The hearing was only attended by three Congress people.
The Indonesian Ambassador to the US, Dino Patti Djalal, said he was not too concerned about the hearing on Papua issues in the congress, because the hearing was only attended by three Congress people. According to Dino, the US government should not change its stance.
“In this matter, there are more friends of Indonesia than critics in Congress,” Dino said at a press conference with Vice President Boediono in New York (23/9).
The Ambassador also wrote to Eni Faleomavaega, a member of the US Congress, who is the initiator of the hearing. Dino wrote the letter one day before the hearing on September 22. He mentioned in his letter that in terms of de facto and de jure, Indonesia’s regional unity, covering Papua, has been acknowledged by the entire United Nations.
Dino also said that democratization in Papua is now taking place, which can be seen from the local and regional legislative and chief executive elections. As for the issues on human rights violation in Papua, Dino said there had been an increase in people respecting human rights.
Eni Faleomavaega, representing Samoa, has given great focus on the Papua issue. At the hearing, a number of civil society organizations were also present, like the Human Right Watch and the West Papua Action Network.
Faleomavaega accused the Indonesian government of carrying out genocide against the Papuans. “It is an undeniable fact that Indonesia has systematically committed a humanitarian crime and has not taken responsibility for it,” he said.
Robert Scher, the US Defense Ministry’s Deputy Assistant who was present at the hearing believed the alleged human right violation in Papua is very serious. “But we cannot see evidence to support the fact that the incident was part of a systematic campaign by Indonesia,” Scher said.
Meanwhile, Joseph Yun, the US Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Assistant for Southeast Asian Affairs, said the US is against separatism in Papua, but supports a better autonomy.