Activist Veronica Koman Ordered to Return Entire Scholarship Funds



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), a scholarship program managed by the Finance Ministry, has demanded human rights lawyer Veronica Koman to return the scholarship funds she obtained from the program that amounts to Rp773.8 million. 

    The LPDP president director, Rionald Silaban, confirmed the information to Tempo on Tuesday, August 11. “That is correct, LPDP has asked Veronica Koman Liau to return the entire scholarship funds we have granted.”

    According to Rionald, the LPDP scholarship contract requires recipients who study abroad to return to Indonesia after they had completed their studies. He claimed that LPDP, through numerous methods, attempted to summon Veronica Koman upon this specific requirement. 

    “The person had refused to return to Indonesia,” said Rionald. 

    However, Veronica denied she had ignored the rule and in a written statement mentioned that she had returned to Indonesia in September of 2018 after completing her Masters of Laws at the Australian National University. 

    Rionald Silaban did not answer Tempo’s question regarding Veronica’s confirmation. 

    In October of 2018, Veronica Koman claimed to have conducted a human rights advocacy and served at the Human Rights Advocates Association for Papua (PAHAM Papua) based in Jayapura. She continued to venture into an advocacy mission at the United Nations in Switzerland in March 2019 before returning to Indonesia again. 

    “While in Australia in August of 2019, I was summoned by the Indonesian police and my name was then included in their most-wanted list (DPO) in September of 2019,” said Veronica who was subjected to death and rape threats during the time as she voiced against the narrative echoed by authorities in August - September of 2019. 

    Read: Veronica Koman Hands Data on Papuan Victims to Jokowi