"I thank you for saving the PLN employees and warehouse
Jakarta (ANTARA) - State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno thanked Neheima Wamu for his courage in saving workers and a warehouse of the state-owned electricity firm PLN during the Wamena riot that killed 33 innocent civilians on September 23.

As part of her gratitude to the native Papuan student, Rini expressed her token of appreciation and ordered the PLN president director to provide him with a scholarship to enable him to finish his studies at the PLN College of Technology (STT PLN).

"I thank you for saving the PLN employees and warehouse," she said in a press statement made available to ANTARA in Jakarta Tuesday.

Wamu, originally from Maima Subdistrict, Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, dropped out of STT-PLN due to financial constraints. He is currently a student of a privately-owned university in Jakarta.

The minister requested Wamu to narrate how he courageously saved the PLN workers and the warehouse from the rioters on the day the deadly riots broke out in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, on September 23.

He happened to see the rioters target several workers of PLN inside a warehouse and spontaneously halted the attackers while persuading them not to commit any act of anarchism at the electricity firm, Wamu was quoted as saying.

Rini also appreciated the PLN employees in Wamena for their quick response and hard work for restoring the power supply.

The Wamena rioting has left so many Indonesians in misery. The incident did not merely claim 33 lives of innocent civilians but it also forced several thousand survivors to take refuge by leaving behind their torched and destroyed properties.

Many survivors originally from such provinces as West Sumatra, South Sulawesi, East Java, and Banten, have even returned to their hometowns.

The rioting was incited by the proliferation of hoaxes through social media platforms that angered its residents, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja claimed.

Several local media reports confirmed Rodja's claim that the riot was spurred by hoaxes about a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students.

Considering the casualties, the Wamena riot has become the deadliest of a wave of violence that erupted in several parts of Papua and West Papua over the past two months following the Surabaya incident on August 16 that triggered resentment and fury among native Papuans.

The Indonesian police blamed Benny Wenda, a campaigner of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) who enjoys a good life in the United Kingdom, for the spate of violence that erupted in these two Indonesian provinces, including the rioting in Wamena.

In response to this miserable condition, several district and provincial administrations whose people directly got affected by the Wamena rioting had facilitated their evacuation from Papua.

The Banten provincial administration has brought 23 Wamena riot survivors originally from Banten home. (INE)
Related news: Ministry, military join hands to rebuild Wamena's damaged facilities
Related news: Minister Wiranto, Military, Police chiefs review condition in Wamena


Translator: Mentari DG, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2019