Aus­tralia Or­dered to In­ves­ti­gate Breach at In­done­sian Con­sulate


With re­la­tions barely re­cov­er­ing from a squab­ble that re­sulted in the tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion of the In­done­sia- Aus­tralia mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion, an in­sen­si­tive prank that in­volved the rais­ing of the Free Pa­pua Move­ment flag at the In­done­sian Con­sulate Gen­eral in Melbourne last week has drawn more con­tro­versy and ire from the In­done­sian gov­ern­ment.

For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Retno Mar­sudi has im­me­di­ately called on Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent that could put the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two neigh­bours to yet an­other diplo­matic test.

Mar­sudi, in a state­ment is­sued by her min­istry, or­dered the ac­cel­er­ated com­ple­tion of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties and to bring to jus­tice the cul­prit who breached the In­done­sian Con­sulate Gen­eral in Melbourne.

The for­eign af­fairs min­is­ter said the in­ci­dent was a se­ri­ous crim­i­nal act and as such, Aus­tralia, be­ing the host coun­try, must take re­spon­si­bil­ity in in­ves­ti­gat­ing and guar­an­tee­ing the safety of for­eign mis­sions in ac­cor­dance with the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion.

Mar­sudi talked with Julie Bishop, her Aus­tralian coun­ter­part, in early Jan­uary to en­sure that le­gal ac­tion is taken against the sus­pect, while the In­done­sian am­bas­sador in Can­berra has con­vened with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to en­sure the safety of all staff and mis­sion mem­bers.

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