I thank the people of Biak for their commitment to maintaining Indonesia's integrity and security of the community members so that the continuation of development programs, and government's services to the people can be ensuredBiak, Papua (ANTARA) - Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Air Chief Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto has expressed gratitude to the Papuan customary communities in Biak Numfor District, Papua Province, for their commitment to preserving the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. "I thank the people of Biak for their commitment to maintaining Indonesia's integrity and security of the community members so that the continuation of development programs, and government's services to the people can be ensured," he told journalists here Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference after holding a dialog with several representatives of the Papuan customary communities in Biak Numfor District, he also thanked all components of the local communities for their contribution in maintaining law and order.
Their support for the government's programs was also highly appreciated, Tjahjanto said. Therefore, he pledged to inform the related ministries on the insightful information and inputs he had received from the Papuan leaders for the sake of better development in Biak.
He also highlighted the legal process against two TNI officers who had allegedly used racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java that had triggered public anger in Papua and West Papua Provinces.
The officers being investigated in connection with this Surabaya case are Major NHI, commander of the Surabaya 0831/02 Regional Military Command, and a village supervisory non-commissioned officer (Babinsa), he said.
Whatever mistakes the army personnel had committed on duty would consequently be sanctioned, said Tjahjanto who was accompanied by National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian and Biak District Head Herry Ario Naap at the meeting.
On August 19, several thousand people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, had protested vociferously over alleged racist action against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java on August 16.
A local parliamentary building in Manokwari was set ablaze during the demonstration. The rioters also set fire to tires in several parts of the city and main streets.
However, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian affirmed that normalcy had been restored in Manokwari. He also ordered the police chiefs of Papua and West Papua to adopt security measures and avoid the use of excessive force.
In response to the incidents in Surabaya and Malang, a group of Papuan students in Denpasar, Bali Province, held a peaceful demonstration on August 22.
In Medan, North Sumatra Province, several Papuan students at the University of Sumatera Utara (USU) also staged a peaceful protest.
In Lampung Province, the Association of Papuan Students (Ikmapal) urged President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to focus more on Papuans’ welfare and social justice and bring to book those who passed the racist slurs.
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Reporter: Muhsidin, Rahmad Nasution
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