Jayapura, Jubi – A visit by Coordinating Minister for Security, Legal and Political Affairs Luhut Panjaitan to Fiji ostensibly to deliver the Indonesian government’s aid to Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama should be seen as an attempt to influence the Pacific nation on the issue of Papua.
“It is the same minister who once asked Papuans to go out of their own land and to stay in Melanesia,” the Secretary General of PCC the Rev. Francois Pihaatae told Jubi by phone from Suva, Fiji.
Luhut B. Panjaitan said he came to Fiji to deliver aid worth US$5 billion, but Pihaatae said this visit, like or dislike, must be noted as political.
“This minister is very articulated towards Papuan activists who fight for self-determination. Earlier, he also acknowledged that Indonesian relationship with Pacific countries was less warmed. Only Fiji and Papua New Guinea have good relation with Indonesia,” added Pihaatae.
He hoped there is no requirement behind the Indonesian aid. Further Pihaatae who domiciled in Fiji admitted currently Fiji needs supports but it must be ensured the aid is free of political purpose or any conditions.
“That’s what we called the humanity aid. We hope, whatever have been discussed between Fiji and Indonesia would not be affected by the aid,” he said.
Fiji, according to him, has made clear on this matter to Australia and New Zealand, which have become ‘enemies’ of Fiji in Pacific.
“It is must be applied to anyone who want to help Fiji,” said Pihaatae.
Earlier, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Human Rights Affairs, though acknowledged the relation between Indonesia and Pacific countries was not so close, but he said his visit to Fiji and Papua New Guinea had no connection with the strengthening of Indonesian position in Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) or Papua issues in the Pacific.
He also denied his visit to respond the failure done by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in treating the Papua issues in the Pacific. “No, it’s not connected. I always consult with her (Minister of Foreign Affairs),” the Minister Luhut answering reporters.
“That’s only because I am here (in Jayapura), so I will go directly there (to Fiji) because there was hurricane and other things,” he added. (Victor Mambor/rom)