Papua Legislator Urges Police to Take Action over Church Burning in Aceh

Jayapura, Jubi – The Chairwoman of Commission V of the Papua Legislative Council, Yakoba Lokbere, urged the Police to take stern action over the burning of the Church GKPPD Mandumpang Resort Keras, Suro Sub-district, Aceh Singkil Regency, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province on Tuesday (13/10/2015).

Lokbere stated the incident shouldn’t be happened in Indonesia, which engaged with Pancasila (State’s Philosophy), particularly the first principle and the slogan Bhineka Tunggal Ika (Unite in Diversity).
“We must uphold the mutual respect among the interfaith community. So why should our Christian brothers in Aceh become the victims to see their church was burned by some irresponsible people?” Lokbere told Jubi in Jayapura City on Wednesday (14/10/2015).

Further, she said the Indonesian Constitution clearly says that citizens have the right to have religion according to their faith. The burning of the house of worship is certainly violating the Indonesian Law.  “I remind people for not giving a negative respect on Tolikara case, because it had been settled very well. All religious leaders have also agreed to solve this case with the kinship of the Muslim and Christian communities,” she said.

She added she is very concern about the incident happened in Aceh. Thus, she expected the Police would take a prompt action to immediately arrest the perpetrators and prosecute them in accordance to the Law. According to her, both regions (Papua and Aceh) are the regions with the Special Autonomy Law, which should be maintained without hurting the people who live there.
“I appeal to the people of Papua not to be provoked by this case. Let the Police to handle this. Do not only point at Tolikara but the similar case happened at Singkil must also get the same attention. The Police should observe this case smartly,” she said.

As reported by merdeka.com, the Indonesian Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti explained about the chronology of mass dispute in Gunung Meriah Sub-district, Aceh Singkil Region. He said the incident which caused the burning of the church and killed two residents and wounded four people as well was triggered by the demolition of houses of worships that considered have no permit.
“It connected with the case of 21 churches that have no construction permit, so the local youngsters were intended to discipline it,” Badrodin said at his official resident in Jakarta on Tuesday (13/10/2015).

Before it’s executed, Haiti said the local government and religious leaders agreed the demolition would be conducted after 19 October 2014. But, some local residents have taken prompt action by burning out a church. “It seems local residents didn’t admit acknowledge those who represent them at the meeting,” he said. (Roy Ratumakin/rom)