President slams NGOs commenting on Papua
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reprimanded on Friday nongovernmental organizations that often criticized how the Indonesian Military (TNI) handles security in Papua, saying that they implied that the law should not be enforced in the country’s easternmost island.
“Papua is part of Indonesia. It doesn’t make sense that NGOs say something that implies that we can’t enforce the law in Papua,” he said at the TNI and National Police leaders meeting in Jakarta.
SBY said the military presence in Papua was not without reason.
“They are there because there is still an armed separatist movement, which we should be aware of,” he said, emphasizing that there was only a small military presence that did not conduct aggressive military operations.
The President stressed that the government was eager to improve people’s welfare on the island by implementing programs to accelerate Papua’s economic development.
“That is not just lip service – the average development expenditure per capita in Papua is the highest in the country,” SBY pointed out.
He added that he had conveyed the government’s policy on Papua to his counterparts across the globe as news regarding military activities in Papua spread quickly to world leaders.
“Many have asked me about what happened in Papua. I should explain that the military presence in Papua was not without justification,” he said as quoted by kompas.com. (swd)