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Indonesian Ambassador for New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya, visited FISIP UI on Thursday (03/08) in order to conduct Focus Group Discussion (FGD) addressing Papua Policy Updates. Along with him, Dean of FISIP UI, Dr. Arie Setiabudi Soesilo, M.Sc., Prof. Dr Bambang Shergi Laksmono M.Sc (Executive Director of Papua Center FISIP UI), Julian Aldrin Pasha (Presidential Spokesman of Indonesia Bersatu Chapter II Cabinet), Dr. Anthie Solaiman M.A and team (Papua Center UKI), also Brigjen TNI Herwin Suparjo, S.Sos.,S.H ( Deputy Assistant of Special Autonomy Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs) and Special Advisers were the attendants of this discussion.

Tantowi put his concern much over Papua Separatism issue which potentially could damage the integrity of the Republic. As a representative of Indonesia in Oceania, he found out many forms of political manuver which had been done by pro-Papua separatist for taking Papua out from Indonesian Republic, especially in Oceania.

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“In my sight, Papua dispute is just a matter of perception. Out of there, twisted information and hoax news are spreaded. Meanwhile, the information came out by the government as a counter are even perceived in negative perception”, Tantowi said.

In this way, Tantowi explained the diplomacy strategy he prepared which called the total football diplomacy. There are five stakeholders involved in this strategy, such as government, academics, media, entrepreneurs, and religious leader. In this opportunity, he gave his opinion that universities as a part of academics have not spoken their voices out of this issue. Academics are expected to create and publish their scientific papers related to the loss that might be got by Papua if they are detached from Indonesian Republic. It is aimed to balance the cluttered information which sounded off by Pro-Separatist. In addition, he noted his expectation towards media to display news related to Papua issue more intensive, especially for Detik.com and Jakarta Post.

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Along this discussion, the attendants delivered another different perspectives which proposed government to provide discussion space in order to accomodate dialogue between government and Papua People (notably for them who stay outward Papua). Beside that, Papua Center team added idea to use soft diplomacy in any pacific trade forums to address this issue. This idea was aggreable, but Tantowi added special note to make Indonesia ‘more acceptable’ as a part of Oceania at first. He suggested to do “connecting the dots” directly between Pacific countries and East Indonesia, such as open direct flight from East Indonesia to Pacific countries and vice versa, also commence export trade in East Indonesia.

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Essentially, this FGD got one synchronous idea to take the next step; determining the equivalent paradigm for the five stakeholders.