Papuan’s Struggle on The Liberation from the Colonialism

Papuan Struggle
Papuan Struggle

History records that Indonesia has been colonized for a long time in the past. Many countries such as the Netherlands and Japan are attracted by its beauty and its crops. One of the Indonesian territories that have been their aim was Papua. Many Papuans have emerged as figures to liberate their country from the colonialism. Here are some Papuan national figures along with their story of fighting the colonialism.

Frans Kaisieppo

Papuan Struggle
Frans Kaisieppo

Frans Kaisieppo was born in Biak, Papua on October 10th, 1921. He is regarded as a national hero from the land of Papua, according to the Indonesian Presidential Decree No. 077/TK/1993. A figure of him is printed on the ten-thousand-rupiah banknote as a remembrance of his contribution to Indonesia. He played an important role in unifying West Papua to Indonesia. He was also known for popularizing “Irian” as the substitute name for Papua.

He had been familiar with the act of resisting the colonization at his young age. He was once involved in a rebellion that took place in Biak.  Later, he became the Governor of Papua. During his term, he promoted Papua as part of Indonesia.

When the Dutch-Indonesian Round Table Conference was held, Frans was asked to represent Dutch Papua New Guinea. Nonetheless, he refused the order. His anti-Dutch behavior led him to imprisonment from 1954 to 1961.

One of his remarkable contributions is when he attended the Malino Conference. The discussion in The Malino Conference ranges from economy to the form of the Indonesian state. Frans also introduced “Irian” as the name for West Papua. The word Irian is an acronym for “Ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland” which means “Joining the Republic of Indonesia, Anti the Netherlands”. The world also means “steamy” in Biak language.

Frans passed away on April 10th 1979. Other than the figure on a ten-thousand-rupiah banknote, an airport in Biak and a national warship of Indonesia is named after his name.

Johannes Abraham Dimara

Papuan Struggle
Johannes Abraham Dimara

The major Johannes Abraham Dimara was born in north Biak, Papua on April 16th, 1916. He was a student of gospel education school. Later, he became a gospel teacher in the Buru Island.

In 1946, he took part in the raising of the Indonesian flag in Namlea, Buru Island. He strove in the return of the Irian Barat (West Papua) district to Indonesia. In 1950, he was appointed as the chief of Organisasi Pembebasan Irian Barat/West Irian Liberation Organization. He became a member of the Indonesian National Army and did an infiltration in 1954 which caused him to get caught by the Dutch troops. He was then abandoned in Dugul until released in 1960.

When Soekarno spoke at the Trikora Campaign in Yogyakarta, Dimara was a figure for young Papuan. Not only in Yogyakarta, Dimara also called out the West Papuan society to support the merger of West Papua to Indonesia. In 1962, when the New York Agreement was held, he constituted a delegate with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The agreement is about the Netherlands having to hand over West Papuan district to Indonesia.

Dimara was the inspiration for Soekarno to build the Liberation Monument of Irian Barat. When in the parade, Dimara held up a cut chain. That pose of his has become the pose of the statue of the Liberation Monument of West Papua. The monument is located in Lapangan Banteng, West Jakarta.

Silas Papare

Papuan Struggle
Silas Papare

Silas Papare is a national hero from Papua who was born in Serui, Papua on December 18th, 1918. He strove to unify Papua to Indonesia. His name is attributed to a warship and as the name of the TNI’s Air Forces. The Silas Papere monument was built near the shore to remember his contributions.

He completed a nursing school education in 1935 and worked in a hospital in Serui for three years. He was once imprisoned in Jayapura for his resistance to the colonialism. During his imprisonment, he made friends with Sam Ratulangi who was also disposed to the imprisonment by the Dutch. His introduction to Sam Ratulangi increased the struggling spirit in Silas body.

Silas established a Partai Kemerdekaan Indonesia Irian (PKII). The establishment of his party made him caught again. Luckily, he was able to flee from the Dutch and then ran away to Yogyakarta.

On October 1949, Silas Papare formed an Irian Strive Council in Yogyakarta. He also helped the government of Republic Indonesia to unify West Papua with the country. He was also asked by the first President, Soekarno, to be an Indonesian delegate in New York which ended the confrontation between the two countries on the issue of West Papua.

Silas Papare passed away on March 7th, 1979, at the age of 60. To remember his big contributions, some things are named after him such as the Monument Silas Papare, Silas Papare College, and navy corvette warship. It shows us how big the impact he brought to the Indonesian liberation from colonialism.

Those are the story of our amazing national heroes from the land of Papua. Their remarkable contributions should motivate us to do the same or better things. It is now our turn to strive on keeping Indonesia united.