Frans Kaisiepo Is An Indonesian Hero From West Papua. Indonesians Will Always Remember Him For His Role In Uniting Indonesia And West Papua.
In the colonial period, many Indonesians sought independence from colonialism. Frans Kaisiepo is among the most prominent Indonesian fighters from West Papua. He was very active in defending Indonesians, especially in Papua.
In many ways, he had contributed to the independence of Indonesia. His struggle earned him the title of hero of independence by the Indonesian government.
Who is Frans Kaisiepo?
Frank Kaisiepo is considered one of the heroes of Indonesian independence. His birthplace was in Wa Wardo, Biak, on October 10, 1921. In 1979, Frans Kaisiepo died at the age of sixty-three. He was buried in the Cendrawasih Heroes Cemetery in Jayapura.
While he was alive, he studied as a Christian religious teacher in Manokwari and at the Papuan Civil Service School in Jayapura.
Eventually, he met and married his wife, Anthomima Arwam, and had three children. Several years after Arwam’s death, he married Maria Magdalena Moorwahyuni and had one child.
Contribution of Frans Kaisiepo
In his youth, Kaisiepo was an activist for the Republic of Indonesia’s independence movement in the Papua region. After Indonesian independence, he and his colleagues tried to unite Papua under Indonesian rule.
In the anti-Dutch movement, he played a key role. Frans Kaisiepo and his colleagues voiced the Indonesian National Anthem Indonesia Raya on August 14, 1945, three days before the Proclamation of Independence.
On August 31, 1945, Kaisiepo and his fellow strugglers held a ceremony to raise the Red and White flag and sing the Indonesian national anthem.
Irian’s originator at the Malino Conference
In July 1946, he attended the Malino Conference in South Sulawesi as one of the delegates from Indonesia. As the only Papuan there, he was notable for his participation.
At the Malino conference, the delegates discussed creating states as a type of federation in Indonesia. He responded by rejecting the idea of establishing the State of East Indonesia.
In the end, Frans Kaisiepo proposed the name Irian as a substitute for Papua. The name is derived from the Biak language, meaning a spirit of community unity that will not easily fall to the Dutch.
Formation of parties
In his lifetime, he attempted several times to establish a party. With Lukas Rumkoren, Frans Kaisiepo founded the ‘Indonesia Merdeka’ Party on July 10, 1946. He did so shortly after attending the Malino conference.
Despite the disruption of his first party by the Dutch East Indies government, he persisted. Kaisiepo founded the ‘Partai Politik Indonesia’ after being released from prison.
Arrested By The Netherlands
Throughout his fight for Indonesian independence, he was arrested multiple times by Dutch authorities. In 1947, the first arrests took place in Biak for fighting the Dutch.
Afterward, he was arrested and imprisoned as a political prisoner from 1954 to 1964.
The Dutch government initially offered him the position of Dutch representative to the Round Table Conference for Dutch New Guinea. However, he declined the offer.
Period of Trikora (Three People’s Command)
West Papua experienced a significant period in Indonesian history on December 19, 1961, when President Soekarno established the Three People’s Command (Trikora). Soekarno created this formation to defend West Papua in Indonesia.
Trikora’s formation culminated in the New York Agreement on August 15, 1963. Under this agreement, the Dutch relinquished their control over West Irian to Indonesia.
Because of the fierceness between Indonesia and the Netherlands at that time, he, as governor, helped and protected Indonesian soldiers in West Papua.
West Papua’s fourth governor
Frans Kaisiepo became Governor of Papua (then Irian Jaya) in 1964. He was thereby appointed the fourth governor of Papua.
During his tenure, he contributed to the unification of Irian Jaya with Indonesia. Eventually, the People’s Opinion (Pepera) resulted in the Papuan people joining Indonesia.
Integration of West Papua into Indonesia
All residents of West Papua had the right to vote in the 1964 Determination of People’s Opinion (Pepera). They can choose to join Indonesia or become a West Papuan state.
According to the voting results, most Papuans voted to join Indonesia. Frans Kaisiepo, who often portrays Papua as part of Indonesia, cannot be separated from this event.
In 1969, Papua officially became a province of Indonesia. After proving his abilities, he was elected to the People’s Consultative Assembly in 1973.
Additionally, Kaisiepo was elected to the Supreme Advisory Council in 1977 to represent Papuan affairs.
Known as Indonesia’s national hero
In recognition of Frans Kaisiepo’s services, Indonesia declared him a national hero in 1993. A presidential decree number 077/TK/1993 established this honorary title.
Besides that, he also received several memorials. One example is the inclusion of Frans Kaisiepo’s picture on the IDR 10,000 banknote issued on December 19, 2016.
Furthermore, Frans Kaisiepo also became the name of the airport in Biak. The Indonesian National Armed Forces also named one of their ships after him.
It is indeed a great honor for Frans Kaisiepo to unify Indonesia and West Papua. His tireless efforts to get West Papua to be part of Indonesia deserve Indonesia’s national hero from the West Papua title.