12 Nov 2009

Indonesian military indifferent to Papua concerns voiced by US Congressmen

4:28 pm on 12 November 2009

The Indonesian military has said it will not seek to influence President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's response to an open letter from two US congressmen regarding the apua region.

American Samoa's US congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, who is chairman of the subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the global environment, and Donald Payne, chairman of the subcommittee on Africa and global health, sent the letter on Monday.

They called on President Yudhoyono to create an internationally mediated commission to oversee a dialogue between the Indonesian government and Papuan leaders.

The Jakarta Globe quotes Indonesian Military spokesman Air Vice Marshall Sagom Tamboen as saying they will wait for the response from the president.

Sagom says Indonesia is a sovereign nation that will solve its internal problems in its own way, adding that the letter's suggestion of mediation is not urgent enough to be implemented.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian NGO Imparsial, which focuses on human rights and military issues, says a majority of Indonesian people want peace in Papua.