State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Sutiyoso says that the riot in Tolikara, Papua was aimed at attacking President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“Those people took advantage of the incident to attack Pak Jokowi, attack the government, attack me as the head of BIN and attack the national police chief. This is becoming commonplace”, he said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on July 22.
Sutiyoso declined however to name the intellectual actors that are attacking Jokowi by causing uproar in Tolikara, but did not deny the possibility of foreign involvement.
“Yeah I’ve asked the police. There must be an investigation to answer this and we can’t just go accusing people at random. The police investigation will still take a long time. It may well be that foreign parties were involved”, he said accusingly.
Sutiyoso refused to be blamed for the riot that ended in the burning down of an Islamic prayer room and shop-houses in Tolikara. The reason being that BIN provided information related to the threat on July 11.
“The security forces responded, the regional police immediately held a regional consultative council meeting, involving the regent and religious figures. Everyone was involved including the president of the GIDI [Evangelical Church of Indonesia], there was a good response”, he said.
As a result, by July 17 large numbers of police and military were on alert in the area. “If they didn’t get the information from us where else did they get the information from”, he said by way of defending himself.
According to Sutiyoso, the riot broke out because security forces were confronted by a brutal mob. “This has happened not just in Tolikara, but anywhere where [the security forces] are confronted by brutal mobs like this”.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was KaBIN Sutiyoso: Pembuat Rusuh di Tolikara untuk Menyerang Jokowi dan Saya.]