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Batak community in Papua urge police to act on Ambroncius Nababan racist remark

Tempo - January 27, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Representatives of the Batak community in Papua have appealed to the National Police to initiate action against Ambroncius Nababan, saying his 'racist' remarks against a noted Papuan human rights defender have marred the Bataknese image.

The 'racist' remark against Natalius Pigai that Nababan made on his social media account reflected his personal views and not those of the Batak community in Papua, head of the Harmony of Papua's Batak Community, Kenan Sipayung, said here on Tuesday.

Sipayung said the Batak community condemned what Nababan – a People's Conscience Party (Hanura) politician, who is also coincidentally general chairman of Pro-Jokowi-Amin Volunteers (Projamin) – posted on his social media account.

Ambroncius Nababan's "act of racism" has not just damaged the Batak community's good image in Papua, but may also create misunderstandings between the Bataknese and other ethnic groups in the province, he added.

Makmur Nababan, former commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and a Batak community leader in Papua, said he will report Nababan to Papua police.

"What Ambroncius Nababan did is obviously an unlawful act that has made the Bataknese people in Papua, who have coexisted peacefully and harmoniously with those from the Papuan communities, anxious," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Nababan disclosed to CNN Indonesia his reasons for posting photos of Natalius Pigai and a gorilla on his Facebook account.

Nababan was quoted by CNN Indonesia on Monday as saying that he did so in response to Pigai's statement rejecting China-based Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine.

As a volunteer for incumbent President Joko Widodo, Nababan voiced his discontent over Pigai's statement, according to CNN Indonesia.

In response to Nababan's post, Pigai wrote to Lloyd Austin, a retired army general appointed by US President Joe Biden as defense secretary, using his Twitter handle @NataliusPigai2.

Austin is the first African American to hold the top Pentagon position in US history.

"I am proud of you, mr@LloydAustin, black African American most powerful gentleman in the world. We have been on fire against Indonesian Collective (state) Racism to black African Melanesian (Papuan) for more than 50 years. Torture, killing & slow motion genocide. We need attention," Natalius Pigai wrote.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1427002/batak-community-in-papua-urge-police-to-act-on-ambroncius-nababan-racist-remar