The Jakarta Post
An international law expert said on Wednesday that the government must remind Australia of the Lombok Treaty, which requires both countries to respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
University of Indonesia professor Hikmahanto Juwana made the comments to respond to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's statement that there would be 'consequences' if Indonesia went ahead with the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine drug trafficking group.
Signed in 2008, the Lombok Treaty underlines that Indonesia and Australia respect and support each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity, national unity and political independence.
The treaty establishes a modern framework for Australia and Indonesia cooperation in the fields of defense, law enforcement, counterterrorism, maritime security and disaster response.
'One thing the Indonesian government must defend and protect is the good relationships between people of the two countries. We must prioritize our relationships with the Australian people because it is the Australian people that have a right to change their government in the future,' said Hikmahanto as quoted by Antara news agency in Jakarta on Wednesday.
He said that in every change of government in Australia, there had always been a fresh approach to international relations.
'The new government will leave behind the ways that the old government has taken in shaping its relations with Indonesia. This new government may not have the same burdens that the old government is carrying regarding the executions,' said Hikmahanto.
'Indonesia's public must be urged to trust its government in facing the reaction of the Australian government. We don't expect a situation where people take unfriendly actions against Australian citizens,' said Hikmahanto.
The government executed eight death row inmates early on Wednesday on Nusakambangan prison island near Cilacap in Central Java.
The eight were Chan, Sukumaran, Indonesian Zainal Abidin, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, Nigerians Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Raheem Agbaje Salami and Okwudili Oyatanze and Ghanaian Martin Anderson.
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines was spared after a woman who allegedly recruited her to act as a drug courier gave herself up to police in the Philippines on Tuesday. (ebf)(+++)