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PAPUA

MINISTER WIRANTO, MILITARY, POLICE CHIERFS REVIEW CONDITION IN WAMENA

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They also undertook a tour of Wamena Town to observe buildings as well as the Woma market, among others, burned during the riot.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Papua – Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, and Indonesian Police (Polri) Chief General Tito Karnavian visited Wamena, Papua, to review latest condition in the riot-hit town.

Health Minister Nila Djuwita F. Moeloek, State Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Rini Soemarno, and Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita were among other ministers also part of the entourage.

After arriving in Wamena, they held dialogs with local communities, visited riot-hit schools, and met the displaced people and local officials.

They also undertook a tour of Wamena Town to observe buildings as well as the Woma market, among others, burned during the riot.

Following the tour, they visited the Headquarters of the Regional Military Command (Kodim) 1702/Jayawijaya.

In the meantime, during the past few weeks, a circle of violence erupted in various cities in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

On September 23, the riot broke out in Wamena during a massive protest, triggered by fake news on a teacher’s racist slurs against local students.

A total of 33 people, including a medical doctor, were killed, while at least 77 others sustained injuries in the riot that also compelled several thousand residents, mostly non-native Papuans, to take shelter in the local military and police compounds.

The dead and wounded comprised non-native Papuans, who were assaulted by rioters brandishing machetes and arrows. Several of them had migrated to Papua from their hometowns in provinces, such as West Sumatra and South Sulawesi, to earn a living.

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja stated that the rioting in Wamena might have been fueled by the proliferation of hoaxes through social media platforms that fueled ire among its residents.

Several local media reports confirmed that the Wamena riot was spurred by hoaxes pertaining to a teacher’s racist slur against native Papuan students. (dsp)

PAPUA

JOKOWI EXPECTED TO RESOLVE PAPUAN PROBLEMS THROUGH DIALOGUE : PRIEST

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President RI 2019, Joko Widodo.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jayapura – A Papuan priest has called on incumbent President Joko Widodo to hold a dialogue with the representatives of all Papuan community groups to find solutions to crucial problems in the province after he is sworn in as Indonesia’s president on October 20, 2019.

The Papuan people are keen to have a discussion within the spirit of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia as the central government had done in Aceh Province, said Esmon Welilo, a priest who is also chairman of the Interreligious Harmony Forum (FKUB).

“We do hope that the dialogue can be held during his second leadership term,” he in Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, on Thursday (17/10/2019).

Esmon Welilo said Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is the first Indonesian president who has made 12 working visits to the Papua Province, including three times to Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District.

Under Jokowi’s leadership, it is time for the central government to hold a dialogue to seek comprehensive solutions to the problems in Papua, he said, adding that he believed that all the Papuan people would keep supporting the government’s programs.

The call for holding a dialogue with President Jokowi had been echoed by West Papua Governor, Dominggus Mandacan, on September 12, 2019.

Mandacan said he awaited the president’s readiness to meet West Papua’s local leaders of various ethnic groups to listen to and comprehend their aspirations following the recent Surabaya incident that infuriated native Papuans.

Over these past two months, a spate of violence broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua in the upshot of the Surabaya incident and fake news that had triggered public ire among native Papuans.

On August 28, violence broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.

Protests were again held on August 29 by the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura, as they vented their ire over the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then turned violent.

On September 23, a deadly riot had erupted in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, killing 33 civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served the native Papuans for 15 years. (ant)

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PAPUA

WAMENA AIRPORT TO RETURN TO NORMALCY NEXT WEEK : MINISTER

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Transportation Minister, Budi Karya Sumadi.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Wamena Airport in Papua is expected to return to its normal operation next week, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said here on Sunday (13/10/2019).

“Within less than a week, it (Wamena Airport) will return to normal. I think it’s safe now. I have received information from the (Papua) Police Chief and the Military Chief that the situation is conducive and (the airport) can return to normalcy,” Sumadi said after a meeting with regional heads of West Papua to discuss connectivity in the easternmost region of the country.

The minister would continue discussion with Papua’s regional leaders on late Sunday (13/10/2019).

Wamena Airport was temporarily shut down following the bloody riots in Wamena on September 23, to prevent the facility from any disturbance that might harmful to flight operation.

On average, 120 flights go through the airport, located in the popular Baliem Valley, every day.

Sumadi said, the ministry has conducted evaluation on the condition of the airport.

According to the minister, some regular flights have resumed operation. “Some have resumed operation but it is yet effective.” (aij)

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DIGITAL

INTERNET ACCES IN PAPUA FULLY NORMALIZED : MINISTER RUDIANTARA

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Minister of Communications and Informatics, Rudiantara.

Greatindonesia.co.id, Jakarta – Communications and Informatics Minister Rudiantara confirmed the complete normalization of internet access in Papua Province.

The Communication and Informatics Ministry had earlier restricted internet access in the provinces of Papua and West Papua from August-end to September to thwart the enormous spread of fake news and inflammatory content.

“It has been a long time (normal). I even forgot (when it was revoked). The data has been activated; everything is activated. Indeed, when riot occurs in Wamena, internet access was temporarily deactivated in Wamena, but thereafter, there was no more (blocking),” Rudiantara stated at the Vice President’s Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday (9/10/2019).

Speaking in connection with the distribution of hoax, Rudiantara admitted to not being aware of the exact data, though confirming that the figure had declined significantly.

Before Wamena, the Communication and Informatics Ministry also cut internet access in several areas in Papua and West Papua in August-end owing to demonstrations that had snowballed into riots.

“We see from the virtual world, how many URLs (uniform resource locators) expand hoaxes today. If the recycled hoaxes are still there, I have to check,” he explained.

The Communication and Informatics Ministry believes internet restrictions are a solution to curbing the proliferation of hoaxes and hate expressions.

The Communication and Informatics Ministry pointed out that the circulation of hoaxes in Papua had peaked on August 31, 2019, with such URLs reaching 42 thousand.

The Ministry of Communication and Informatics claimed that the number of such URLs had dropped to some one thousand on September 12, 2019, after internet access was blocked. (fsn)

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