Foreign ministry asked to send a note to PNG over missing fishermen

Semarang, Central Java (ANTARA News) - Lawmaker Tjahjo Kumolo urged the foreign ministry to demand explanation from Papua New Guinea about report of PNG soldiers burning the vessel of Indonesia fishermen in the sea resulting in five of the fishermen missing.

Five of ten fishermen from Merauke were reported still missing after being caught in the sea by Papua New Guinea (PNG) soldiers.

The ten fishermen were caught by the PNG soldiers when fishing in the border sea on Feb 6, some 5 kilometers away from an Indonesian navy post in Torasi.

After burning their vessel and all their belongings in the sea, the PNG soldiers released and told them to swim to the navy post, the report said.

Tjahjo, the secretary general of opposition party, PDI Perjuangan, said here on Monday the foreign ministry could summon the Indonesian embassy to PNG to ask for explanation about the incident.

The foreign ministry, the Indonesian military and intelligence should be sensitive to the "inhuman treatment" by PNG soldiers, he said.

He also comment on report of Australia forcing boat people to sail back to Indonesian waters.

He raised question if the two countries are still true friends of Indonesia or they are a long term threat to the countrys sovereignty.

"Indonesia has to take firm retaliatory measure against such unfriendly actions," he said.

He said the two country might want to make a test case , whether "we would react or not."

"This should be considered by the foreign ministry in taking action," he said.

On Sunday navy commander in Merauke Marine Brig. Gen. Buyung Lalana said a search and rescue team was searching for the missing fishermen.

Lalana said the other five that succeeded in swimming to safety in the navy post took part in the search.

The five missing fishermen are identified as Alexander Coa,Ferdinando Coa,Roby Rahail,Joni Kaize and Zulfikar Saleh.(*)