Jakarta – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says that he doesn’t have any problems will a proposal that he meet with pro-referendum Papuan figures, including those in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).
“There isn’t a problem, we can meet, why not”, said Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Monday September 30.
Widodo stated that he willing to meet them if indeed they do want to meet. “I’ll meet with anyone if indeed they do want to meet”, he said.
Earlier, the speaker of the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in Maybrat regency, West Papua province, Ferdinando Solossa called on Widodo to open dialogue with the ULMWP and the KNPB.
“We ask the government to open dialogue between the central government and Papua figures especially those who are viewed has having an ideology which is confrontative or at odds [with the government] such as the ULMWP and the KNPB”, said Solossa during a forum with Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko at his office in Jakarta on Tuesday September 24.
Solossa also suggested that dialogue between the central government and these Papuan figures involve a third party who will be independent, neutral and objective in resolving the roots of the problems in the land of the Cenderawasih as Papua is known.
According to Solossa, this proposal represents one of the wishes of the Papuan people and he hopes that the government can resolve the problems in Papua in stages, so that the administration and development can run smoothly.
Moeldoko meanwhile also welcomed the proposal even claiming to be ready to meet with ULMWP Chairperson Benny Wenda. Such a meeting would open up dialogue between them and the government.
Moeldoko also invited Wenda to work together to find a solution to deal with the problems in Papua.
“I’m also ready to meet with Benny Wenda. We can talk, we can find a solution together, we also don’t want there to be any more causalities”, said Moeldoko at the Presidential Palace complex in Central Jakarta on Wednesday September 25.
Moeldoko added that he would like to meet with Wenda first before figures from the ULMWP or the KNPB speak with Widodo. He also claimed that he is ready to meet with Wenda anywhere. (wis/wis)
On the same day CNN Indonesia reported that Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Wiranto – who has previously stated that he will arrest Benny Wenda if he comes to Indonesia – has blamed the Free Papua Movement (OPM) and Wenda for orchestrating the latest riots in Wamena. Wiranto said that the two groups are taking advantage of the riots to get the attention of the United Nations. “So the OPM and Benny Wenda are working together to build these events, these riots, an expose to the outside world that there are forces supporting independence in Papua and West Papua”, said Wiranto at his offices in Jakarta on Monday. See Wiranto Tuding OPM dan Benny Wenda Otak Kerusuhan Wamena.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Jokowi Siap Bertemu Tokoh Pro Referendum Papua”.]