Biak, Papua (ANTARA) - Leaders of several ethnic community-based organisations in Biak Numfor District, Papua Province, have deplored the Surabaya incident, saying that they completely rejected all forms of racism and intolerance against indigenous Papuans.

Speaking on behalf of the Community Organisation of the Archipelago or "Payuguban Masyarakat Nusantara", these non-native Papuan community leaders echoed their stance on the Surabaya incident in a petition that they read out at an event here on Thursday.

The event was attended by Biak Numfor District Head Herry Ario Naap, Deputy Speaker of the district's legislative body Godlief Kawer, Chief of the 1708/BN District Military Command Lt.Col.Ricardo Siregar, and Coordinator of Caring for Native Papuans' Justice Forum Willem Rumpaidus.

Meanwhile, the ethnic community-based organisations whose representatives joined the declaration were the Unity in Diversity as well as the Community Organisation of West Java, Banten, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, Maluku, and North Sumatra.

"We, members of the Community of the Archipelago, deplore the acts of racism against the Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang," said Asep, representative of the "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" (Unity in Diversity) Organisation.

For the sake of maintaining Indonesia's unity in diversity, they called on President Joko Widodo and Police Chief General Tito Karnavian to bring perpetrators who had passed racist slurs against the Papuan students in East Java on August 16, to justice.

Biak Numfor District Head Herry Ario Naap praised these ethnic community-based organisations for firmly rejecting all forms of racism and intolerance against their Papuan brothers and sisters, and, for maintaining unity among community members.

On August 19, several thousands of people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, demonstrated to voice their discontent over alleged racist action against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java.

During the rally in Manokwari, a local parliamentary building was set on fire. The demonstrators also torched tires in several parts of the city and main streets.

However, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian stated that the situation was normalized in Manokwari. He also ordered the police chiefs of Papua and West Papua to adopt security measures and avoid the use of excessive force.
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Translator: Muhsidin, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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