Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Wiranto says that the government is open to dialogue with all parties to improve the situation in Papua, but it will not discuss a referendum or Papuan independence.
Wiranto said that the government has undertaken efforts to restore the situation in Papua, including a meeting with Papuan figures on Friday afternoon, August 30.
“We didn’t blame each other but we talked about solutions and restoring the situation so that a dialogue can be held”, said Wiranto at the presidential office in Jakarta.
Wiranto claimed that when he met with the Papuan figures many issues were conveyed related to the situation which needs to be improved.
A dialogue such as this, according to Wiranto, needs to be built instead of acts of violence as has been occurring over the last few days.
Dialog, said Wiranto, cannot possibly be held while the rioting continues and he suggested that the Papuans calm down first. He warned however that any dialogue that might be held would absolutely not touch on the issue of a referendum or independence.
“One of our agreements was not to talk about a referendum, not to talk about independence”, said Wiranto.
“The NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] is non-negotiable. The United Nations decided [in 1969] that Papua and West Papua were part of the NKRI”, he reaffirmed.
The limited meeting at the presidential office was attended by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
Also present were ministers and senior officials including State Secretary (Mensesneg) Pratikno, Cabinet Secretary (Seskab) Pramono Anung, Foreign Affairs Minister (Menlu) Retno Marsudi, TNI (Indonesian military) commander Air Martial Hadi Tjahjanto, National Police Chief (Kapolri) Tito Karnavian and State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Budi Gunawan.
Wiranto said that the meeting specifically discussed recent developments in Papua and West Papua.
“He [Widodo] emphasised that he wants the law to be firmly enforced, anyone who breaks the law, whether it was during the incident Surabaya or in Papuan and West Papua”, he said.
The security situation in several parts of Papuan and West Papua has indeed heated up over the last few days. Protest actions by Papuan people in Sorong, Manokwari, Fakfak, Deiyai and Jayapura have ended in riots.
The protesters damaged government-owned buildings and public facilities. In Deiyai on Wednesday a TNI officer was killed after being struck by an arrow fired by protesters.
The series of protests were in response to a siege on a Papuan student dormitory in the East Java city of Surabaya and an incident in Malang earlier this month. During the siege in Surabaya the mob allegedly shouted racist insults against the Papuan students. (fra/wis)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Wiranto Buka Dialog Rusuh Papua Asal Tak Singgung Referendum”.]