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Home » » Indonesian president brushes aside referendum option on Papua issue

Indonesian president brushes aside referendum option on Papua issue

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on June 30, 2012 | 2:48 AM

JAKARTA, June 30 (Xinhua) - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reiterated that he will not pursue dialogue with any party intending to push for a referendum or plebiscite in Papua, local media reported on Saturday. 

"We can engage in dialogue to achieve progress on development, people's welfare and justice. I constantly have dialogue with their leaders, but there is no room for discussion about a referendum or the like," the president said in front of around 1, 000 students from the Indonesian Military (TNI) Commando Institute and National Police Field Officers Institute at the TNI Army Officers Institute in Bandung, West Java, on Friday. 

Yudhoyono's statement was in response to a question from one of the students regarding the government's stance regarding the frequent human rights violations allegedly committed by military and police personnel in Papua. 

The president tasks carried out by the TNI and National Police in Papua and West Papua were part of overall efforts to uphold security and justice in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). 

"The duties of the National Police and the TNI in Papua are to maintain security, protect residents, combat crime and uphold the law as part of their state duties," he was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.
During the occasion, Yudhoyono denied the notion put forward by some foreign entities that the conflict in Papua was due to the stifling of freedom of speech. 

A referendum was held in Papua between March and August 1969 at the end of the Dutch era. The results claimed that the majority of Papuans freely chose to have Papua become part of Indonesia. The United Nations ratified the results of the referendum.

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