Papuan Infrastructure Development is to Prevent Conflict and Separatism

President Joko Widodo's commitment to massively build infrastructure in Papua, according to a sociologist, Retor AW Kaligis, is part of government's efforts to reduce inequality with other regions in Indonesia. But he reminded that physical development is actually only halfway in building Papua.

"The main purpose is to improve the welfare of the community there," said Retor who teaches daily at STISIP Widuri when talking to AFP on Monday (16/10/2017).

In turn, with the improvement of the welfare of Papuans, it is expected that the feeling of being ostracized as fellow children of the nation will disappear. Conflict and separatism will no longer be a central issue, so that the public will turn away from the movement.

While in Journal Insani, December 1, 2011, Retor has written a paper titled 'Dimensions of Social, Sociological, and Societal Problems in Papua'. There, he revealed that the New Order government had a tendency towards a security approach when building Papua. The result of dark history includes the development of Papua. The process of structural violence occurred before 1969.

Indonesia is experiencing an economic crisis carrying goods from Papua, thus raising the stigma that Indonesians do robbery.

In addition, prices in Papua soared because of the distribution problem until the exchange rate IB (rupiah West Irian) value is ten times the ordinary rupiah. Many people can not afford to buy goods.

"This crisis brings social problems, riots occurred in various places such as Manokwari, Biak, Yapen Waropen, and Sukarnapura (now Jayapura)," wrote Retor.

After the 1998 reforms, the security approach was transformed into a welfare approach. Papua's development is always buzzing in government policy.

"But the implementation is running slowly. Just Jokowi's government at this time infrastructure development accelerated," said the author of Marhaen dan Wong Cilik's book.


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