New York, (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian House of
Representatives (DPR)`s Commission I delegation
visiting the US, called on US congressmen to help
correct understanding on Papua issue as some
Congressmen still considered the issue problematic.
Theo L Sambuaga, who led the Commission I
delegation, made the request in the meetings with
their counterparts in the US Congress, when
visiting Washington DC, from September 22 to 25, 2008.
“We ask them to help correct view of other US
congressmen who still have negative opinion on
Papua,” Theo Sambuaga told ANTARA in New York, on
Friday evening in a meeting with the Indonesian community in New York.
In Washington DC, the Commission I delegation had
met with a number of Senators and Congressmen
both from the Republic and Democrat.
“Many of them (members of the US Congress) have
actually shared the same understanding, that the
situation in Papua has been conducive,” he said.
Accompanied by Indonesian Ambassador to the US
Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, the Indonesian
legislators held meetings among others with
Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), Senator Kit
Bond (R-Missouri), Representative Dan Burton
(R-Indiana) – who is concurrently Co-Chair of the
Indonesian Congressional Caucus in the US
Congress, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan), Rep.
Michael Conway (R-Texas) and Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa).
In the meetings with the US senators and
representatives, the visiting Indonesian
legislators also discussed about a letter signed
by 40 members of the US Congress asking President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to free two Papua separatists currently being jailed.
The Indonesian Parliament considered the letter
as an intervention of the US Congress in Indonesian internal issue.
“Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to meet
US congressmen signing the letter. However, at
least we asked the help of other members of the
US Congress to correct the view on the Papua issue,” Theo Sambuaga said.
The DPR delegation included Marzuki Darusman,
Djoko Susilo, Yorrys Raweyai, Marcus Silano, Andi
Jamaro Dulung, Pupung Suharis Soegito, Suryama
Majana Sastra, and Abdullah Afifuddin Thaib.
The delegation also held meetings with some US
officials such as Deputy Secretary of Defense
Gordon England, Deputy Assistant Secretary for
ASEAN Scot Marciel, and Senior Director for Asia
Affairs at the National Security Council Denis Wilder.
They also visited several think-tank institutes
such as The Brookings Institute, The Heritage
Foundation, The US-Indonesia Community Group
(USINDO), the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS), and the National Defense University (NDU).(*)