the hosts, have prepared this national tournament with a sincere heart and high spirit. Let us all turn off negative stigmas and light the candle of equality towards space for empowerment,” said Lukas.
The Peparnas is being hosted in Jayapura municipality and Jayapura regency. A total of 1,985 athletes from 33 provinces are to compete in 12 sports, including badminton, athletics, and swimming.
December 1st until now has been claimed as West Papua Independence Day by activists and OPM sympathisers.
They always trigger chaos that could increase security measures in several areas in Papua Province.
From that point of view, the Saireri Youth through Edwardo Rumaterai as the Deputy Chair of the Saireri Youth Group issued a statement position.
When interviewed, Edwardo Rumaterai said that the December 1st momentum which has been claimed to be the independence day of West Papua only disturbs and even causes activities that disrupt the security situation in the easternmost province of Indonesia.
Therefore, he conveyed and appealed to all Papuan people, especially the youth, to keep the situation safe in Papua before and after December 1st.
“We, the youth, especially from the Saireri customary territory, invite and appeal to all Papuan people, before and after December 1st, to work together maintaining a conducive security situation. Because Papua is our home with whoever it may,” said Edwardo.
He also added that the December 1st issue should be properly addressed by all elements of society.
“No matter where and when it will be, Papua has legally become an inseparable part of the Republic of Indonesia,” stressed Edo.
MIMIKA, PAPUA – The 20th National Game (PON XX) 2021 held in Papua continued to spring more surprises. This time the surprise came from host contingent, Papua, that not only has succeeded in organizing the event, but also in achieving new achievements recorded by its athletes.
As soon as the National games is officially opened by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Lukas Enembe Stadium, Kampung Harapan, East Sentani District, Jayapura Regency, on Saturday (2/10/2021), the host contingent immediately spurred with extraordinary achievements. As per Tuesday (5/10/2021), 7 pm Eastern Indonesian time, the sports heroes of Bumi Cendrawasih (the land of the bird-of-paradise) have won 32 gold, 15 silver, and 34 bronze medals. This achievement put Papua in second place in the medal standings.
Papua was only second to DKI Jakarta, 11-times PON champion. The capital province sit at the top of medal standing with 38 gold, 25 silver, and 31 bronze medals, and remained the strongest competitor.
Meanwhile, West Java, the PON 2016 champion, was in third place with 29 gold, 26 silver, and 35 bronze medals. Following West Java was East Java in fourth. The two-times PON champion has collected 22 gold, 25 silver, and 20 bronze medals. Central Java was on the fifth position with 10 gold, 20 silver, and 21 bronze medals.
The achievements recorded by its best athletes is a new history for Bumi Cendrawasih. Previously, Papua has never won more than 30 gold medals throughout its participation in PON. In fact, it is very difficult for the province to make it to the top three although it is one of the “producers” of potential national and world-class athletes.
Throughout the history of PON, Papua’s best achievements in winning gold medals were in 1985, 1989, and 2004 where they received 23 gold medals. Since then, Papua has never succeeded in achieving more than 23 gold medals during PON. However, now, as the host of this year’s PON, Papua took the opportunity to score the highest possible scores.
“It is difficult to pass the top teams like DKI Jakarta. But I hope that Papua can maintain their position until the end (of PON). With our athletes’ talents, Papua can definitely do it,” said Youth and Sports Minister Zainuddin Amali during a press conference at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics’ (Kominfo) PON Papua Mimika Cluster Media Center at the Grand Mozza Hotel, Timika City, Monday (04/10/2021).
The Papua branch of the National Sports Council (KONI Papua) targeted to bring home 84 gold medals at this year’s PON, a target which is significantly higher than their last achievement in PON 2016 of 17 gold. “We are keen on winning 84 golds at PON 2021,” KONI Papua executive secretary Kenius Kogoya while accompanying the Youth and Sports Minister.
This target is not unrealistic, as the PON 2016 host, West Java, also set a fantastic target and managed to exceed the target. At that time, the province fantastically won 217 gold, 157 silver, and 157 bronze medals. This achievement far exceeds its achievement four years earlier in PON Riau 2012.
In 2012, Bumi Pasundan (West Java) only managed to bring home 99 gold, 79 silver, and 101 bronze medals. While Riau as the then host was able to win 43 gold, 39 silver, and 51 bronze which brought them to the sixth place. East Kalimantan also has similar experience when the province hosted PON 2008.
The mineral-rich province surprisingly occupied the third position with 116 gold, 111 silver, and 115 bronze medals in 2008, while previously only won 19 gold, 28 silver, and 19 bronze medals in PON 2004 in South Sumatra .
So far, Papua’s medal achievement at PON 2021 has been outstanding and the contingent’s chances of bringing more medals home are wide open, especially since this quadrennial sporting event is still ongoing until 15 October.
Moreover, in the medal standings, only a total of 179 gold, 175 gold, and 248 bronze have been distributed. Whereas the PON Papua Grand Committee prepared 681 gold, 681 silver, and 681 bronze, respectively.
