Defense Minister Ryacudu says Australia will ‘rebuke’ Solomon Islands over West Papua

Detik News – October 28, 2016
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu in Nusa Dua, Bali - October 28, 2016 (Detik)
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu in Nusa Dua, Bali - October 28, 2016 (Detik)

Aditya Mardiastuti, Nusa Dua – Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has emphasised that the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) cannot be challenged.

Ryacudu made the remark at a meeting with Australian government representatives during the 2+2 Meeting in Bali on Friday October 28.

“We don’t interfere with friendly countries. At the defense ministry I’m the most forthright person, I say what’s on my mind and in my heart, that’s what I do. I say that we are for peace, so stop bugging us. Indonesia’s [relationship] with Australia it good and developing well. This must be maintained”, said Ryacudu at the Westin Hotel in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday.

During the meeting Ryacudu asked Australia to pass on a message, to rebuke the Solomon Islands. That the Indonesian government is asking the Solomons not to interfere in Indonesia’s internal affairs, including on the issue of West Papua.

Australia itself is a donor country that is part of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Through the RAMSI Australia has donated as much as $US 500 to the Solomon Islands. Ryacudu believes that Australia’s rebuke will be heard.

“I conveyed this to Australia, we have never interfered or meddled in [the affairs of] other countries, likewise if [we] are interfered with I’ll get mad. Please convey to the Solomons [and] and the [other] six countries [that recently criticised Indonesia at the UN] not to interfere or encourage Papua to join [the Melanesian Spearhead Group], really who do they think they are”, said Ryacudu.

Ryacudu also warned that Indonesia will not remain silent if its national sovereignty is interfered with. He likened Indonesia to a [sleeping] tiger that will attack if disturbed.

“Don’t ever awaken a sleeping tiger. Once okay, but the second time [we’ll] get angry. We are a tiger not a mouse, we can pounce wherever we are disturbed. As long as a tiger isn’t disturbed it’s usually okay, if it’s disturbed you’ll know about it”, he asserted.

“Enough, those countries should keep quiet. Mind your own affairs of state, don’t meddle in other country’s [affairs]”, he added.

Indonesia’s request was accepted by Australia. According to Ryacudu Australia will convey the message to the countries concerned.

“Their response was very good, it’s impossible that they’d refuse. If it’s through them (Australia) can warn them (later) if it was me I’d just twist their ears”, he said.

Australia was represented at the bilateral meeting by Defense Minister Marise Ann Payne and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop. Australia meanwhile was represented by Ryacudu and the Foreign Ministry’s Director General of Asia Pacific and African Affairs, Desra Percaya.

The meeting should have also been attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno P. Marsudi. Marsudi however had to fly to Central Java provincial capital of Semarang to attend the burial of her father.

A number of important issues were discussed at the meeting including defence and security cooperation, the maritime sector and regional and global issues. (ams/fdn)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Menhan Ryamizard ke Australia: Sampaikan ke Solomon Jangan Ganggu Papua.]