TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Chairperson of the Papuan Women's Solidarity (SPP) - Mimika Chapter Ros Namsa Kabes urged the Mimika district government and local police to enforce legal sanctions against those selling alcohol to save Papuan children.
Speaking in connection with efforts to empower the native Papuan people, Kabes stated here on Saturday that law enforcement was deemed crucial since people in an inebriated state were often found on the roadsides of Timika, the capital city of Mimika District, Papua Province.
For protecting the native Papuan merchants at traditional markets, Kabes also urged the district government and legislative body to issue regulations that will safeguard the interests of sellers of varied traditional goods, including areca nuts and sago.
"Please protect the areca nut and sago sellers from indigenous Papuan communities. Do not let the non-native Papuans also sell the same goods since locals cannot compete with them. If this can well be managed, Papuans do not want to do negative things," she explained.
With these affirmative protection initiatives, the district government is concerned about the fate of "mama-mama" (mothers) in Papua, as they give birth to members of the future Papuan generation, Kabes noted.
"These Papuan mothers must feel that they also belong to the important parts of this country," she affirmed.
With better government care, the native Papuans can be protected from being affected by people propagating the ideology of separatism against the Republic of Indonesia, she added.
Over this past week, native Papuans in several parts of the provinces of Papua and West Papua held demonstrations protesting alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16.
The protests were also staged by groups of Papuan students in cities, including Jakarta, Medan, and Lampung.
In their rally in Jakarta on Wednesday, tens of Papuan students and youth echoed their demand for Indonesia to allow Papuan people to conduct a referendum to end what they termed acts of "racism and discrimination" against Papuans.
Echoing the agenda of separatism, they focused their demonstration in front of the Indonesian Army Headquarters and near the State Palace in Central Jakarta.
On August 29, the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura, the capital city of Papua, again staged protests, expressing their ire over the alleged racist slurs against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, but their rally took a violent turn.
The brutal demonstrators went berserk, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The office of ANTARA, Indonesia's national news agency, in the city was also intentionally damaged by the demonstrators on Thursday.
On August 28, a circle of violence also broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura. It ended with the death of an army soldier and two civilians.
On August 19, several thousand people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, had protested to voice their discontent over alleged racist action against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java.
During the rally in Manokwari, a local parliamentary building was set on fire. The demonstrators also torched tires in several parts of the city and main streets.
However, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian stated that normalcy was restored in Manokwari. He also ordered the police chiefs of Papua and West Papua to adopt security measures and avoid the use of excessive force.
In response to the Surabaya incident, on August 22, leaders of several ethnic community-based organizations held a meeting in Biak Numfor District. They deplored the incident that had triggered a public ire, expressing their complete rejection of all forms of racism and intolerance against indigenous Papuans.