Perspective

It’s all coming together. After doing some research on the area, I am realizing why the Indonesian government wants to restrict foreign access to Papua and West Papua. It’s due to sensitivities regarding Indonesian suppression of Papuan nationalism. In a geographical sense, New Guinea is the second largest island in the world behind Greenland. The island is split down the middle. Papua New Guinea encompasses the eastern side of the Island, while Indonesia controls the western side. The western part is split into two provinces Papua and West Papua. These two provinces were a Dutch colony until 1962, when they became provinces of Indonesia. There was an agreement between the Netherlands and Indonesia to allow local Pupuans to hold a vote for local governance within 10 years. When they did vote for a leader, he was assassinated. Genocide has also occurred with over 20,000 indigenous people murdered and an estimated 15,000 escaping to Papua New Guinea. This area has immense natural resources, making it hard for the Indonesian government and companies involved to hand over. I’m trying not to have a concrete opinion on the situation, and┬áhope to learn more once I’m there.

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Typically I find news and media coverage overreacts to dangerous regions. After being to some so called “dangerous” areas in Africa, including Egypt and Sudan, I found it was nothing like what was portrayed on the news. So it seemed this place would be completely safe since I heard absolutely nothing on the news about the political tension. There have been tourist kidnappings, ransoms and murders. It doesn’t seem to happen in the city I am going to. I will only be there for one night to get a phone plan and ferry tickets. I haven’t heard of any incidents happening within the Raja Ampat islands. However, it will be fascinating getting the Papuans’ perspective on things.

It’s funny, I thought I chose a remote place in the world that was free of political tensions and war. It’s so brutal how indigenous people have been and continue to be treated. It’s a misunderstanding of cultures. One in which a side thinks they’re more advanced than the other. Technologically advanced yes… truly advanced? I’m beginning to rethink what that means. Maybe it means living within the laws of nature, leaving the planet how you found it. Perhaps James Cameron was on to something with Avatar.

“The only way to deal with an un-free world, is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion”.
– Albert Camus

Subsequent original blog posts listed below:

Click to read – Arrived At Last

Click to read – Welcomed Guest

Click to read – Clean Up

Click to read – Wayag

Click to read – Pulau Kri

Click to read – Coral

Click to read – Kayak 4 Conservation

Click to read – Air Conditioning

Click to read – Plans Change

Click to read – Important Contacts

Click to read – Imagination

Click to read – Clean Raja Ampat

Click to read – Success

Click to read – Farewell Raja Ampat

Return to How it Began Landing Page

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