Thursday, April 5, 2018

Population Control in Papua: Government incompetence?

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Population Control in Papua: Government incompetence? Or Pharaoh’s old tactic to preserve His power. 
When Pharaoh became aware of the growing population of Hebrews in Egypt he grew alarmed. We read in Exodus chapter 1 that Pharaoh pondered how to solve this demographic problem, “There are too many Israelites, and they are stronger than we are. 10 We have to outsmart them, or they’ll increase in number. Then, if war breaks out, they will join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country.” 
Pharaoh, seeing his power threatened, therefore sought to preserve his power over the Israelite people whom he oppressed by means of limiting their population growth. When he saw that the Hebrews were becoming too many he instituted selective birth control, family planning, Egyptian style. 

What was Pharaoh’s solution to keep the Hebrews weak?  We read in Exodus 1:15 of Pharaoh’s methodology, “Then the king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth, look at the child when you deliver it. If it’s a boy, kill it, but if it’s a girl, let it live.” 
In addition he worked the Hebrews very hard and supplied them with but poor supplies for eating and building so that they would grew weak and fewer in number and the Colonizer’s power would continue to prevail over them. The Egyptians were the ones who possessed the access to the infrastructure. The Egyptians held the positions of power.  Goshen was given as a land for the Hebrews to live on, a tiny section compared with all of Egypt, and yet the Egyptians were not content to let the Hebrews have even this small bit of land to themselves. 
I was shocked this morning to read about the Indonesian government’s solution to the health problems in the Asmat area. I was saddened to read the headline, “7 Kampung KB akan Dibentuk di Asmat (7 Birth Control villages will be formed in Asmat.”  And I also read that, “Jumlah Kampung KB yang ada di Provinsi Papua saat ini sebanyak 258” (the total number of Birth Control Villages in the Province of Papua at this moment are as many as 258.” It was difficult not to think of Pharaoh and his wicked plan for the Hebrews as I read these headlines. 
Papua is a huge land, but with a very low population density, the lowest in all of Indonesia. It is only a tiny section compared with all of Indonesia. Yet the Indonesians are not content to allow the Melanesians a land all to their own. Non-indigenous Indonesians are now the majority population in all major coastal centers of Papua. Everywhere these immigrants arrive, the government is certain to build up farming and to develop infrastructure to serve the needs of the immigrants. The straight-hair immigrants possess access to the infrastructure. They hold the jobs and the positions of power. But what about those regions where only the Melanesians live? What about those regions where only indigenous Papuans live? 
The interior of Papua – an area where there is an overwhelming majority of indigenous Melanesians - faces massive problems of malnutrition and lack of access to health or education. The government is not so quick to develop infrastructure for them, and they are neglected. 

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For several months now the issue of “gizi buruk” (bad nutrition) in the interior regions of Papua has ben well-publicized, particularly the problems in the Asmat region. But what is the government’s solution for the Asmat? Is it to build better infrastructure in order to benefit the interior peoples and to help get more food into the area? Is it a greater government commitment to develop agriculture and jobs?  
No. The solution the government is enacting is not to make sure there is more food, but, instead, to make sure there are LESS Papuans? So they have decided a redoubled effort to push birth control extra hard upon the Asmat is to be a major solution. 
After all, you cannot have sick kids if there are NO kids!  Clever plan, Indonesia!  

I have to ask, is this government incompetence, or is this slow-motion genocide? 
There is clearly enough potential farmland, and enough game and animals in South Papua to feed 100 times the current population in Asmat if the land was managed correctly or if the region was truly developed. But Indonesia only develops interior lands as it benefits the outsiders. They do not develop the interior for the benefit of the indigenous Papuans. They may open lands and build roads to help open up access to the various government accessions given to various Indonesian companies. They may make a new road to help out Korindo Group plunder the interior of Papua. But these businesses do not make Papuans rich, but only rape the land and leave the local indigenous people poorer than before. 
There is a demographic disaster happening among the Melanesians in Papua. This demographic disaster is not being fought and prevented by the government, but rather, seems to be advanced by the policies of the government of Indonesia. Jim Elmslie breaks down the census statistics,   
“These predictions clearly indicate the demographic catastrophe that is happening to the Papuan people. From 96.09% of the population in 1971 they will make up only 28.99% of the population in 2020; a small and rapidly dwindling minority.”  (West Papuan Demographic Transition and the 2010 Indonesian Census: “Slow Motion Genocide” or not? By Jim Elmslie). 
Elmslie  calculates that the consistent historical growth rate among Melanesians (indigenous Papuans) is 1.84% annually, but that the non-Papuan population continues to increase at its consistent historical rate of 10.82%.  The growth of non-Melanesians in Papua soars at almost 6 times the number of Papuans. If the straight hairs are growing at such a higher rate than the Melanesians, why is the government focusing so hard on birth control for the Melanesian population? Their growth rate is only 1.84% compared to the 10.82% birth rates of non-Melanesians coming into Papua, yet a disproportionate focus is being placed on birth control for the Melanesians?   
No wonder so many Papuans think there is a conspiracy? No wonder many Papuans call this a “slow-motion genocide.”  No wonder many Papuans consider birth control as the government’s long-term plan to replace the population of Papua and let the Melanesians slowly die off to be replaced by the straight hair Melyau peoples constantly migrating into Papua. It is happening as I write this today. It is already a reality in many coastal areas, the majority of “Papuans” along the coast of Papua are from Java, or Makassar, or elsewhere. The indigenous Papuans are strangers in their own land. 


