VP Jusuf Kalla: Papua Unrest is a Matter of Pride and Dignity



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vice President Jusuf Kalla shared his opinion on the conflict that recently caused massive public unrest in Papua and West Papua. He deemed the rallies occurred as a result of the discrimination and racially-motivated incident in Surabaya which had hurt the pride of the Papuans.

    “People surely yearn for a better life with improved infrastructure. But there are things that exceed those, which is the people’s pride,” said the vice president at his headquarters on Wednesday, September 4.

    The most damning harassment made against the people of Papua, he says, is when the Papuan students in Surabaya received discriminative treatments and were worsened by the racist slurs aimed at the young college students.

    VP Kalla argues that the formal apology by East Surabaya Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa should have helped cool down the situation, however, the massive protests that turned anarchic had spread across multiple areas in Papua.

    He then strongly reminds people to be extremely cautious upon issuing a statement, especially public ones. In terms of a solution, Vice President Jusuf Kalla mentioned the special autonomy granted upon Papua since the early 2000s that unfortunately has yet solved the region’s issues.