Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1) Protocol and Papua Set to Cloud SBY’s London Visit

1) Protocol and Papua Set to Cloud SBY’s London Visit

2) Perpetrators behind attacks in Papua, Sulawesi hunted down

1) Protocol and Papua Set to Cloud SBY’s London Visit
Arientha Primanita &Markus Junianto Sihaloho | October 31, 2012
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono left for Britain on Tuesday for a state visit, packing two issues that could embarrass him at home and abroad. 

Minutes after taking off from Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in East Jakarta, lawmakers and politicians demanded the president not kneel in front of Queen Elizabeth II when receiving his honorary knighthood today. 

The president is set to receive the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath medal. 

Dradjat Wibowo, deputy chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN), which is part of Yudhoyono’s coalition, said that as a president and head of state, Yudhoyono must not kneel in front of another head of state. 

“We haven’t heard about how the ceremony will be conducted but for the sake of the nation’s honor, there should not be any kneeling and dubbing,” he said. 

Dradjat said that Ronald Reagan did not kneel when he received the medal in 1989, even as a former president of the United States. 

Eva Kusuma Sundari, a lawmaker from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), supported Dradjat, saying that Yudhoyono must consider the nation’s sovereignty and image when he receives the medal. She also highlighted the political backlash Yudhoyono might receive in Indonesia. 

The other issue clouding the trip is last month’s announcement made by the Britain-based Papua independence group, Free West Papua Campaign. 

The group offered a reward of 50,000 British pounds ($80,000) to anyone who places Yudhoyono under “citizen’s arrest” during his visit to Britain. 

The group accuses Yudhoyono of human rights offenses in his handling of the restive Papua provinces. 

The announcement suggests that Yudhoyono will be met with a demonstration by Papuans living in London, the center for the Papuan independent movement. 

Shortly after the group made its announcement, the British government guaranteed the safety of Yudhoyono during his visit. Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said that the announcement created “discomfort.” 

“We’ve got the assurance from the police in Great Britain that they won’t let anything happen, and that [the president’s security] will be fully guaranteed,” Julian said. 

“The British government and especially the queen have invited the president [to come] because he is known to be a figure who has played a significant role in advancing democracy in Indonesia,” Julian said. “To be honest, this is uncomfortable for us. The reward offer to arrest the president is considered an insult to a state symbol, especially because it is made by a group of people who probably have certain political interests.” 

Julian stated that the Indonesian government has yet to make a decision on whether it will take any action against the group in response to its reward offer. 

Yudhoyono has indicated that the visit was too important to be canceled over the issue. 

Just before taking off, the president told reporters that the relationship between Indonesia and Britain continues to flourish. 

“Bilateral trade between the two countries has reached nearly $3 billion,” Yudhoyono said. “During the third quarter, Britain was the second-largest investor in Indonesia after Singapore.” 

Yudhoyono is slated to be in London for three days. 

Besides attending several state events attended by Queen Elizabeth II while in London, Yudhoyono will also hold bilateral meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron, the Prince of Wales, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and opposition leader Ed Miliband. 

He is scheduled to fly to Laos on Saturday to attend the 9th summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). 

The president will be accompanied by his wife Ani and government officials. 

Yudhoyono and Cameron both serve as leaders of a United Nations committee planning international poverty relief.

2) Perpetrators behind attacks in Papua, Sulawesi hunted down

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