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Jakarta Post

Papua requires Jokowi’s sense of urgency

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Fri, September 6, 2019   /  11:16 am
Papua requires Jokowi’s sense of urgency Among his responses, the media quoted: “It is okay to be emotional, but it is better to be forgiving. Patience is also better.” At a glance this statement seemed meaningful. Yet there was no clear expression of empathy for the Papuans who were deeply insulted by the racial slurs. (Courtesy of Presidential Secretariat/Kris)

Papua is in limbo. A racialist incident has triggered continued chaos in recent weeks. Main cities in Indonesia’s easternmost regions, such as Jayapura and Manokwari, have seen riots and fires. At least one soldier and nine civilians died in the riots, reports say. Yet another severe threat is the rising call for an independent Papua. The protests that turned violent in several places were accompanied by the waving of the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star), the flag expressing the independence aspirations of Papua. Unfortunately, responses from the government and more specifically President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo have been far from conveying a sense of urgency. Racist remarks against Papuan students who were rallying on Aug. 16 in Surabaya, East Java, followed by more protests, were not immediately followed by rapid response or strategic instructions from the President. ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.