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
Nethy Dharma Somba and Ruslan Sangadji, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura/Palu | Archipelago | Wed, October 31 2012, 9:33 AM
Paper Edition | Page: 5
The Papua Police and Jayapura City Police confiscated 150 live bullets and arrested two people believed to be the owners of ammunition in Jayapura on Tuesday.
The ammunition was seized at boarding house in Abepura at around 6:30 a.m. Police brought four persons from the house to the Papua Police headquarters, but three of them were released. One individual, identified as ID, 23, was held for further questioning.
Police then arrested a man identified as RW at around 4 p.m. in Jayapura and immediately brought him to the Jayapura City Police headquarters.
Jayapura City Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Alfred Papare said both men were being questioned in order to determine why they had the ammunition and where they had obtained it.
The central government warned it would take all necessary measures to locate those responsible for the recent shootings in Papua.
The government said that its heavy-handed response to recent shootings in Papua should not be misconstrued as a human rights violation, and risks had to be taken in locating the perpetrators.
The government claimed to have been working hard to uphold peace in Papua, but said all of its efforts had been destroyed by unidentified shooters, who it was now working to bring to justice.
Meanwhile, members of a joint police and Indonesian Military (TNI) operation have also been on hunt for the perpetrators behind a series of attacks in Poso, a predominantly Christian regency in Central Sulawesi.
On Oct. 28, they found a homemade bomb ready to be detonated in Tamanjeka hamlet, Poso.
Poso Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Eko Santoso confirmed the finding on Tuesday. According to Eko, members of the Central Sulawesi Police’s bomb squad were able to defuse and dismantle the high-powered explosive. “I don’t know whether or not it was a mine. The team has taken it to the forensics lab for analysis. But the bomb was certainly ready to be detonated,” said Eko.
Not far from the location lies an area touted as the Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) headquarters, called Gunung Biru and Lembah Hitam.
No settlement is found there other than a mosque and a three-story school building called Darul Anshari Tauhid Islamic boarding school (pesantren). The second floor is used for teaching, while the third floor is the office of JAT, which is believed to be behind recent terror attacks in Poso.
Between 1997 and 2001, Poso was rocked by bloody sectarian clashes between Christians and Muslims that claimed at least 1,000 lives and displaced 25,000.
Central Sulawesi Police chief Brig. Gen. Dewa Parsana said on Tuesday that even though further special operations would be carried out in the next two days, the initial operation had already been completed.
“The operation has been carried out. We will be assisted by two companies from the Kelapa Dua Mobile Brigade [Brimob] in Jakarta. They will immediately join forces with those who are currently on standby,” said Dewa.