Spokesman of the Indonesian Embassy in Australia Sade Bimantara said on Saturday (07/01) that an investigation into a breach at at the Indonesian Consulate General in Melbourne is ongoing.
On Friday, around midday, a white man and woman broke into the consulate’s premises and hoisted the Morning Star flag that symbolizes the Free Papua Movement, or OPM. They scaled a 2.5-meter wall from a nearby apartment building, while most of the office staff were performing Friday prayers.
Sade said the man has not been caught, but the Australian Federal Police are questioning his female friend who was recording the incident.
“He’s a frustrated member of a separatist group and has neither been supported by the Australian government nor public. [The perpetrators] were also rejected by the Melanesian Spearhead Group and the Pacific Islands Forum,” Sade told the Jakarta Globe.
He added the rejection might have triggered the action.
Indonesia has condemned the incident.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has called on Australian authorities to start a legal process against the trespassers and enhance the security measures at all Indonesian missions across the country.
According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the receiving states are responsible for the security of diplomatic and consular missions and their staff.
The incident comes after a recent suspension of joint Indonesia-Australia military operations due to the discovery of offensive teaching materials at an Australian military academy, which mocked Indonesia’s state ideology and suggested support for Papuan independence.
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne has promised to dump the training materials.
The Papuan independence movement’s efforts to seek legitimacy through the Melanesian Spearhead Group are reaching a dead end, as talks about its full membership in the forum have fizzled out.