Only by proving that the government is extremely stupid and cannot comprehend basic math can they justify this as NOT being an intentional genocide. Only by pleading unbelievable incompetence can the Indonesian government deny a purposeful demographic replacement of the Papuan people. Those are the only two choices; extreme incompetence or extreme prejudice and discrimination against the Melanesian race.  
Apparently the best solution to the problems in Papua is to make sure there are fewer Papuans! 
Here is a foto of a team speeding upriver to tell the Asmat about Birth Control. It is shocking to me that a population is starving and yet we do not see a boat full of food speeding to supply the Asmat, but instead a boat with the BKKBN (Badan Kependudukan dan Keluarga Berencana Nasional or The National Body for Population and Family Planning) flag flying. We see the true priorities of the government in this photograph. 



Margaret Sanger, the American pioneer of birth control stated plainly that the goal of birth control was, “More children from the fit, less from the unfit.”  It is clear which category the Indonesian government considers the Asmat to be in now, isn’t it? 
The government will deny this, of course. They claim that the goal of Birth Control is not to limit the population of Papua but only to give the Papuans a chance to have a “keluarga yang berkualitas.” (a family of quality). However, this is semantics, how does the government think they will produce quality families, except by limiting the population of Papua. The result is always the same – less Papuans! 
Papuans have an external identity of being Christians. Throughout Indonesia many of the more fanatic Muslims refuse to practice birth control and choose to have large families. They are playing the long game, they are pursuing a long-term strategy of conquest and colonization. They are producing future soldiers and immigrants for the future battle over which civilization will reign supreme in Papua, a Christian one or a Muslim one.  The violence of Poso and Ambon will soon come to the shores of Papua once the Muslim majority grows large enough. It is time that Papuan Christians also adopt a long-term strategy to preserve the Melanesian race.  It is time for Papuans to love their race, love their culture, and love their children...and the more children the better! 
If the very first chapter of the Word of God, Genesis 1, tells us God’s original design for man is to, “Be fertile, increase in number, fill the earth, and be its master,” then we must examine the programs of the Indonesian government with deep suspicion. They do not even want Papuans to fill up Papua, but are acting to empty out the entire region of its Melanesian indigenous population. 

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It is time for Papuan Christians to listen to what the Scriptures say.  It is time for Papuan women to become like the brave Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah found in Exodus chapter 1, verse 15 and to refuse all efforts to limit the growth of the Melanesian population. 
I could write so much more. Anecdotal evidence abounds of interior Papuan mothers being given hysterectomies after uncomplicated hospital births, all with very little or no informed consent. An old Papuan pastor from Tolikara testified to me about how the government encouraged Dani men to have vasectomies. A Papuan house-helper in Sentani told me of how very active the Birth Control Vehicle is going around the city, giving gifts to Melanesian women and persuading them with gifts to go on birth control. Is this merely a misperception? I don’t think so. I think there is a systematic targeting of poor Melanesians happening when it comes to birth control. Poor interior Papuans are the ones seen as the highest priority to prevent them from reproducing. 
I believe further research is needed to document these cases. But I do believe there is sufficient evidence to show that the birth control policies of Indonesia are discriminatory towards poor interior Melanesians and that many believe that the best solution to poor Papuans is that we make sure there are fewer of them in the future.  
If the Word of God calls children a blessing, how dare we call them a curse. Listen to Psalm 127: 
1 If the LORD does not build the house,
   it is useless for the builders to work on it.
If the LORD does not protect a city,
   it is useless for the guard to stay alert.
2     It is useless to work hard for the food you eat
       by getting up early and going to bed late.
           The LORD gives food to those he loves while they sleep. 
3 Children are an inheritance from the LORD.
They are a reward from him.
4     The children born to a man when he is young
       are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
5             Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them.
               He will not be put to shame
                   when he speaks with his enemies in the city gate. 
God judged the evil intentions of Pharaoh and freed the Hebrews from their oppression. Pharaoh’s plan to limit the population of the Hebrews did not succeed. God can do the same for the Papuans.  



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