THOUSANDS PROTEST IRIAN JAYA PROVINCE'S DIVISION PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
vrijdag 15 oktober 1999 14:19

Pacific Islands Report:THOUSANDS PROTEST IRIAN JAYA PROVINCE'S DIVISION

 

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (October 15, 1999 – Jakarta Post)---Thousands of protesters occupied the gubernatorial office here on Friday, following a peaceful protest the previous day against a bill, which will divide Irian Jaya into three provinces.

No clashes were reported, but the protest paralyzed activity in the gubernatorial office.

Similar protests were staged on Thursday in the Biak and Nabire regencies of Irian Jaya and in Jakarta.

The government elected to divide Irian Jaya into three provinces to ensure more equitable development in the huge territory. The Ministry of Home Affairs appointed Herman Monim Governor of Central Irian Jaya and Abraham O. Ataruri Governor of West Irian Jaya on Tuesday. Former Irian Jaya Governor Freddy Numberi has been appointed Governor of East Irian Jaya.

"Throughout the years, the central government has never listened to our aspirations. Why suddenly are they dividing our province and installing new governors?" the protesters asked.

Students said the division of the province should be delayed until there was a trained and available pool of human resources.

"Only then will the people be ready and able to accept the province’s division," the students said.

Some 1,200 protesters in Biak and Nabire also called for the province’s division to by rejected.

Hundreds of Irianese staged a protest at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Jakarta, demanding the government and members of the People's Consultative Assembly review the policy.