P. 1
West Papua a Nation

West Papua a Nation

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Published by Charles Johnson
Papuan nationalism is stronger today than it was in 1961, when the
Morning Star flag was first raised. Its evolution as a political force is a
crucial factor in any analysis of relations between the Indonesian government
and Papuan society. This study shows that Papuan nationalism
today has been shaped by four primary factors. First, many Papuans
share a historical grievance about the manner in which their homeland
was integrated into Indonesia. Second, the Papuan elite feels a rivalry
with the Indonesian officials who have dominated their country’s administration
both in the early Dutch period and since the Indonesian
takeover of 1963. It is the Papuan participants in this political and
bureaucratic competition who have also been the principal formulators
and articulators of Papuan nationalism. Third, the territory’s economic
and administrative development, together with Papuans’ continued sense
of difference from Indonesians, has fostered a sense of pan-Papuan identity
whose popular roots are much broader today than they were during
the first efflorescence of nationalism in the early 1960s. Fourth, the
demographic transformation of society in Papua, with its great influx of
Indonesian settlers, has engendered a widespread feeling that Papuans
have been dispossessed and marginalized. The most extreme, though by
no means uncommon, expression of this conviction is the assertion that
Papuans face extinction in their own land.
Papuan nationalism is stronger today than it was in 1961, when the
Morning Star flag was first raised. Its evolution as a political force is a
crucial factor in any analysis of relations between the Indonesian government
and Papuan society. This study shows that Papuan nationalism
today has been shaped by four primary factors. First, many Papuans
share a historical grievance about the manner in which their homeland
was integrated into Indonesia. Second, the Papuan elite feels a rivalry
with the Indonesian officials who have dominated their country’s administration
both in the early Dutch period and since the Indonesian
takeover of 1963. It is the Papuan participants in this political and
bureaucratic competition who have also been the principal formulators
and articulators of Papuan nationalism. Third, the territory’s economic
and administrative development, together with Papuans’ continued sense
of difference from Indonesians, has fostered a sense of pan-Papuan identity
whose popular roots are much broader today than they were during
the first efflorescence of nationalism in the early 1960s. Fourth, the
demographic transformation of society in Papua, with its great influx of
Indonesian settlers, has engendered a widespread feeling that Papuans
have been dispossessed and marginalized. The most extreme, though by
no means uncommon, expression of this conviction is the assertion that
Papuans face extinction in their own land.

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Published by: Charles Johnson on Dec 15, 2012
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06/09/2014

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Policy Studies 14 
Constructing PapuanNationalism:
History, Ethnicity, andAdaptation
Richard Chauvel 
East-West CenterWashington
 
East-West Center
The East-West Center is an internationally recognized educationand research organization established by the US Congress in1960 to strengthen understanding and relations between theUnited States and the countries of the Asia Pacific. Through itsprograms of cooperative study, training, seminars, and research,the Center works to promote a stable, peaceful and prosperous Asia Pacific community in which the United States is a leading and valued partner. Funding for the Center comes from the USgovernment, private foundations, individuals, corporations, anda number of Asia Pacific governments.
East-West Center Washington
Established on September 1, 2001, the primary function of theEast-West Center Washington is to further the East-West Centermission and the institutional objective of building a peaceful andprosperous Asia Pacific community through substantive pro-gramming activities focused on the theme of conflict reductionin the Asia Pacific region and promoting American understand-ing of and engagement in Asia Pacific affairs.
 
Constructing Papuan Nationalism:
History, Ethnicity, and Adaption

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