US Ambassador Joseph Donovan met with Muhammadiyah leaders in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JG Photo/Diana Mariska)

US Ambassador Discusses Uighur and Papua Problems With Muhammadiyah Leaders


OCTOBER 15, 2019

Jakarta. The United States Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph Donovan met with leaders of Indonesia's second-largest Muslim organization Muhammadiyah in Jakarta on Tuesday to discuss various current issues, including the recent unrest in Papua and Indonesia's reaction to the repression of Uighur Muslims in China.

"We discussed many issues, including the cooperation between the US Embassy and Muhammadiyah in health and education. We also spoke about our successful partnerships in organizing media literacy workshops, anti-corruption campaigns and public health programs. We also discussed a number of international issues. I encouraged Muhammadiyah to continue to speak out against the repression of the Uighur minority in China," Donovan said after the meeting.

Abdul Mu'ti, the secretary general of Muhammadiyah, said they also discussed the unrest in Papua during the meeting.

"We told the ambassador our views on Papua. We said it is not a simple matter, very complex, and undoubtedly needs a comprehensive solution. Not just a political one, but also economic, social and cultural solutions," Abdul said.

"[Our chairman] Haedar Nashir told the ambassador of the measures Muhammadiyah has already taken in the economic, social and cultural sectors to improve the situation in Papua. The Muhammadiyah University in Papua and our Council of Community Empowerment have already launched initiatives to unite Papuan residents of all religions and races," he said.

"The political solution we believe in for Papua is to re-evaluate its special autonomy law. We have to work out how we can unite people of different races in Papua. The government must guarantee racial integration in Papua and West Papua, instead of allowing racist sentiments and racial divisions to develop," Abdul said.

The ambassador had also planned to meet the leaders of Indonesia's biggest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), on Wednesday, but that meeting has been postponed until next week.