"The government`s step is correct. The motive and purpose of every foreigner to enter Indonesia must first be checked. The government has decided to reject Sauven`s visit after obtaining objective and accurate information," Hikmahanto said here on Wednesday.
John Sauven had planned to visit Indonesia to attend a series of activities such as an international seminar on forest preservation and sustainability.
The seminar was attended by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and initiated by the Center for International Forestry and Research (CIFOR) in cooperation with a number of other institutions.
Hikmahanto said the rejection of a foreigner to enter into the country should be done in cooperation among government`s apparatuses and should have a strong reason.
It means that the rejection of John Sauven was done selectively and carefully with a strong reason. "In the past during the era of Pak (Mr) Harto, many foreigners were refused entry, but now a rejection should be done after passing through various procedures," he said.
He said the government had the right to reject a foreigner`s visit with the aim of protecting the country`s sovereignty.
"This concerns the country`s sovereignty. If someone often bashes Indonesia overseas and acts against our national interest, I think the government`s step in this case is correct," he said.
The Indonesia government had earlier rejected the visit of Rainbow Warrior II belonging to Greenpeace to Jakarta in October 2010.
At the time, the visit of the ship was believed to serve a hidden agenda that would sully the Indonesian people`s dignity in the eyes of the international world. (*)