TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo immediately addressed the public unrest that happened in Manokwari, Papua, earlier today and called on Indonesians to stay composed and avert anarchy.
“I ask everyone to stay calm and refrain from anarchy. Be forgiving to each other, we are all brothers and sisters and fellow countrymen,” said the president to Tempo on Monday, August 19.
The president asserted that anarchy would only lead to widespread despair after he was briefed by National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian on the condition in Manokwari.
Earlier today, public unrest broke out following an incident in Surabaya during the country’s Independence Day on August 17 where a dormitory filled with Papuan university students was raided by mass organizations and authorities following alleged flag mistreatment by some of the students.
Rumors were rife that the students were ousted from the region and became victims of violence, which eventually sparked rage among fellow Papuans in Manokwari.
“We must keep our composure and not be anarchic. It is our loss if we ruin public facilities,” said President Jokowi.