Rabu, 8 April 2020 | 18:23 WIB
Indonesia Condemns Oxford City Award for Benny Wenda
Sabtu, 20 Juli 2019 | 05:26 WIB

Skalanews - The Indonesian government strongly condemned the awarding of awards by the Oxford City Council, England, to Benny Wenda, a member of the separatist movement group West Papua.

"The awarding of this award shows the Oxford City Council's lack of understanding of the actions involved and the actual conditions of the Provinces of Papua and West Papua, including their development and progress," said a written statement released on the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on Thursday (18/7).

 In the statement it was stated that Indonesia's position on separatist groups would remain firm.  Indonesia will not retreat even an inch to enforce the NKRI.

Earlier, the Indonesian Embassy in London stated in its written statement that the Oxford Freedom of the City Award awarded to Benny Wenda on July 17, 2019, was given to the wrong person because the person was actually the actor and supporter of the use of violence in achieving his political goals.

The Indonesian Embassy in London questioned the basis for giving the award to the concerned person as a "peaceful campaigner for democracy" in the midst of the abundant evidence linking those concerned with various armed violence in Papua.

Furthermore, the Indonesian Embassy in London stated that the award would actually give legitimacy to the person and his group to continue to increase the actions of armed violence against civilians and government officials tasked with maintaining the sustainability of economic, social and cultural development in Papua.

Therefore, giving awards to people who have criminal records through armed separatist movements shows the lack of understanding of the Oxford City Council on the actions involved during this time and the progress of the actual development of the Provinces of Papua and West Papua.

With this action, the Oxford City Council again hurt the feelings of the Indonesian people.

The award to Benny Wenda was a continuation of the Council's support for the Free Papua movement after giving permission for the opening of the Free West Papua Campaign office in Oxford in 2013.

Giving awards to these people also reduces the credibility of the city of Oxford as one of the leading education centers in the world.

The Indonesian Embassy in London was of the view that the awarding could hamper efforts to increase Indonesia-UK cooperation, especially with the City of Oxford, especially when the two countries were celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations.

However, the Indonesian government noted the assertive statement of the British government that fully supported the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia, and that the award from the Oxford City Council did not represent the position of the British government.

 "The Indonesian government respects the attitude of the United Kingdom which continues to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Indonesia, and acknowledges that Papua is an inseparable part of Indonesia," said the Indonesian Embassy in London. (Ant/Frida Astuti)

Index +