Arjuna Pademme, Jayapura, Jubi – Lawmaker of Papua Legislative's Council's Commission for Government, Politics, Law and Human Rights Laurenzus Kadepa said that that the raising of the Morning Star flag in six locations in Papua on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, should be a reflection to all parties in resolving Papua problems.
According to him, the most important thing to look at was that after the Morning Star flag was raised on Wednesday, the situation remained safe in Papua, there was no turmoil and chaos following the ceremony. It showed that the people demanded peace and respect in a respectful manner, Kadepa said.
"Through such an event, I think all of us, both the central and regional governments, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police, the legislature, and other institutions, must reflect on ourselves. In the future, we will work together to see Papua with new approaches, new policies," Kadepa told Jubi on Thursday, December 2, 2021.
Previously, eight youths were arrested for flying the Morning Star flag at Cenderawasih Gymnasium on Wednesday. Kadepa demanded the police to release those young people and instead see the event from various sides, not only from a legal point of view.
"I ask the authorities to release the people who are still being held at the Papua Police Headquarters. Let's be wise in looking at the Papua issue," he said.
Kadepa admitted that raising the Morning Star flag violated the country's current law but the police must consider other things. "Please look at the case with a human rights perspective and other considerations and release these people," he said.
The people in five regencies and one city, namely Central Mamberamo Regency, Puncak Regency, Bintang Mountains Regency, Intan Jaya Regency, Paniai Regency, and Jayapura City, raised the Morning Star flag on Wednesday, commemorating 60 years of the flag been being flown in Papua land since December 1, 1961. The Morning Star flag has been a symbol of the fighting spirit of the Papuan people.
Deputy chief of the Papuan Police Brig. Gen. Eko Rudi Sudarto acknowledged that although the Morning Star was raised in several areas, the security situation in Papua was under control. However, his party still arrested eight people who raised the Morning Star flag at the Cenderawasih Gym in Jayapura as the action was deemed against the law.
Sudarto said that after raising the Morning Star flag, the people walked in front of the Papua Police Headquarters. Police members who saw them instantly arrested them and took down the flag that was hoisted at the gym.