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Jakarta Post

TNI ready to intercept pro-OPM boats: minister

  • Bagus BT Saragih

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, August 18, 2013   /  07:57 pm

The Indonesian Military has been ordered to be prepared to intercept the journey of two boats carrying pro-West Papua independence activists from Australia, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto said on Sunday. 

'€œI have asked the Navy and Air Force to standby and anticipate their journey,'€ he said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post

The minister also said that he had talked with Australian ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty. '€œThat there should be no nation allowing its soil to be used as a departure point for the movement of a group aimed at disturbing other nation'€™s sovereignty. That is very clear.'€

The minister also confirmed the government had never issued visas to the activists and permission for the boats to enter Indonesian waters.

 '€œI heard they are concerned about violence and human rights. I think the Indonesian government shares similar concerns,'€ Djoko said. 

Reports over a plan by the activists to sail to Indonesian territory without permission came only days after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a state speech which included an appeal for nations to respect Indonesia'€™s sovereignty over Papua. 

The two boats would sail from Cairns, East Australia, through the Torres Strait and on to Papua New Guinea, from there; they hope to make the trip to Merauke, easternmost city in the Papua province, according to The Guardian.

 The West Papuan Freedom Flotilla movement, which consisted of some 50 activists, was aimed at '€œhighlighting abuses faced by West Papuans under Indonesian rule.'€ They planned to land in Merauke within a fortnight. 

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Saturday he had received information about the plan. '€œWe keep monitoring the information. We are also making communications with the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments,'€ he said, reiterating that the governments of both Australia and Papua New Guinea had expressed their supports to Papua as an integral part to Indonesia.(dic)

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