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Jakarta Post

Calls mount for govt to investigate racial abuse against Papuans

  • Karina Maharani Tehusijarana and Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Tue, August 20, 2019   /  06:58 pm
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President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo speaks to journalists at the State Palace to comment on the latest developments in Papua and West Papua on Aug. 19.(Courtesy of Presidential Secretariat/Kris)

As the country reels from a series of riots that erupted in Papua and several other regions, activists and nongovernmental organizations are calling for an immediate investigation into the racially charged conflict between Papuan university students and local mass organizations in Surabaya, East Java, that sparked the unrest. Aloysius Renwarin, a human rights lawyer in Jayapura, Papua, urged the government to promptly resolve the conflict in Surabaya to help diffuse the situation in Papua. “The Surabaya conflict served as a catalyst for the riots in Papua. If the conflict remains unresolved, a scorching ball of rage will keep rolling in Papua,” he said. He went on to say that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s call for mutual forgiveness among those embroiled in the conflict was disappointing. “Papuans shouldn’t be obligated to apo...