THE Indonesian Government has sent a note of protest to the Government of Vanuatu for smuggling Papuan separatist Benny Wenda into the South Pacific nation`s delegation while meeting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet Jeria.
The note of protest was sent because Vanuatu was considered not respecting the Indonesian sovereignty by supporting the Papua separatist movement, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Thursday.
“The reason for protest is because an international basic principle has been violated (by Vanuatu). We affirm that we will not back off when it concerns the country`s sovereignty,” Marsudi told the press following a hearing with the House of Representatives (DPR).
He said the Vanuatu Government had no good intention by smuggling Wenda in its delegation while meeting with the UN High Commissioner.
The minister stated that Wenda used patterns of manipulative means and fake news.
Hasan Kleib, Indonesian Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, in a press statement slammed Vanuatu for deceiving Jeria.
“Indonesia strongly condemns Vanuatu`s action, which deliberately deceived the High Commissioner by taking manipulative steps through the infiltration of Wenda into the Vanuatu delegation,” Kleib remarked.
Wenda presented to Jeria a petition demanding an independence referendum of Indonesia`s easternmost province of Papua.
The meeting was actually on Universal Periodic Review (UPR). It was unrelated to the petition and had not been arranged by the UN.
“During this meeting, Wenda presented the high commissioner with a petition. This was not actually a meeting arranged with Wenda for that purpose,” said Ravina Shamdasani, deputy spokeswoman at the UN Human Rights Office, as quoted by the foreign media.
Jeria was not aware in advance, she added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Parliament`s Commission I Satya Widya Yudha condemned Vanuatu for smuggling Wenda into its delegation.
“That shows that Vanuatu has disrespected Indonesia,” Yudha said.