Nias rebuffs the idea of joining the “Tapanuli Province”

Saturday, December 9, 2006
By nias

Nias religious, cultural and political figures have rebuffed the idea of joining the “Tapanuli Province”. In a meeting held last Saturday (2/12), Nias Regent, Binahati Baeha, asked the opinions of the Nias religious, cultural and political leaders and youth and  women representatives on whether Nias should support the formation of and eventually join in the Tapanuli Province. They unequivocally rejected the idea.

According to them, the Nias reconstruction and rehabilitation process currently underway could be in jeopardy if Nias was forced to join the new Province. They also put forward the idea of creation of Nias Province as a long term goal, which could be realized only if Nias “sticks” to the Sumatra Utara Province.

The idea of Tapanuli Provice formation has created resentment among regencies targeted by P4T (the Initiating Committee for the Creation of Tapanuli Province) to be included into the Province. The tribalism spirit among the Committee members has backfired, diminishing the support coming from various Batak’s sub-ethnic groups living in the targeted regencies such as Pakpak Bharat and Dairi.

Nias people living in Nias archipelago is one of the distinct ethnic groups of people living in North Sumatra; others are: Malay, Minangkabau, Acehnese, Javanese, Bataks (Karo, Simalungun, Dairi, Toba, and Angkola-Mandailing), Coastal peoples, Chinese, Arabs, Indian, Pakistani.

Although the Committee (P4T) desperately hopes the support of Nias Regency, they (the Committee) actually never elucidated the benefits of joining the Province. Instead, they try to advance their idea by inelegant political maneuvers such as manipulation of opinions, pressuring the Regents of each of the Regencies by “exposing” their “corruption scandals”, and luring individual politicians to pressure the political leaders at each of the target regencies.

Basyral Hamidy Harahap, a Batak scholar, has strongly rebuffed the idea of the formation of Tapanuli Province. “…the creation of the Tapanuli Province may tend to raise social tensions in Tapanuli”, he said in a recent interview with Situs Yaahowu. (no)

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Kalender Berita

December 2006