Panglima Jilah and The Dayak Center

Commander of the “red army”, Panglima Augustine Jilah made big news. How come! The big meeting of the Pasukan Merah Tariu Borneo Bangkule Rajakng (TBBR) red troops in Pontianak on 29 November 2022 was attended by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The president must have sensed that Jilah and his army meant a lot. It is very significant, especially in terms of the mass of 200,000 members who can be friends and can also be enemies in Jokowi smoothing the relocation of the RO state capital to East Kalimantan.

The interesting thing is when in a discussion with President Jokowi, Panglima Jilah asked to build a Dayak Center.

The president granted this request. Actually, if what is meant is the Center for Dayak Studies, there have been many, such as: Intitut Dayakology, the Dayak Literacy Institute, or the Association of National Dayak Scholars (ICDN).

In fact, the Dayak Literacy Institute, in March 2023, will hold an international congress in Malinau, North Kalimantan.

What is important is that: what is the content of the Dayak Center? Who is the human resources behind it? What’s the point? 

It is felt that physically the Dayak Center in the form of a building in the proposed Republic of Indonesia Capital City in East Kalimantan may or may not exist.

Why is that? Because even in Jakarta at this time there are many large, spacious buildings and skyscrapers; empty. What is important is who is the human being behind the “center”.

Perhaps what Panglima Jilah meant was that the Government needed to establish institutions and centers for Dayak studies to fund research, writing, publication, and sustainable development of customs and culture oriented towards local wisdom.

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Masri Sareb Putra
Articles: 730

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