“Before leaving, I hope you could make efforts to overcome the problems in Papua. Study them to see if there are political or social aspects involved, which later affect security and local aspects. If we could find the cause of the problem, it would be easier to find its solution,” he said, before holding a limited cabinet meeting on security and political affairs here on Tuesday (12/06).
President Yudhoyono expressed hope the planned visit of Djoko and other ministers to Papua would result in a solution to the problems in the violence-ravaged area, where a number of civilians were killed recently in a shooting incident.
“While you are there, you must also give a proper explanation to the international media,” he said.
President Yudhoyono stated the government had decided to take a welfare approach in order to settle the problems in the easternmost province.
With regard to cases linked to separatism, he said, they were against the law and would be dealt with as per the law. Yudhoyono added the law of the country also applied to Papua and there was no discrimination involved.
“The law and security must be upheld for the sake of the people and its enforcement must be carried out based on the existing law. Papua is a legitimate part of our sovereign country and, therefore, the law that we make also applies there,” he said.
President Yudhoyono noted separatist activities violated the law and would be dealt with legally.
Speaking about armed separatist members who broke the law by conducting violence and causing deaths, he said: “We must not condone them. I believe death-causing acts are not part of the freedom of speech. That is a violation of the law and the law must be enforced.”
“We must be firm and be able to differentiate between human rights and non-human rights issues. Everything that we do, as I have always said, must also be accountable. Inform the public through the media about what we have actually done so that local people and even the world community would know the real problem,” President Yudhoyono added.
He said although the security disruptions in Papua could be categorized as small-scale incidents, the government would not ignore the loss of lives and take action immediately.
President Yudhoyono also admitted that security officers had overreacted with their handling of the security situation in Papua, where violence has escalated for the past couple of weeks.
“Security officers, those are the TNI and the National Police, have been deemed over reactive in their responses to activities committed by certain elements, such as the killings of citizens and TNI soldiers stationed in the region,” Yudhoyono said.
The cabinet meeting was attended by coordinating minister for security, law and political affairs Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for people`s welfare Agung Laksono, coordinating minister for economic affairs Hatta Rajasa, minister of justice and human rights Amir Syamsuddin, minister/state secretary Sudi Silalahi, cabinet secretary Dipo Alam, defense forces commander Admiral Agus Suhartono and national police chief General Timur Pradopo.
A number of shooting incidents have occurred in several locations in Papua in the past few months, with the latest one recorded on June 6 at the Cenderawasih University compound.
Source: ANTARA News / The Jakarta Globe