Not content with killing over 400,000 indigenous Papuans since colonising the country in the late 1960s, Indonesia has now shown its intent to wipe out the remnents of sacred culture that have existed in West Papua since the Stone Age. New anti-pornography law will see remove the right of indigenous people to dress as they have done for centuries, with tribal men to be banned from wearing penis kotekas and women forbidden from wearing traditional grass skirts.
In a land where playing traditional music has long been banned, and the raising of a flag lands people the risk of being shot or thrown in prison for 15 years, it comes as little surprise that Indonesia is now targetting one of the few remaining symbols of West Papua. This form of cultural genocide is another shameful chapter in the history of the Republic of Indonesia. Far from being a ‘democracy’, the Indonesian regime have attempted to silence the people of West Papua. Let us hope the cries and screams of terror coming from the West Papuan highlands will soon be heard by Western leaders. Time is running out for these people. The world must stand up to Indonesia as they did with the East Timor crisis in 1999. Lack of action now will be seen as unforgiveable by future generations when the Papuan race has eventually been eliminated.