4) 'Boat Diplomacy' May Worsen Indonesia-Australia Relation
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia regrets Canberra's rejection of boat people seeking asylum on Australian shores. Marshall Agus R. Barnas, Deputy Minister for the Coordination of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, said that according to the 1951 United Nations Immigration Convention on Asylum Seekers, the destination country must accept the refugees.
He said the Australian government could later hand over the matter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR).
"It seems Australia [is trying] to get rid of illegal immigrants. It’s unethical," Agus said yesterday.
According to Agus, this "boat diplomacy" could worsen relations between Indonesia and Australia. But Agus said his Ministry will not comment on Australia's attitude, saying that the Foreign Ministry was the one which should represent Indonesia's stand on the issue.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin stated that the Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) will increase its patrols and security at borders areas, especially on the waters off southern Java. This was a response to the Australian military's turning back the refugee boats to Indonesia.
"On normal days, there is one patrol shift, sometime two," he said yesterday.
INDRA WIJAYA | TRI ARTINING P | FRANSISCO R
5) Jayawijaya Residents Threaten to Boycott Election, Occupy KPU Papua Office
Jayapura, 4/2 (Jubi) – Residents in Jayawijaya Regency have threatened to boycott the upcoming elections and occupy the office of the General Election Commission (KPU) in Papua Province unless their demand for the replacement of three Regional Election Commission (KPUD) members in Jayawijaya Regency is met, a councillor said.
The Chairman of Commission A of People’s Representative Council in Jayawijaya Regency, Amos Kenelak, said the residents voiced their demand during a protest at the local House of Representatives on Monday (3/2).
“We received thousands of people from 332 villages and 40 sub-districts in Jayawijaya yesterday. They demanded that KPU Papua replace three members of KPUD Jayawijaya who passed the selection process because, out of five selected members — one of which is a woman — there is only one Baliem native,” Kanelak said after a meeting with the Chairman of Papuan People’s Representative Council on Tuesday (4/5).
He said the protestors wanted the three members to be replaced by Baliem natives.
They are not opposed to the female member, despite not being a Baliem native, because no Jayawijaya women took part in the last test, the councillor said.
He added that in the spirit of Special Autonomy, the residents are demanding their rights to representation because even though four Jayawijaya natives made it to the top ten, only one was picked to be a KPUD member.
Antor Matuan, the chairman of the Sub-district Heads Association of Jayawijaya District, confirmed the threat to boycott and occupy the provincial KPU.
“Unless the provincial KPU reviews the appointments, Jayawijaya residents will boycott the elections, both legislative and presidential elections. Since yesterday, people have blocked the KPUD Jayawijaya office. Today we will meet the KPU Papua but currently they are in Jakarta,” he said.
“People do not accept the decision by KPU Papua. Jayawijaya is the parent of eight districts resulting from adminstrative divisions in the Highlands area and it is not because there are not capable people” he said.
He he said the KPUD selection results were a slap in the face of Jayawijaya people and that he would not leave until this issue was resolved.
“We do not want any social conflict. If the KPU Papua remains defiant, we will boycott the elections and occupy the KPU Papua Office. Currently they are not yet sworn-in, so that changes are still possible,” he said.(Jubi/Arjuna/rom)