Papuan leader of old Nicolaas Jouwe met with minister Aburizal Bakrie PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
Geschreven door PRESS RELEASE Jakarta   
vrijdag 20 maart 2009 20:35

Nicolaas Jouwe has met up with coordinating minister Abourizal Bakrie this morning.
The meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere and lasted about 45 minutes. There was genuine respect on both sides of the table. Jouwe had not come to surrender his ideal of independence, as some news reports stated earlier, but stressed the importance of a constructive dialogue between Papuan leaders and Jakarta.

The meeting began with minister Aburizal Bakrie expressing his gratitude for Nicolaas Jouwe’s willingness to come to Jakarta. Bapak Bakrie said he was glad to be able to welcome him in Indonesia. The Papuan leader, who has been living in Holland for the last 47 years replied that he was pleased and thankfull to be here. In the press conference that was held afterwards, bapak Jouwe said: “If president Soeharto or other presidents had invited me, I wouldn’t have come. But this president is a wise man, that’s why I gladly accepted the invitation.”

During the meeting earlier minister Bakrie explained to mister Jouwe the Indonesian objective to further develop Papua. He pointed out Indonesia’s 5 programs that spearhead the developmental process: health, education, food, infrastructure and affirmative action. Also the minister pointed out that no small amount is being spent on the programs. But, he made clear: more funds are going into Papua than are coming out and some of it is simply disappearing.
Nicolaas Jouwe thanked him for the efforts being undertaken. Jouwe then stressed the importance of a constructive dialogue in making the Indonesian efforts work effectively and finding a way together in overcoming Papua’s many problems. Jouwe spoke of two peoples living next to each other and working closely together.

After the meeting a press conference was held in an overcrowded press-room. Many journalists (mostly Indonesian but also Dutch) had come because media reports the day before stated that the Papuan leader of old had come to surrender his ideal of independence. This, however, was not the case. As a gesture to his host, Nicolaas Jouwe had left his pin with the Morning Star flag, which he designed in 1961, at the hotel. With that same pin on his jacket he had arrived at the airport, two days earlier. When presented a pin with the Indonesian flag, Jouwe was asked to put this one at the now empty spot on his jacket. Nicolaas Jouwe kindly but firmly refused to do so. “That will not happen this day”, he said. After that the press conference was called to an abrupt end, leaving many of the Indonesian journalists somewhat bewildered.
trip to Indonesia and Papua can be followed on Twitter (NicoJouwe).