1 Dec 2004

Security tight in Indonesia's Papua province to stop independence demonstrations

1:47 pm on 1 December 2004

Security forces in the Indonesian province of Papua say the province is secure ahead of likely independence demonstrations by separatists today.

Police say they have increased a public presence in the main centres, ahead of likely protests.

December 1st is the day Papua, then called Dutch Irian Jaya, became independent in 1961.

It was annexed by Indonesia in 1963 and formally incorporated in 1969 after a UN-sponsored referendum.

The governor, Jaap Salossa, has forbidden Papuans to raise the independence flag or display other separatist symbols, which he says would be interpreted as an act of treason.