TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A total of 156 personnel from Indonesia’s Para Raider 330/Tri Dharma's Infantry Battalion joined a parachuting drill at Mozes Kilangin Airport in Timika, Papua Province, Friday morning. This parachuting drill has nothing to do with December 1 or the day the Free Papua Movement's (OPM's) anniversary is often commemorated, according to Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Air Chief Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto.
"This parachuting drill is routinely held in all parts of Indonesia," he told journalists after observing the drill by the paratroopers.
The TNI personnel always take part in this drill which was recently held in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, to improve the skills of those from the quick reaction force. Similar drills were conducted in Selaru, Morotai, and Timika in 2018.
On Friday, the participating paratroopers, who landed at the western side of the Mozes Kilangin Airport directly, wore Santa Claus hats. They also brought Christmas gifts to be distributed to several thousands of residents gathered there to watch them in action.
This drill was aimed at entertaining the residents of Timika and its outskirts so that the TNI personnel became friendlier with the native Papuan community members, TNI Commander Air Chief Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto said.
"The TNI and National Police personnel remain committed to maintaining security on the land of Papua, especially at the time when the people are preparing to celebrate this year's Christmas and 2020 New Year's Eve," he said.
Meanwhile, regarding the commemoration of the OPM's anniversary on December 1, Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)-Jayapura Chapter KH Abdul Kahar Yelipele has called on all Papuans across the province to maintain peace.
"Let us all, brothers and sisters, maintain peace and security in Papua. I appeal to all of us to ensure that there will be no movements that may potentially trigger a division between us," Yelipele said recently.
He urged all members of the Papuan communities in Jayapura and other parts of Papua to exercise self-restraint and not get provoked by those wanting to harm the brotherhood and peace among the people.
Therefore, unnecessary movements ahead of early December were not needed. Instead, December 1 would be a time to prepare for a peaceful and tranquil Christmas.
To this end, all elements of the society are expected to support their Christian brothers and sisters. Therefore, Papuan millennials also need to be wise in responding to issues or calls to run amok.
"I call on all members of the younger generation to avoid any event that opposes the legitimate government on December 1. Let us safeguard Papua. Papua is part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI)," he said.