8 May 2007

Papuan students again urge dialogue over autonomy status

1:40 pm on 8 May 2007

The West Papua Highland Student Association is continuing its call for dialogue with the Indonesian government about Papua province's special autonomy status.

1,500 people took part in a student-led demonstration for Papuan self-determination outside the Provincial Parliament in Jayapura late last month.

Their demonstration was one of a series of recent peaceful mass protests by Papuan groups, voicing dissatisfaction with how Special Autonomy status has been implemented.

The Association wants comprehensive dialogue between Papuan leaders and the central government supported by a neutral third party.

The Association's secretary Seby Sambom says they are frustrated that their demonstrations always seem to be monitored by Jakarta's intelligence officers but never result in dialogue.

"Every student demonstration, [there are] many policemen and intelligence officers here... always, terrorising and intimidating the student demonstrations here. We want dialogue, discussion about Autonomy, discussion about Papua's political status."

Seby Sambom