President Jokowi to Launch a Grand Rice Harvest in Merauke

JAYAPURA CITY - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is scheduled to launch a grand rice harvest on 300 hectares of paddy fields in Merauke, Papua, on May 9.

"The President will carry out the grand harvest in the Wapeko kampong, Kurik district, in Merauke regency, where the paddy fields are managed by newcomers resettling there," Regiment 174/AWT Commander Brig. Gen. Supartodi said in Jayapura on Tuesday.

Amid the launch of the grand harvest, Jokowi is also scheduled to dialogue with local farmers and hand over agricultural equipment packages to them. "Due to the tight schedule, in which it will take an hour and a half to get to the harvest site from Merauke, the President will possibly stay overnight," Supartodi said.

On this, his second, visit to Papua the President is also scheduled to inaugurate several development projects. The projects include a fiber optic facility belonging to state telecommunications firm PT Telkom, the IPDN Papua campus, a sports venues for the PON 2020 event when Papua will be the host province and the Halltekamp Bridge, which will link Jayapura to other areas.

The President is also expected visit the LNG Tangguh gas mining site in Bintuni, West Papua.

However, the chairman of the Kingmi Church Sinode, Rev. Benny Giay, said he opposed Jokowi's planned visit because of the government's failure to settle violence cases carried out by security forces against Papuan people.

"The repressive actions against the Papuan people happened and seem to be ignored," Benny said, citing as an example that security officials arrested an activist of the National Committee of West Papua simply because he strongly opposed the integration of Papua into the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. [TheJakartaPost]
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