Indonesian government has arrested 34 people during the four days' riot in Papua and West Papua - Photo by VOA Indonesia

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian House of Representatives will invite the government for a hearing to discuss the situation in Papua Island, local media reported today (09/3). The hearing will be organized Monday, September 9, to understand the measures taken by the government after the riots erupted in Papua and the rehabilitation plans for public facilities damaged by the protesters.

“We will invite Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces, the Minister of Defense, among others, for a hearing to discuss the situation in Papua Island on September 9,” said Darizal Basir, member of the Commission I to Antara.

The lawmakers will also question the stance of the President Joko Widodo administration concerning the hoisting of morning star flags in front of the State Palace in Jakarta recently.

“We are very concerned with the two happenings. We push the government to play an active role in dealing with the problems,” he said while urged the government to act firmly against any foreigners involved in the incident.

Earlier, the Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Wiranto, the National Police Chief Tito Karnavian, and the Chief of Presidential Staff Moeldoko referred to the involvement of foreigners in the incident in Papua.

In a press conference on Monday, Wiranto has officially announced that it will curb the access of foreign nationals to Papua and West Papua following the recent findings suggesting a foreign intervention in the massive demonstrations across the regions in the past several days.

“During a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, we agreed not to open the access for foreign nationals as wide as possible in Papua and West Papua,” he said.

The minister said that transparent and non-restrictive access would be regranted after the government quelled “several elements” that had exacerbated the situation in Papua.

The retired general also alleged that Papuan separatist leader Benny Wenda was the mastermind behind the riots in Papua and West Papua. He thus called on the government to fight back against the separatist’s instigations by revealing the facts behind the widespread Papua unrest.

Wiranto also accused Wenda of spreading false narratives overseas by suggesting that the Indonesian government failed to pay attention to West Papua and Papua as a whole.

“I think it is true that Benny Wenda took part in the conspiracy,” he said referring to Moeldoko statement earlier who accused Wenda of orchestrating the Papua unrest.

“He talks as if we have abandoned Papuans and violated human rights on a daily basis, such as torture and murders, but all of that is impossible to take place,” he adds.

Earlier, Karnavian acknowledged there were a number of mass-organizations participating in the widespread anarchy across Papua and West Papua. These organizations, he said, were directly linked to foreign intervention, mainly global organizations.

The police chief’s allegations were rooted in the findings of National Cyber and Encryption Agency Chief Hinsa Siburian, who claimed there was a social media account backed by foreign parties that intentionally spread false narratives regarding Papua’s conditions.

Four Australian nationals have been deported after participating in a protest held at Sorong City Mayor’s Office on August 27, where protesters demanded the independence of Papua.

The deportation of the four Australians was immediately conducted on Monday morning at 07:00 local time, September 2, at the Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong, Papua. Those deported are Baxter Tom, Davidson Cheryl Melinda, Hellyer Danielle Joy, and Cobbold Ruth Irene.

Meanwhile, the West Papua Police arrested 20 suspects for torching and vandalizing buildings as well as looting properties during the violent protests against the recent Surabaya incident in Manokwari, Sorong, and Fakfak from August 19 to 21, 2019.

Police investigators continued their search for other suspected rioters in the three cities, Spokesman of the West Papua Police headquarters Adjunct Senior Commissioner Mathias Krey informed journalists in Manokwari Monday.

“The number of suspects may increase. The police investigators continue to work on this case in Manokwari, Sorong, and Fakfak,” Krey remarked, adding that 10 of the 20 suspects were allegedly involved in the Manokwari rioting August 19.

Seven other suspects were arrested in Sorong for alleged acts of violence there, while three others were allegedly involved in a violent protest in Fakfak, Krey noted.

On August 19, several thousand people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, were protesting the alleged racist action against Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, East Java when violence erupted.

During the rally in Manokwari, a local parliamentary building was set ablaze. The rioters also torched tires in several parts of the city and main streets.

However, the chief security minister Wiranto confirmed that normalcy was restored in Manokwari. He also ordered the police chiefs of Papua and West Papua to adopt security measures and avoid the use of excessive force.

Wiranto also said the police notices ban further demonstrations and spreading separatism after more than two weeks of mass demonstrations across the region. Since unrest broke out last month, dozens have been arrested in several Papuan cities and at least 10 people have been killed.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com