The district administration had never asked them to leave their universities in the aftermath of the alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16, Jayawijaya District Head, Jhon Richard Banua, said in Wamena on Monday.
“If the Papuan People’s Council (MRP) has urged the students to return home, the MRP must be held accountable because we, in the district administration, have not issued any letter asking them to come back to Jayawijaya,” he said.
According to Banua, several students of Jayawijaya District currently studying at various reputable universities in provinces outside Papua and West Papua have returned home.
A majority of the returnees are studying in Manado, North Sulawesi Province. They are now in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, and Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, he said.
Among the returnees include those from Makassar (South Sulawesi), Jakarta, and Surabaya (East Java), who were requested by their parents to return home, he said, adding that 26 native Papuan students in Makassar are also keen to return to Wemana.
“I told them about the current situation in Papua Province, and they have finally decided to continue their studies in Makassar,” he said.
The central government has actually guaranteed their safety and security in the cities where they reside while pursuing their studies at the local universities, Senandi said.
An exodus of native Papuan students currently studying in various reputable universities outside Papua and West Papua has become a problem that both the regional governments in Papua and West Papua Provinces and central government should resolve.
Some 700 native Papuan students recently returned home despite the guarantees by every provincial police chief regarding the safety and security of all indigenous Papuan students currently studying outside their hometowns.
In response to the exodus of some 700 native Papuan students, the central government has encouraged them to return to the cities or towns where they are studying.
The Indonesian military commander has even kept two units of Hercules C-130 aircraft on standby for transporting the returnees from Papua and West Papua to the provinces where they are studying.
The exodus has ended, and the government is keen to send them back to their universities, according to Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Wiranto.
Educating the indigenous Papuan students at various prestigious universities outside their homeland is important because they will receive good quality higher education and make friends with their peers from different socio-cultural backgrounds.
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