Obituary: A Passion for Peace in Papua

When it came to peace in Papua, Muridan Widjojo was passionate and dispassionate at the same time. He lobbied for dialogue as if his life depended on it.


At the same time, the scholar in him knew that a successful campaign had to be based on thorough analysis, practical ideas and long hours building allies and coalition partners.


He was a master of all three. The problem was that Papua needed more time than cancer allowed him.


Muridan died from complications from throat cancer at Mitra Keluarga Hospital in Depok, West Java, on Friday. He was 46.

There was another problem, too. Muridan was Javanese, born in Surabaya, yet working in Papua where anti-migrant sentiment in the activist community runs high.


Unbridled in-migration from elsewhere in Indonesia has made many Papuans fear that they are becoming a minority in their own land and that this is part of a deliberate government strategy to weaken support for independence.


Muridan turned his . . .

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