[Indonesia Report] Reward offered to those who arrest Indonesian President during his visit to Britain

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to visit United Kingdom in October. (Photo: www.rri.co.id)

The Free West Papua, pro-independence group campaigning for Wes Papua freedom, offered 50,000 British pound or about $81,000 reward to anyone who put Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, under “citizen’s arrest” during his visit to Britain that is scheduled for October 31 to November 2.

Indonesia Presidential House through its spokesperson, Julian Aldrin Pasha told Antara News Agency’s reporter on Wednesday that Indonesian government has not come to any conclusion to take any action against the Free West Papua organization in response to the reward offer, as Indonesian Mass Media, The Jakarta Globe, reported.

Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is scheduled to visit United Kingdom upon the invitation of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

“The British government and especially the British queen have invited the president [to come] because he is known to be a figure who has played a significant role in advancing democracy in Indonesia,” Julian said.

Julian said that this event cause “discomfort” for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the reward offers could be considered as an insult.

“To be honest, this is uncomfortable for us. … The reward offer to arrest the president is considered an insult to a state symbol, especially because it is made by a group of people who probably have certain political interests,” he added.

Responding to the Free West Papua challenge to arrest President SBY, British government declared a promise to guarantee SBY safety during his visit to United Kingdom.

HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Merdeka Palace on November 3, 2008 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo: www.zimbio.com)

“We’ve got an assurance from the police in Great Britain that they won’t let such a thing happen, and that [the president’s security] will be fully guaranteed by the British authorities,” Julian said on Wednesday in Jakarta.

Free West Papua accuses SBY of human rights offenses on his policy to handle the restive Papua province.

Free West Papua is a pro-independence group aiming to give the people of West Papua the freedom to choose their own destiny to be independent from Indonesia.

Free West Papua’s leader, Benny Wenda, West Papuan tribal leader and an international lobbyist for the independence of West Papua is now living in an exile since he has been granted political asylum in 2002 by British government following his escape from custody while on trial for allegedly leading a procession of people who made a violent attack in Abepura, Papua Province, torching two shops and killing a policeman, according to The Jakarta Post report in October 2002.

In 2011, the Indonesian Government issued an Interpol red notice seeking Wenda’s arrest and extradition.

Meidyana Rayana Intern Reporter news@theasian.asia

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