Another clash happened on 19 August 2016 in PT Freeport Indonesia area between Kei Tribe people from Kampong Sather and another Kei Tribe from Kampong Hoko, Holait, Holat and Ohorenan, triggered by panning territory dispute. In late August 2016 at Kampong Sapalek Napua District Jayawijaya Regency, there was also a clash between Nduga people and Lanny Jaya people because of a murder that might potentially be politicized by Free Papua Movement's (OPM) political wings to justify that the situation in Papua is unconducive as long as it joins Indonesia. Such situation is indeed the one that create unconducive situation in Papua.
These clashes among the people triggered by some socio cultural issues indicate that there are still many groups in society who do not understand social ethic in their social interaction. This condition lead to social clashes. These continuous conflicts among the people / youth need to be anticipated by introducing pluralism and multiculturalism- based education to create a harmonious society.
Such Tribe-Religion-Race (SARA)-nuanced clashes happen easily anywhere in Indonesia. In Tanjung Balai, Medan, this kind of clash, but in smaller scale, happened in early July 2016, while similar conflict happened in Pontianak, West Kalimantan on 5 August 2016 in which there were fights and brawls among the youth from different tribes. That was the third time. All these are a wake up call for us to fix our behavior in living our life in society especially related to pluralism to prevent SARA-nuanced conflicts.
Society reconciliation in every region that are prone to such conflict need to be prioritized by the government by ensuring the post-conflict security to the people.
We must admit that the participation of the people to be the messenger of peace or to persuade society members about the importance of inter-religion peace to maintain security, stability and conduciveness as well as to reject any form of anarchy in our daily life as a nation.
The massive occurrence of clashes and brawls among people in some regions clearly indicates the existence of trained provocateur within the society. They smartly exploit any SARA-nuanced incident to provoke the mass through social media. This situation is getting worse due to low emotional question (EQ) and spiritual question (SQ) of the people.
Meanwhile, the state apparatus, being admitted or not, are less intensive in countering the propaganda especially in social media. Our officers are not quick enough in responding and countering the provocation in social media.
The state apparatus must be as intense as the provocateur to give warning to the people regarding the provocation. The provocateurs usually spread distorted messages that aims to provoke people to do brutal action. To counter it, the officers can spread the peaceful messages through the same social media especially when a SARA-nuanced incident occurs. Should there be early warning from the local authority that tell the people not to be provoked by the incident, the people might listen.
The continuity of the clashes among people indicates that the formal or informal leader in society have failed to play their role as mediators to overcome problems in society. This is caused by the gradual disappearance of local wisdom leading to widening social gap and conflict-prone situation.
SARA-nuanced conflicts are often happening in our homeland. Thus, the government needs to have a formula to prevent the recurrence in the future or in other regions. Nationally, overcoming this issue must involve more than the police per se, but all security elements including intelligence body and the Ministry of Communication and Information. Regional government must also make the best use of Regional Intelligence Community (Kominda) and Inter-Religions Communication Forum (FKUB) to effectively implement early detection and early warning system in the region.
In addition to monitoring, another urgent measure need to be done by the government is to educate media literacy to the people. The police has told public to be careful in using social media because any action bears consequences. The people must obey the regulation and norm to not insult, spread hatred, lie, or spreading other negative contents. In using social media, we must have empathy to other people in our daily life. Thus, when a conflict happens, the people, having realized about the danger of conflict, will then try to use their social media to spread peaceful message countering the distorted messages from the provocateurs.
*) The author is a current affairs observer in Indonesia. Residing at Bandar Lampung.