Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stone Age People Timeless Religion

Papua New Guinea

The island of Papua New Guinea has over 1,000 languages.  The western half, known as Irian Jaya to Indonesians and West Papua to the Papuans, has at least 800 languages and 312 tribes.  The eastern half has at least 715 languages.  Papua New Guinea is made up over 600 islands.  The western half is controlled by Indonesia while the eastern half is run as an independent nation.  It's biodiversity is legendary.  Many researchers believe these wet mountainous lands could even contain a cure for cancer.

The Indonesian government was believed by most of the world to have liberalized with the ousting of dictator Muhammed Suharto.

For the West Papuans that is not the case.

Settlers from Java and Sulawesi have increased the islands population and marginalized the native Papuans.  Nearly all jobs go to Indonesian settlers.  The forests of this vastly forested country have been torn down.  Pro-independence supporters have been thrown in prison, tortured, beaten and killed.  Women are routinely victims of rape and sexual violence.  Throughout West Papua military personnel are garrisoned to prevent rebellion.  The Indonesian government denies that it is committing such atrocities.

Transforming Our Greed, Transforming Our World

The entire western half of New Guinea came to be occupied during the Suharto regime, a two decade long rule that ended years ago and brought democracy to the country of Indonesia, with the exception of the Papuans.
Why is the west so slow to intervene on the behalf of Papuans living under Indonesian rule as has been China?  Is it that these countries don't want to upset trade relationships with Indonesia?  How could this greed be transformed for the people of West Papua?

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