Wrap Up Discussion 1: West Papua

Background

The dispute between Nara Rakhmatia, a diplomat from Indonesia and her colleagues from the Solomon regarding West Papua issues in the UN assembly has attracted the various attention of the Indonesian netizens.

Rakhmatia Speech:

Solomon Representative Speech:

The first group of citizens consider that Rakhmatia was not only beautiful but she also became a terrific diplomat. Her statement regarding Indonesia sovereignty was deemed to be the correct answer to the questions of human rights violation raised by many Pasifika countries delegates.

On the other hand,  another group of Indonesia citizens seen that Rakhmatia did not answer the questions properly. For example, she neglected the fact about human rights violation in West Papua, an issue that was mentioned again by The Solomon delegate when he replied Rakhmatia’s speech.

This dispute and Rakhmatia’s action became viral in Indonesia’s online media as well as social media. Even though the focus was changed from the issue of human rights in West Papua to the action and beauty of the Indonesia’s diplomat.

Acknowledging this issue, it seems to be useful to investigate what is the trigger of this phenomenon in order to obtain the better understanding of the West Papua issue.

In doing so, on the Facebook I conduct discussion with several colleagues and here are the resumes of the discussion:

The emerging of Rakhmatia’s case

According to Zamzami, a journalist from Republika, the case emerged firstly in the social media. This cacophony has attracted the attention of online media to write the case. The media expected that by writing the Rakhmatia’s case will lead to more visitor and traffic. However, this action was reducing the substance of the issue, such as the human rights problem, into the mere of Rakhmatia’s action and beauty. Nonetheless, Yermi, a blogger from Jayapura, said that without the beauty and Rakhmatia’s action, the citizen’s attention and discussion would not be on the West Papua case.

The failure of international diplomacy

The emerging of Rakhmatia’s case also reveals the failure of Indonesia’s diplomacy. Zamzami said that despite many attempts that have been taken by Indonesia’s government to obtain the support from the Pasifika countries, the West Papua issue still appears in the assembly. Leksa, another blogger, added about the role of Pasifika countries in the regional economic strategies in relation with TPP, support from the Australian and New Zealand, and the rising of these countries position in the international relationship.

The way forward

According to Yermi, the Rakhmatia’s case remind us that several challenges such as human rights violation, inequality, exploitation, and militarism remain in Indonesia and are not limited in Papua. In fact, these cases happen in every region. He suggests that the public in Indonesian should become the proponents to counter such issues and particularly become the advocate of Papua cases. In addition, Leksa states the necessity to reform the social structure as this is one of the underlying factors that exacerbates the unfavourable circumstance in Papua.

Discussants:

  1. Fitriyan Zamzami, a journalist from Koran Harian Republika.
  2. Jensen Yermi, a blogger lives in Jayapura.
  3.  Fakrizal Leksa, a blogger lives in Jakarta

 

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