BEM UI Responds to Jokowi's Plan to Send Students to Papua  

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  • Hundreds of students with the University of Indonesia's Student Executive Body (BEM UI) launched a protest in front of the State Palace on October 28, 2016, to commemorate the Youth Pledge Day and highlight President Jokowi's performance. TEMPO/Imam Sukamto.

    Hundreds of students with the University of Indonesia's Student Executive Body (BEM UI) launched a protest in front of the State Palace on October 28, 2016, to commemorate the Youth Pledge Day and highlight President Jokowi's performance. TEMPO/Imam Sukamto.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo or Jokowi announced his plan to send the University of Indonesia’s students to Asmat Regency, Papua, following a theatrical protest several days ago. During the protest, University of Indonesia’s Student Executive Board (BEM UI) president Zaadit Taqwa handed the President a yellow card to express a protest against the government’s method of handling a humanitarian tragedy in Asmat, Papua.

    “Before Jokowi suggested that, BEM UI already devised a plan to take concrete actions to help our brothers and sisters in Papua,” said BEM UI vice president Idmand Perdina during a press conference on Sunday, February 4.

    Read: TNI Personnel Sent to Papua to Help Fight Health Crisis

    Idmand explained that his organization had already planned to raise funds to assist Asmat residents before President Jokowi invited BEM UI members to Papua.

    Earlier, President Jokowi attended the 68th Dies Natalis of the University of Indonesia in Depok on Friday, February 2. When President Jokowi was at the podium, a student blew a whistle while holding a yellow card. The president’s security service quickly escorted the student away from the event.

    Read: Measles Outbreak, 39 Health Professionals Dispatched to Papua

    The student was identified as M. Zaadit Taqwa, an eighth-semester student from the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty of UI. During the protest, Zaadit was only able to shout several sentences before he was escorted out of the event area.

    “I would like to convey three matters that the president needs to take notice,” said Zaadit.

    The BEM UI president intended to highlight the malnutrition problem faced by Asmat tribe in Papua.

    M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH