Metrotvnews.com, Jakarta: Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded 13 'fighters' of Indonesian citizens (WNI) protection abroad with the Hassan Wirajuda WNI Protection Award (HWPA).
The awards were delivered directly by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and former FM Hassan Wirajuda in the Awarding Night of HWPA 2015 in Balai Kartini, Jakarta, Tuesday (10/20/2015).
"Indonesian citizens protection is a teamwork. Therefore, the Foreign Ministry is to develop the tradition of recognizing and awarding those who provided significant contribution in the effort of protecting Indonesian citizens abroad," said Retno.
"Today we commemorated one year of President Jokowi's administration, where one of its spirits is to reestablish the presence of the nation. The 13 individuals and institutions are some of those who have actually contributed in reestablishing the presence of the nation for citizen protection abroad," she continued.
There is a reason why Hassan Wirajuda's name is used for the award. As the Indonesian FM in 2001-2009, Hassan initiated the formation of new special directorate, which is the Directorate of Indonesian Citizens Protection and Legal Aid.
"My experience in guarding citizenship problems started when I was in Egypt, during the time where Indonesia was hit by monetary crisis. At around 2,500 Indonesian students in Egypt at the time were affected by the crisis," mentioned Hassan.
"In the end, after approaching the Egypt and Qatar authorities, our students were able to continue their studies under the provided scholarships," he continued.
Aside from that, in 2006, FM Hassan Wirajuda introduced the concept of Citizen Service in 16 Indonesian Representatives where there were concentrations of number and problems. In 2008, the idea was institutionalized, with the Foreign Ministry Regulation 04/2008 on the Citizen Service Representative, which has become the legal base to establish 24 Representatives as Citizen Services.
Meanwhile during the "Awarding Night of HWPA 2015", the judges panel comprised of experts in various fields conveyed the recipients of HWPA 2015. The judges representative, Siti Ruhaini said that the team has filtered 68 candidates, which all have contributed in the efforts to protect Indonesians abroad, so that the judges had the difficulties of deciding the Recipients of HWPA 2015.
However, the judges settled with 13 HWPA recipients within seven categories:
1. National Police and Airforce DVI for the category of Foreign Ministry Working Partner,
2. Indonesian Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur Herman Prayitno, and Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah Dharmakirty Syailendra for the category of Head of Indonesian Representative,
3. Veronika Sedo Barek and Mohamad Abdulkader Akraa for the category of Indonesian Representative Working Partner,
4. BMI SA and IMWU Hong Kong for the category of Indonesian Independent Organization,
5. Kompas.com and Tempo.co for journalist/media category,
6. Anis Setyorini and Fadhly Ahmad for the category of Indonesian Representative Staff,
7. Acceleration Team of Indonesian Citizen Repatriation from Syria for the category of Indonesian Citizen Protection Team of the Foreign Ministry.
The HWPA 2015 recipients alone have interesting and inspiring profiles. One of them is Mohamad Akraa, who has been the lawyer accompanying Indonesian citizens in Syria. In the process of escorting Indonesian citizens from Aleppo to Damascus, Akraa's car was shot several times by unidentified people. Veronika Sedo Barek established and operates the independent school for Indonesian labor children in Sabah, Malaysia, since 2003.
As for the Jeddah Consulate General Staff, Fadhly Ahmad, he has the role of approaching the victim's family on a murder conducted by six Indonesians, as the six were pardoned by the family and escaped death penalty.
In her welcome speech, FM Retno again conveyed her appreciation on every parties collaborating in the effort of protecting Indonesian citizens abroad. Meanwhile, former FM Hassan Wirajuda also conveyed a speech asking all nations' sons to actively involved in conducting protection measures along with President Jokowi's mission to reestablish the presence of the nation.
"Protecting Indonesian citizens is the mandate of the constitution. It is one of the four main reasons the nation is formed, as mentioned in the opening of the 1945 Constitution (UUD 45)," mentioned the former FM.
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