9 May 2013

Indonesian Foreign Minister over-reacted over Papuan UK office, says researcher

3:24 pm on 9 May 2013

An Indonesian researcher specialising in West Papua says the Foreign Ministry has over-reacted to the opening of a West Papuan office in the British city of Oxford.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has expressed outrage about the office, saying it's at odds with the friendship between his country and the UK.

He says he can't understand why the British government is unwilling to take steps against the Free West Papua office as his Ministry requested.

Muridan Widjojo from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences says the reaction suggests a misunderstanding on the Minister's part.

"It has nothing to do with the British government. It is democracy. It's part of freedom of expression of the civil society groups and I think that in general the Indonesian government understands that principle. But in the case of Papua, the government of Indonesia tends to be over-sensitive."

Muridan Widjojo