Saturday, 22 February 2020

Papuan Chieftain Calls for Probe into Surabaya Incident



Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Lenis Kagoya. TEMPO/Egi Adyatama

    Lenis Kagoya. TEMPO/Egi Adyatama

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The leader of the Papuan Customary Community Organization, Lenis Kagoya, has called for a complete and thorough investigation into the case of racism and discrimination against Papuan university students in Surabaya.

    Lenis said the probe was necessary as the incidents had triggered a series of riots in Manokwari, West Papua, today .

    “The incidents in Malang, Surabaya, we must take matters into the realm of law. Who threw the stones, who threw the racial slurs, who ousted them, and who threw the [National] flag,” Lenis said in West Jakarta today.

    Lenis lamented that the incident happened in Surabaya and Malang, whereas non-Papuan residents had always been welcomed and treated fairly sans discrimination in Papua. He asserted that the racial slurs shouted during the incident on Saturday, August 17, severely offended Papuans but he asked the Papuan community to stay calm.

    “As a chieftain, I advise that the incident should not be exaggerated,” he assured.

    Lenis Kagoya also called on fellow Papuans not use the incident as a justification to ruin public facilities of Papua. “Go ahead and voice your aspirations. But don’t ever burn public facilities. That is just like burning your own home. This is truly regrettable and should not have happened,” Lenis said.

    The riot that broke out in Manokwari, Papua, was a direct retaliation to the incident in Surabaya on Saturday, August 17, where Papuan university students were accused of disgracing the national flag on Independence Day.