30 Jul 2002

Indonesian government accused of instigating unrests to withdraw Papua's special autonomy

5:32 pm on 30 July 2002

The Papua Presidium Council is accusing the Indonesian government of trying to foment civil unrest in Papua so that it can withdraw the province's special autonomy status.

The council's United Nations lobbyist, Rex Rumakiek says the police and TNI special forces are reporting threats of separatist attacks to Jakarta authorities who then send more armed troops to the province to maintain law and order.

Mr Rumakiek says Papuans are confused about the military buildup as there is a continuing dialogue between their representatives and the government to promote peace and stability.

He says the Indonesian government is trying to undermine it's own special autonomy bill to protect the military's business interests there.

"The grass - roots people and everybody's talking peace and trying to dialogue. Jarkata is doing the opposite.They pass the bill in parliament in the first place, then they didn't want it to go ahead and at the same time, they want to undermine it themselves. The military have a lot of commercial interest in, Papua and special autonomy, actually undermine their business interest."

Rex Rumakiek