Last Thursday the Immigration Office at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has deported the Executive Director of the environment organization Greenpeace UK John Sauven.
Sauven was quoted by The Jakarta Globe as saying that he has obtained the correct visa issued by the Indonesian Embassy in London, but was informed by the Immigration officer at Jakarta airport that his name is in the "Red List" therefore banned from entering Indonesia. However, no official notification was issued.
Sauven said that during his visit to Indonesia, he planned to meet with government officials, one of the largest palm oil producer, visit an area deforested by a pulp and paper company in Sumatera and meet the British Ambassador.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Immigration Office Herawan Sukoaji told the press last Friday that Sauven was denied entry to Indonesia because he would threaten the stability of Indonesia. He also said that there was the possibility that Sauven would bring instability and disorder here.
But when he was asked for details, he refused to comment saying that it is a " State Secret ".
This deportation reminds me of several results of campaigns made by Greenpeace against companies involved in the deforestation in Indonesia, such as Unilever's stop of purchase of palm-oil produced by PT Sinar Mas, and Mattel's (Barbie Doll) stop of purchase of paper produced by PT Asia Pulp & Paper in Riau, Sumatera.
I agree that as a sovereign state Indonesia may choose to accept or refuse the visit of any foreigners, however if a foreigner already got a visa from our Embassy abroad the case would be different, it shows inconsistency of the Immigration Office in implementing policies.
The news about the deportation would send a message to the world which is not favorable for Indonesia because in 2007 President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) has promised world leaders that Indonesia will reduce 26% carbon gas emission by 2020 which means that we will stop deforestation.
For which purpose the government has issued regulations regarding Carbon Gas Emission reduction last September.
Further, our government has also signed a Letter of Intent with the Norwegian government regarding Deforestation Moratorium.
For which purposes, the government has recently issued regulations regarding Carbon Emission reduction, including Deforestation.
I hope that the government would be consistent in implementing its Forest Protection policies.