“We have received information on the TNI commander’s plan to get back to Jayapura,” spokesman of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Lt Col Eko Daryanto stated here on Monday.
Briefly following his arrival at Sentani airport, Tjahjanto will meet with the military’s top brass and the Papua police chief at the headquarters of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command to obtain information on the recent condition.
On Wednesday, before boarding his flight for Wamena in Jayawijaya District and Timika in Mimika District to hold meetings with community leaders and related stakeholders, Air Chief Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto is planned to witness the TNI soldiers’ parachute jump training, he remarked.
Tjahjanto has embarked of several visits to the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua after public fury among native Papuans, fueled by alleged racist slurs against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, erupted in several places.
On August 27, he and National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian held a dialog with several representatives of Papuan customary communities in Biak Numfor District.
The dialogue, aimed at gaining a clear insight into the aspirations of local community leaders, took place five days after native Papuans in the provinces of Papua and West Papua staged a series of rallies to protest the Surabaya incident.
The Surabaya incident has agitated native Papuans within and outside the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
On August 19, several thousand people in Manokwari, West Papua Province, and Jayapura, Papua Province, had also vociferously protested over this alleged racist action.
A local parliamentary building in Manokwari was set ablaze during the demonstration. The rioters also set fire to tires in several parts of the city and the main streets.
The violence and fury reignited on August 29, with the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura, the capital city of Papua, again staging protests, expressing their rage over the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then took a violent turn.
The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The office of ANTARA, Indonesia’s national news agency, in the city was also intentionally damaged by the demonstrators.
On August 28, a circle of violence also broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.
In response to this spate of violence, a legislator of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) faction appealed to law enforcement agencies in the provinces of Papua and West Papua to impose stern sanctions against the rioters.
“The suspects are subject to legal sanctions,” Komarudin Watubun, a member of parliament and special envoy of PDIP leader Megawati Soekarnoputri, stated before leaving Biak Numfor District for Jayapura on Monday.(ANT).