The hearing will be organized Monday, September 9, 2019
​​​​​​​Painan, West Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR) will invite the Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), the Minister of Defense, among others, for a hearing to discuss the situation in Papua Island.

"The hearing will be organized Monday, September 9, 2019," Darizal Basir, member of the Commission I, said while conducting a working visit to Painan, West Sumatra, Monday. During the hearing, Indonesia's lawmakers wish to understand the measures taken by the government after the riots erupted in Papua and the rehabilitation plans for public facilities damaged by the protesters.

The House will also question the stance of the Joko Widodo administration concerning the hoisting of morning star flags in front of the State Palace in Jakarta recently.

"We are very concerned with the two happenings. We push the government to play an active role in dealing with the problems," he said.

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Earlier, Prof Hikmahanto Juwana of the University of Indonesia urged the government to act firmly against any foreigners involved in the incident.

"The Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs, the National Police Chief, and the Chief of Presidential Staff referred to the involvement of foreigners in the incident in Papua," Juwana said.

Those categorized as foreigners are citizens of other countries who sympathize with Papuans and those living outside Indonesia, as well as foreigners staying in Papua supporting a separatist movement there.

Meanwhile, the West Papua Police arrested 20 suspects for torching and vandalizing buildings as well as looting properties during the violent protests against the recent Surabaya incident in Manokwari, Sorong, and Fakfak from August 19 to 21, 2019.

Police investigators continued their search for other suspected rioters in the three cities, Spokesman of the West Papua Police headquarters Adjunct Senior Commissioner Mathias Krey informed journalists in Manokwari Monday.

"The number of suspects may increase. The police investigators continue to work on this case in Manokwari, Sorong, and Fakfak," Krey remarked, adding that 10 of the 20 suspects were allegedly involved in the Manokwari rioting August 19.

Seven other suspects were arrested in Sorong for alleged acts of violence there, while three others were allegedly involved in a violent protest in Fakfak, Krey noted.

Related news: West Papua police arrest 20 alleged rioters

On August 19, several thousand people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, were protesting the alleged racist action against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java when violence erupted.

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

However, National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian confirmed that normalcy was 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.

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Translator: Miko Elfisha, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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