7 May 2013

Indonesian legislature accuses UK of interfering in West Papua

6:54 pm on 7 May 2013

Indonesia's House of Representatives is urging the government to ask the United Kingdom to not interfere with affairs in West Papua.

The Jakarta Post reports the House deputy speaker, Priyo Budi Santoso, as saying the legislature is deeply disappointed with the British Parliament whom he accuses of supporting the separatist Free Papua Movement.

Mr Santoso says he believes the UK has interfered with Indonesia's internal affairs, which he compares to the UK's problems with separatist elements in Northern Ireland.

The newspaper reports that anti-UK protests have been mounting since the mayor of Oxford and an opposition MP attended a ceremony at a West Papuan office in the English city.

But the British Ambassador to Indonesia, Mark Canning, says the British Government recognises Papua as part of Indonesia and does not support calls for Papuan Independence.

Meanwhile, the newly elected Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, is meeting with House leaders to discuss separatist sentiments in the province.