Subject: SBY won't reply to Congressional letter on Papua political prisoners
also US Congress no influence to RI in taking
action against OPM; US must respect RI over Papua:
RI rejects US congressmen`s request on two OPM sympathizers
Jakarta,(ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government will not meet the
request of a group of United States Congressmen to release two
convicted sympathizers of the outlawed separatist Free Papua
Organization (OPM), a spokesman said.
Presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal said here on Tuesday
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would not reply to the request made
in a letter signed by 40 US Congressmen.
"The president will not reply to the letter but the Foreign Affairs
Ministry will do so through the Indonesian ambassador in Washington
D.C.," Dino said.
According to the presidential spokesman, the US Congressmen lacked
balanced information about Indonesia and had been influenced by
anti-Indonesian groups in the US capital.
In their letter sent to President Yudhoyono late last month, the US
legislators asked for the "immediate and unconditional" release of Filep
Karma and Yusak Pakage who were sentenced to 15 years and 10 years
imprisonment respectively in May 2005 for hoisting the "Bintang Kejora"
(Morning Star) flag of OPM in Abepura, Papua, on December 1, 2004.
"We frequently receive letters from the US Congress which acts as if
it had the absolute authority to comment on issues in other countries,"
He said no country in the world was supporting the separatist
movement in Papua, while all UN members recognize the Unitary State of
the Indonesian Republic (NKRI) including Papua as part of the NKRI.
"Thus, politically we are in a strong position and therefore there is
no need to be overly concerned about the letter," Dion said.
The 40 US Congressmen in the letter urged President Yudhoyono to take
action to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Karma and
"We, the undersigned, members of the U.S. Congress, respectfully call
to your attention the cases of Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage who, in May
2005, were convicted and sentenced for their involvement in the
legitimate and peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression in
Abepura, Papua, on December 1, 2004," the US Congressmen said in their
US must respect RI over Papua: minister
Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has once again
asked the George Bush administration to respect the efforts made by
Jakarta to handle all issues in Papua province.
"We have always been trying to handle the issue of Papua within the
frame of democracy, including upholding the law in an independent way,
free from foreign influence," Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal
and Security Affairs Widodo Adi Sutjipto said here on Tuesday.
Speaking to the press after addressing a seminar on security strategy
prior to the 2009 general elections, he said the government fully left
the case of two symphatizers of outlawed separatist OPM (Free Papua
Organization) -- Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage-- to the independent
"The government never interferes in the law-enforcing agency that has
issued a binding verdict to the two people. So, please look at this
matter as a form of independent law enforcement within the frame of a
democratic state," Widodo said.
He said the government always abides by the principles of democracy
in handling the issue of Papua.
"We are trying to give the Papua government and people a greater role
in developing themselves to lead a better life in the future," he said.
Forty US Congressmen had sent a letter to President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono demanding the "immediate and unconditional" release of Karma
and Pakage who were sentenced to 15 years and 10 years in jail
respectively in May 2005 for hoisting the OPM`s "Bintang Kejora"
(Morning Star) flag in Abepura, Papua, on December 1, 2004.
Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda said in Bengkulu province at the
weekend he would soon answer the US Congressmen`s letter.
"We will answer the letter as soon as possible. In essence, we wiil
ask the US government to respect the legal decision in our country," he
US Congress no influence to RI in taking
action against OPM
Makassar, S Sulawesi, (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government will
always stick to its stand to take firm measures against two symphatizers
of the outlawed separatist OPM (Free Papua Organization) despite the US
Congress` request for their immediate and unconditional release.
"How many US Congressmen have expressed support for and concern about
(the OPM symphatizers). But the matter is not something unusual. We will
always push through the legal process and each country must respect
other nation`s legal process in the current era of democratic
transparency, which is free from other government`s influence or
intervention," Foreign Minister Hasan Wirajuda said here on Tuesday.
The minister said the US government has reiterated its support for
Indonesia`s integrity. Only a few US Congressmen have expressed support
for and concern about the OPM sympathizers.
On July 29, 40 US Congressmen sent a letter to President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono demanding the immediate and unconditional release of
Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage who were sentenced to 15 years and 10 years
in jail respectively in May 2005 for hoisting the OPM`s "Bintang Kejora"
(Morning Star) flag in Abepura, Papua, on December 1, 2004.(*)
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