The PON Papua 2021 is attended by 7,039 athletes and 3,576 officials from 34 provinces. These athletes will be competing in 37 different types of sports, 56 disciplines, 681 matches held in 44 venues located in four clusters prepared for the event.
All the matches held in this event are conducted with strict health protocols, both for athletes, officials, and spectators. “The implementation of PON Papua has been very good and professional. The people are very friendly,” said West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil. West Java is the champion of the 2016 PON. Torang bisa (We can)!
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he hoped that all infrastructure developed for the Games could become an opportunity for reviving Papua in all aspects, in both sports and economics.
The image of a backward Papua province has slowly faded with the construction of magnificent infrastructure facilities for the National Games Papua 2021 currently being held in the province.
JAYAPURA, KOMPAS – The National Games (PON) Papua 2021 has changed the face of Papua, especially in host regions such as Jayapura city, Jayapura regency, Mimika regency, and Merauke regency. The image that the province nicknamed “Bumi Cenderawasih” (the earth of the birds-of-paradise) is being left behind has begun to disappear following the construction of magnificent sports infrastructures for the quadrennial sporting event.
Three large buildings with contrasting shapes stand among the residential areas and shop houses on the road from the Sentani Airport, Jayapura regency, to the Kampung Harapan area, about 10 kilometers away.
The three buildings are the Istora Lukas Enembe indoor sports arena, Lukas Enembe Aquatic Center, and Lukas Enembe Stadium. The three buildings, located in the Lukas Enembe Sports complex, are new and modern sports arenas built specially for the Games.
Lukas Enembe Aquatic Center is the second largest international-standard pool complex in the country after the Senayan Aquatic Center in Central Jakarta. The building is also the third modern indoor aquatic arena after the Jakabaring Aquatic Center in Palembang, South Sumatra, and the Senayan Aquatic Center. Licensed by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) last year, all records made there are internationally recognized.
Lukas Enembe Stadium is considered the largest football stadium in eastern Indonesia. The stadium has fully enclosed stands with a 40,000 seating capacity. Public Works and Housing (PUPR) Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said in Jayapura on Friday (1/10/2021) that he hoped the local governments in the four regions hosting the Games could maintain the newly built sporting facilities, such as by holding local championships.
“In hosting the quadrennial sporting event, visitors could see that Papua had great development potential, the governor added.“
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he hoped that all infrastructure developed for the Games could become an opportunity for reviving Papua in all aspects, in both sports and economics. In hosting the quadrennial sporting event, visitors could see that Papua had great development potential, the governor added.
Meanwhile, the strategic infrastructure director at the PUPR’s Directorate General of Human Settlements, Iwan Suprijanto, said on Friday (24/9) that the ministry had been tasked with building eight PON sports facilities, namely the Aquatic Center, main stadium, cricket field, indoor and outdoor hockey fields, roller skating circuit, as well as the archery and rowing venues.
According to Iwan, the local government proposed a Rp 1.7 trillion construction budget for the sports infrastructure. With some adjustments, the development cost was reduced to Rp 900 billion.
The PUPR Ministry also took part in arranging the areas around the Lukas Enembe Aquatic Arena and Istora, as well as in the cricket and hockey arenas in Doyo Baru village, Waibu district, Jayapura regency, at a cost of Rp 211.7 billion.
The Aquatic Center had the largest construction costs reaching Rp 401 billion, while the construction of the other sports infrastructure, such as the Istora, cost Rp 278.5 billion, the cricket and hockey arena Rp 288.3 billion, followed by the rowing arena, archery, and roller skating venues at Rp 128.2 billion.
The captain of the Jakarta women’s water polo team, Ariel Dyah Cininda Siwabessy (27), did not expect Papua would be able to build such a magnificent aquatic center. According to her, the Papua Aquatic Center is no different from the Senayan Aquatic Center, except that it has a lower seating capacity and warmer water.
In addition to building the sports arenas, the government has also prepared supporting infrastructure such as roads and bridges. One of the most iconic is the Youtefa Bay Red Bridge in Jayapura city, located not far from the PON rowing venue.
Randy Sambono (27), a resident of Abepura, Jayapura regency, acknowledged that many changes had taken place in Papua ahead of the quadrennial sports event. “I am also proud because my hometown could be developed like other areas in Indonesia,” said the Javanese-Maluku man, who was born in Jayapura.
In Mimika, the central and regional governments had widened the main roads in Timika from 5 meters to 10 meters over the last three years. According to Nauval Latuapo (46), an Ambonese native who has lived in Timika for 20 years, the main roads in Papua were now more orderly and cleaner.
The residents were very grateful for this, because it minimized road congestion. “Now, the vehicle [flow] is faster. The city is also growing. We hope this can fuel further economic growth here,” said Nauval.
The private sector has also supported the Games. PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) president director Clayton Allen Wenas said on Friday that the copper mining giant had contributed to the success of PON by providing sports infrastructure, athlete training facilities, bonuses for Papuan medal-winners, and Covid-19 mitigation.
PTFI built the Mimika Sports Complex (MSC), which will host the basketball and athletics events. The marathon and race walking events were also held at the PTFI area in Kuala Kencana.
According to Wenas, PTFI constructed the MSC construction in 2014-2016 at a cost of Rp 468 billion. The MSC will be inaugurated on 5 Oct. PTFI also provided Rp 15 billion in sponsorship for the Games.
This is something that Olvah Alhamid can be proud of and the Indonesian people in general. Olvah, a 2015 Puteri Indonesia beauty pageant finalist, was selected to walk for the New York Fashion Week.
Olvah’s struggle to model in one of the most prominent events in the world of fashion was not easy. Since a few months ago, the 29-year-old beauty from Fakfak Regency, West Papua, Indonesia, gave up all her schedules to focus on the audition process in New York City.
“In the past, I could only dream of walking in one of the world’s prestigious fashion shows as a model. So, I relied heavily on my self-confidence and started the audition process with the blessing of my parents, especially my mother,” said Olvah in an interview.
She further explained that thousands of models from around the world had signed up to take part in the fashion week.
Since June, Olvah has taken part in many audition calls. Her efforts had finally paid off. Olvah, once was the Indonesian representative at the 2016 Miss Eco Universe, was eventually selected to walk the runway of New York Fashion Week after a lengthy process.
“I took part in numerous audition calls since June in New York City. I felt that if God permits, there would be an opportunity for me. Thank God I passed every stage of the audition process and had the chance to wear designer clothes on the runway,” she said.
“I believe that dream must be pursued. Prayers and efforts will certainly pay off,” continued Olvah.
Jakarta – The sky toll infrastructure will speed up the process of achieving equitable national development, as all Indonesian regions will be able to access high-speed internet, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin stated.
At the virtual opening of the Raja Ampat E-Festival 2021, themed “Voyage to Digital Community,” from Jakarta on Monday, Amin noted that sky toll is a project to accelerate growth and equalization of national development.
High-speed nationwide broadband network connects Indonesia from the city of Merauke in the East to Sabang Island in the West.
The government has readied the Digital Indonesia Road Map 2021-2024 that also encompasses the sky toll to connect all regions in the country with its varied geographical conditions, Amin stated.
The vice president affirmed that infrastructure was also expected to speed up development in Papua and West Papua.
“Success of the sky toll program will boost innovation and accelerate and expand digital economic and financial integration in West Papua and Papua into the national digital ecosystem,” Amin stated.
Hence, the vice president has urged the local administration, the central bank BI, and private sector to collaborate in improving the digital environment in remote areas.
Development of digital literacy will boost public welfare through the tourism sector as well as micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), among others.
The Communication and Informatics Ministry should also expand the coverage of the national digitalization program, such as the Digital Leadership Academy, Digital Talent Scholarship, and the National Movement of Digital Cybercreative Literacy to Papua and West Papua, Amin stated.
The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komisi Nasional HAM/Komnas HAM) acknowledges that some acts of violence that occur in Papua are perpetrated by the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka/OPM).
Komnas HAM chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik considered that these acts of violence are very brutal.
“Sometimes they are very brutal, like the incidents in Wamena and other cities where demonstrations occurred following the case of racial discrimination in Surabaya. We have noted that there have been many brutal acts of violence by the OPM,” said Ahmad in his presentation at the Indonesian Military and National Police (TNI-Polri) Leaders Meeting on Monday, February 15, 2021.
Ahmad asked the government to allow Komnas HAM to have a dialogue with certain parties or local figures. This measure is to prevent more violent incidents from occurring.
“We are proposing leniency, a little more flexibility for Komnas HAM to initiate dialogues with certain parties,” said Ahmad.
For three days, on 15-17 February 2021, TNI-Polri held the 2021 Leaders Meeting. On the first day, the two agencies discussed a number of issues including economic growth, Covid-19 handling, and strategies in handling human rights issues. Komnas HAM was invited to provide input.
In addition, the Head of Komnas HAM also said that he does not agree to any proposals that are aimed at weakening the strength of the TNI and Polri in protecting the sovereignty of the Indonesian nation, including the withdrawal of military and police personnel assigned to Papua.
“In various speeches and seminars, I always say that our country’s democracy is developing. In its development, there are extraordinary dynamics, where sometimes it would go awry. I usually call these situations a turbulence,” said Ahmad.
The reason why the National Military and National Police must remain in Papua, Ahmad said, is that the they are the guardians of the democratic principles, so long human rights norms are maintained. He stated that the proposed withdrawal of military and police force from Papua was not approved by his institution, because it would weaken the two institutions in the region.
“If withdrawn, the region will get more dangerous. Thus, whenever someone came to us with such proposal, Komnas HAM has never agreed. How can they be withdrawn if there are still many problems there,” he said.
“Because we want discipline and operations to be carried out. Therefore, the reduction of military forces and other similar things, in my opinion, are absurd,” he added.
According to him, Indonesia is a sovereign country, and it is the duty of the TNI-Polri to resolve any disturbances to the sovereignty in accordance with human rights principles. Ahmad emphasized that, as two institutions that protect human rights, the TNI and Polri must be strengthened, as many people were attacked by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in Papua.
“Two of the protectors of human rights in Indonesia are the TNI and Polri. Without them, our society will certainly become victims of various acts of violent persecution,” he added.