1 Dec 2003

Indonesian police boost numbers in Papua for today's unofficial independence day

7:56 am on 1 December 2003

Indonesian police have been bolstering numbers in the province of Papua ahead of today's unofficial independence day.

The military has been given orders to shoot separatist rioters on sight.

In the run up to the anniversary, police have arrested fifty people for flying the banned Morning Star flag.

December the 1st commemorates the 42nd anniversary of the former Dutch colony's self-declared independence which has been never recognised.

Earlier, the secretary of the Papua Presidium, Willy Mandowen, said that the Indonesian authorities had given conflicting advice as to whether commemorations would be allowed.

He said that the Minister of Home affairs supported them whilst the local government, military and police were against them.