The ‘racist’ remark against Natalius Pigai that Nababan made on his social media account reflected his personal views and not those of the Batak community in Papua, head of the Harmony of Papua's Batak Community, Kenan Sipayung, said here on Tuesday.
Sipayung said the Batak community condemned what Nababan — a People's Conscience Party (Hanura) politician, who is also coincidentally general chairman of Pro-Jokowi-Amin Volunteers (Projamin) — posted on his social media account.
Ambroncius Nababan's “act of racism” has not just damaged the Batak community's good image in Papua, but may also create misunderstandings between the Bataknese and other ethnic groups in the province, he added.
Makmur Nababan, a Batak community leader in Papua, said he will report Nababan to Papua police.
"What Ambroncius Nababan did is obviously an unlawful act that has made the Bataknese people in Papua, who have coexisted peacefully and harmoniously with those from the Papuan communities, anxious," he remarked.
Meanwhile, Nababan disclosed to CNN Indonesia his reasons for posting photos of Natalius Pigai and a gorilla on his Facebook account.
Nababan was quoted by CNN Indonesia on Monday as saying that he did so in response to Pigai's statement rejecting China-based Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine.
As a volunteer for incumbent President Joko Widodo, Nababan voiced his discontent over Pigai's statement, according to CNN Indonesia.
In response to Nababan's post, Pigai wrote to Lloyd Austin, a retired army general appointed by US President Joe Biden as defense secretary, using his Twitter handle @NataliusPigai2.
Austin is the first African American to hold the top Pentagon position in US history.
"I am proud of you, mr@LloydAustin, black African American most powerful gentleman in the world. We have been on fire against Indonesian Collective (state) Racism to black African Melanesian (Papuan) for more than 50 years. Torture, killing & slow motion genocide. We need attention," Pigai wrote.
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In August and September, 2019, Papua and West Papua came under the radar of both Indonesian and foreign media after a spate of violence broke out in several parts of the two Indonesian provinces.
On August 28, 2019, violence had erupted in Deiyai district, about 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.
The indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura had again held protests on August 29, 2019, venting ire over alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally had later taken a violent turn.
On September 23, 2019, a deadly riot had erupted in Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya district, Papua province, which had led to the deaths of 33 civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served native Papuans for 15 years.