Indonesia has condemned a small protest “in the strongest terms” after an activist broke into its consulate in Melbourne on Friday and held up the West Papuan flag.
Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry has requested Australia take action to prevent a similar incident happening, highlighting the sometimes delicate relationship between the two countries.
Earlier this week, Indonesia temporarily suspended military ties with Australia over material taught at an army base in Perth. The teaching material related to sensitive issues for Indonesia, including West Papua’s bid for independence.
Indonesia has since backed down on the suspension. However, its military chief Gatot Nurmantyo maintains the curriculum taught at the Perth army barracks is “too painful to explain” because it allegedly discredited Indonesia’s military.
A video of the incident in Melbourne shows a man scaling a wall to gain entrance to the Indonesian consulate. He then climbs onto the consulate’s roof and holds up the West Papuan flag.
He then climbs down and holds up the flag outside the embassy.
“These criminal acts have violated the prevailing Commonwealth and Victoria State trespass laws in Australia and the Vienna Convention 1961,” the Indonesia Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The Government of Indonesia also requested the Australian authorities to take necessary measures to prevent [a] similar occurrence in the future.”