Thursday, 5 Syawwal 1441 / 28 May 2020

Thursday, 5 Syawwal 1441 / 28 May 2020

JK admits foreign involvement in Papua riots

Rabu 04 Sep 2019 18:38 WIB

Rep: Puti Almas/Fauziah Mursid/ Red: Nur Aini

Benny Wenda

Benny Wenda

Benny Wenda is a suspected figure behind Papua riots.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Vice President Jusuf Kalla (JK) admitted there was allegedly foreign involvement in the riots in Papua and West Papua. Earlier, name of Benny Wenda came as a suspected figure behind the accident. 

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“Benny Wenda is a British citizen, we don’t know he gave instructions or what, but it means there was foreign involvement,” said JK on Wednesday (Sept 4). 

JK cited the arrest of four Australian citizens who were allegedly participated in a demonstration in Sorong on last Auguts 27 indicated foreign involvement in the riots. However, he considered that foreign involvement was not in the form of state intervention. 

“Foreigners maybe yes, but not the state. Please differentiate between foreigners and the state," JK added. 

Previously, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said Benny Wenda, leader of the Free Papua movement was a central figure behind the riots in Papua and West Papua. Benny is a leader of Free Papua Movement or ULMWP (United Liberation Movement of West Papuan). The group was granted asylum to seetle in Britain since 2003. 

Moeldoko assessed Benny has conducted diplomatic mobilization related to the issue of Papuan independence in a number of countries, such as Britain and Australia. However, he believed Benny gave misleading information, which not only untrue, but also detrimental Indonesian people. 

"He mobilized diplomatic, missed information mobilization, which is not true. That's what he did in Australia, in Britain,” Moeldoko added. 

Meanwhile, related to the  four Australians who were arrested, they are now deported after allegedly participating in a demonstration in Sorong, West Papua. They were said to have taken part in a rally in front of the Sorong Mayor's office on August 27.

According to Sorong Immigration and Enforcement Section head, Cun Sudirharto, the four Australians entered Indonesia with a tourism permit. Based on the investigation, they planned to travel to Raja Ampat. 

However, their ship was having a trouble, so they had to stay a while in Sorong to repair it. While in the city, the four Australians were invited by local residents to see the rally. They also admitted did not understand the rally, instead they were misinterpreting, as they thought the event was a cultural festival.

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