While generations of coastal inhabitants have hybridized in part with the native population of Indonesia from somewhere else, an immense portion of West Papua’s indigenous population, who broadly identify themselves as Papuans, are quite distinct culturally and ethnically from Asia’s Indonesians…
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In spite of the linkages between two New Guinea regions, the European colonialists formally separated the two in 1895 and 1910. Even though the Dutch seized the western part and Germany and Great Britain the eastern side, it did not matter much to the indigenous people. Nevertheless, this division was to have a large-scale impact on the population in the Dutch side after the 1949 Indonesian independence. In 1828, the Netherlands demanded ownership of the West New Guinea, primarily due to its geographical closeness to their territories in the East Indies. The intention appears to have been only to thwart other colonialists, especially the British, from setting up outposts there.
As argued by Meinisma, a Dutch historian, the Dutch demands for possession was driven by Sultan of Tidore’s claims for territorial rights. Because the Sultan was the Dutch’s ‘vassal’ “that portion of the island was accounted to belong to the Dutch Indies.” In truth, the power of the Sultan was confined to a number of coastal communities on the Bird’s Head Peninsula, and as mentioned in the 1884 British correspondence :
There is no evidence of the Sultan’s authority having ever been recognized by the natives on any part of the Mainland, or of his people having ever visited any part of it. This is generally admitted by the Dutch writers.
It was only in 1898 that a minor government was established under the Dutch Resident at Moluccas’s Ternate....
rnate was initiated only due to the insignificant presence of the Dutch in New Guinea did not merit an independent government there.9 Yet, in 1902 a fierce deliberation occurred in the Dutch congress on whether there should be an independent budget for New Guinea from the East Indies based on the fact that it belongs to Polynesia whereas East Indies was a part of Asia.10 Eventually, for governmental reasons, the connection with Ternate was sustained. Yet this agreement directed Indonesia at self-government to assert that the region was a fundamental section of the Republic. After the Dutch rejected it, it became a root of intensifying conflict between the two nations all over the 1950s and 1960s.11 In the end, under pressure from the American government and possibility of an Indonesian assault, the Netherlands accepted withdrawal from the region and give it to a provisional United Nations organization. In the New York treaty ratified by the Indonesians and the Dutch on August 1962, it was decided that the United Nations would later on move governance of West Guinea to Indonesia.12 A UN group was to go back to help Jakarta mobilize a movement for independence.13 Its function was to find out whether the Papuans wanted to become an Indonesian province, or prefer autonomy. Roots of the Papua Conflict The roots of the Papua conflict are diverse. They involve not just continuing disagreement over independence but also hostilities rooted in the olden times and persistence of state-supported military activities, violations of human right, and a value of freedom. Moreover there is unending ethnic dispossession in the welfare, education, and health sectors brought about by a mixture of state indifference and environmentally, ethnically, and socially disruptive major development
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“The Papua Conflict Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 6750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1390640-the-papua-conflict.
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