Kopassus in Papua to safeguard sovereignty

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Army Special Force (Kopassus) Commander Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya said the force`s presence in Papua was to carry out part of the Army`s main tasks in safeguarding and upholding the country`s sovereignty.

"We carry out our task and play our role proportionately," he said replying to ANTARA`s question on the sidelines of distributing 20,000 saplings to people here on Saturday.

He said "our presence in Papua is the same as in other regions namely carrying out our main task of safeguarding our sovereignty in addition to conducting exercises and to reach out to the people through various activities.

He said in general security situation and conditions in Papua are relatively stable and conducive. "Relatively secure and conducive," he said.

The House of Representatives Commission I estimated there are 250 intelligence personnel in Papua from the police force and three branches of the defense forces (TNI) including 176 from Kopassus.

On a separate occasion the chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Lt Gen Marciano Norman said the development in Papua was very dynamic.

He said in dealing with Papua problems the government always sought the best solution.

Marciano said the government does not want to see Papua to secede like East Timor. "But we must also make the Papuans to enjoy welfare. That is what we have to think together," he said.

He called on the media to help monitor the work of the government and security forces in the region. "If violations are committed the commander of the TNI and the national police chief would never hesitate to act against them. Control by the media is very tight and it would not want to see violations to happen there," he said.

Marciano also asked the media not to hesitate to criticize BIN. "Criticize us and give us constructive inputs," he said. (*)