Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Zainut Tauhid Saadi has urged the government to tackle problems afflicting Papua and West Papua carefully and resolve them comprehensively by adopting a socio-cultural dialog.

The dialog, between the central government and regional governments in the two provinces, should engage religious, customary, and community leaders who represent the people of Papua, he told journalists here Thursday. In implementing this comprehensive approach, Saadi suggested to the government that they implement wise and solid policies related to law enforcement and human rights.

With these efforts, the government would be able to offer a fair, dignified, and comprehensive solution that could accommodate the aspirations of all stakeholders in Papua and West Papua Provinces, he said.

Saadi said that he appreciated the military and police personnel's quick and stern measures to restore the law and order in the two provinces, including the arrests of those masterminding, provoking, and being involved in rioting.

He also asked foreign parties not to inflame the situation and encouraged them to help resolve the situation at the earliest.

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Violence erupted in several parts of Papua and West Papua in the aftermath of the Surabaya incident that had triggered public anger among native Papuans.

Over the past week, native Papuans in several parts of the provinces of Papua and West Papua held demonstrations protesting alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16.

Due to the seriousness of the Surabaya incident, National Mandate Party (PAN) patron, Amien Rais, has appealed to the central government to tackle the pressing issues in Papua and West Papua.

The government must not undermine the problems in these two easternmost provinces, Rais said while conversing with journalists on the sidelines of a ceremony marking PAN's 21st anniversary on August 23.

Indonesia should take a cue from the big nations, such as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia that had witnessed their disintegration despite their economy, military, intelligence, and police being relatively powerful.

Therefore, he suggested that the government should seek solutions to the problems afflicting the two provinces.

Rais also expressed deep concern over the foreign interference in Papuan issues and asked the government to adopt a multi-dimensional approach in resolving them.

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Translator: Anom Prihantoro, Rahmad Nasuti
Editor: Sri Haryati
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