Indonesia condemns Papua flag at Australia consulate

Break in occurs at consulate days after discovery of 'insulting' literature at Australian military academy

Indonesia condemns Papua flag at Australia consulate

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Indonesia has condemned the raising of a pro-West Papua independence flag at its consulate general office in Melbourne, Australia, asking its neighbor Saturday to be more protective of foreign missions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said that a suspect had raised The Morning Star (bintang Kejora) flag at around 12.52 p.m. (0552GMT) Friday while most of the office staff were at Friday prayer.

"The Indonesian government had conveyed a protest to the Australian government and demanded the perpetrators be arrested and punished strictly according to applicable law," quoted him as saying in a statement.

"The government of Indonesia requests the Australian government ensure and enhance the protection of all diplomatic and consular properties."

Two people are reported to have broken into the consulate by scaling a 2.5-meter high wall from an adjoining apartment building complex.

Indonesia is currently battling a separatist movement from the remote West Papua region.

The incident comes as Canberra and Jakarta seek to repair differences following the discovery of teaching materials at an Australian military academy.

An Indonesian special guard instructor visiting a training facility in Perth, Australia, is reported to have seen laminated “material” considered insulting toward Indonesia’s national principle of “Pancasila” -- under which the country’s diverse ethnicities and religions are unified.

Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has said that the materials also suggested support for Papuan independence.

Indonesia subsequently froze its defense cooperation with Australia.

Nasir said Saturday that Indonesia was particularly concerned about the razing of the flag given the recent problems.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ocak 2017, 16:03