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Figures invited to meet Jokowi not representative of the Papuan people

Tempo - September 10, 2019

Hans Arnold Kapisa, Jakarta – West Papuan human rights activist and Manokwari Legal Aid Assessment, Research and Development Institute (LP3BH) Director Yan Christian Warinussy is critical of the 61 figures that were included in a delegation of Papuans who held a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the State Palace today.

The winner of the 2005 John Humphrey Freedom Award in Canada has heard news that the Papuan figures invited to the Palace were not selected by Widodo himself. Purportedly they were selected by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the office of the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam).

Because of this, Warinussy says that the meeting totally failed to reach out to the people on the ground that held protest actions opposing racism and discrimination against Papuans which took place on August 19 and 21.

In fact, he said, the leaders of these protest actions are instead being criminalised, arrested and questioned at the moment in Jayapura, Manokwari, Sorong and Fakfak.

Warinussy cited several names that should have been invited to the meeting with Widodo.

"For example Buchtar Tabuni and Agus Kossay, two leaders of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB)", said Warinussy in a press release on Tuesday September 10.

According to Warinussy, it would have been appropriate for these figures to have sat down with Widodo and discuss the issues with cool hearts and heads. These figures, according to Warinussy, could speak about what the Papuan people aspire to and want.

Widodo met with representatives of the Papuan community at the State Palace in Jakarta today. During the meeting the figures from Papua and West Papua submitted a series of requests to Widodo.

"I need to convey several things which were able to be conveyed by our delegation at this time from Papua and West Papua which are important notes in the meeting this afternoon", said the head of the delegation, Abisai Rollo, on Tuesday.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "61 Tokoh Papua yang Diundang Jokowi Dinilai Tak Representatif".]

Source: https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1246145/61-tokoh-papua-yang-diundang-jokowi-dinilai-tak-representatif