Papuans lambast ‘useless’ anti-porn law

Papuans lambast ‘useless’ anti-porn law
The Jakarta Post, March 30 

Nethy Dharma Somba

A community group in Papua has denounced the Constitutional Court’s recent rejection of a judicial review of the 2008 Pornography Law as a threat to their way of life.

Central Mountains Student Association secretary-general Markus Haluk said the ruling to uphold the controversial law would effectively outlaw the wearing of penis gourds among indigenous tribesmen.
The koteka is made from a dried, scooped-out gourd.

Another traditional vestment under threat, Markus said, was the sali, a skirt made from woven tree bark to cover the lower part of the women’s body, leaving their breasts bare.

“We have been wearing the koteka and sali since long before the law was passed,” Markus said.

“So should we be regarded as violating the law for not fully covering up our bodies in public?”

He added implementing the law in Papua would “threaten the existence of Papuans” simply because so many of them could be charged for wearing the koteka or the sali.

The law, he went on, would be useless in places like Papua and Bali, which has opted not to adopt it.
Markus added some provinces should be exempt from the law.

Papua legislative councilor Komaruddin Watubun agreed.

“The fact is, in Papua, not wearing full clothing is a tradition,” he said.

Supporting regulations for implementing the law must exempt certain provinces, he added.

“Our culture is part of the nation’s diversity,” Komaruddin said.