Kristian Erdianto, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Wiranto is proposing an additional budget of 60 billion rupiah to fund diplomatic efforts related to the Papua problem.
The proposed budget will be separate from the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs' (Kemenko Polhukam) 2018 annual budget of Rp 281,470,604.000.
Wiranto says that the 60 billion rupiah will be used to pay for diplomatic efforts by the government in the South Pacific region.
"We are pursuing intense soft-diplomacy. I'm heading it up myself, going there, coordinating, and talking to them. We're proposing an additional budget of 60 billion rupiah", said Wiranto during a working meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Budget Committee at the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday September 5.
Wiranto explained just a few years ago as many as seven out of 13 countries in the South Pacific supported Papuan independence. All of these countries had voting rights in the United Nations General Assembly.
Meanwhile, said Wiranto, many of these South Pacific countries had been receiving misinformation about Indonesia's approach to Papua. For example a view that the government has neglected development in Papua.
According to the former ABRI (Indonesian Armed Forces, now call TNI) commander, the government is already pursuing diplomatic efforts with two South Pacific heads of state, namely Nauru and Vanuatu.
The two heads of state have been invited to visit Papua to see for themselves the progress in development there.
"We've been forgetting, we've been negligent, that there are many countries there which could potentially threaten our domination, Papua is part of our territory and it turns out that this is true", said Wiranto.
The additional budget of 60 billion rupiah proposed by Wiranto will be used for five coordinated activities.
1. 20 billion to improve Papua's international image.
2. 15 billion to improve Indonesia's cooperation with the South Pacific.
3. 15 billion to improve cooperation with South Pacific international organisations.
4. 5 billion for the management of Australian and South Pacific territorial border security.
5. 5 billion to improve Australian and South Pacific territorial border security intelligence cooperation.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Wiranto Ajukan Tambahan Anggaran Rp 60 Miliar untuk Diplomasi Terkait Papua".]