Thursday, April 06, 2006

Nationalism and Diplomacy

By Perry PADA

There is a bit of confusion in the perspective of Pak Djiwandono's article title Indon amount diplomacy nothing" - The Jakarta Post April 2006, particularly on the issue of nationalism. The contra argument is obvious, while one must be guided by principles of fundamental decency, the construction of a strong national identity in the 3rd World is the sole guarantor its independence and self-direction. To argue that nationalism is a mere device relevant solely to the colonial period is to misread history. In this unwarranted era of globalization, our nationalism should be more constructed properly adjusted with our national interests and international environment. This in way should imply the real colour of our diplomatic struggle confronting international issues.

Moreover, it is a necessity that we should see the essence of nationalism conception through 3rd world intellectual lens and perceptions. This will create a different perception to view the issues of nationalism while refining our nationalism conception. Nationalism can be insidious, but it can also be a cohesive in which society can identify and address its central problem of the addressing the most deprived within it. This suggests that our sense of nationalism has a significant meaning to reach our end goals. Otherwise the powerful, will undermine and weaken the social fabric making the society totally vulnerable to external political forces, The recent rapprochement with the US military is a mere example, I guess.

The way citizens’ express their sense of nationalism against Australian attitudes cannot be undermined and therefore ignorance, they just need more substantial directives while the development of collective feeling of nationalism among citizens is indeed remarkable. It cannot be denied that the triggered of our 42 Papuans brothers and sister left the country is mere to the worst domestic conditions in Papua, but to aggregate the poor development issue by weakening millions of Indonesians sense of nationalism is also a not wise attitude. It would lead us to be more vulnerable to our external world. Therefore, to this point, nationalism is our guarantee.

Australia clearly, once again, has taken on a surrogate role on behalf of the US in the region, as further evidenced by what transpired in East Timor and now deliberately interfere with Papua’s problem. This is not a friendly gesture. Therefore to this end, it is only am Indonesia with pride in itself which can overcome unwarranted external interference.

Jakarta, 6 April 2006

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