29 Aug 2002

Press report says Indonesia wants to destroy Papua Presidium Council

5:05 pm on 29 August 2002

New information on an Indonesian police crackdown in the province of Papua, shows its key aim is to destroy the Presidium Council.

The Presidium is the main civilian body advocating independence, which they hope to achieve through establishing a dialogue with Jakarta.

Today's Australian newspaper reports it has obtained the minutes of internal police meetings and documents which reveal a strategy to undermine the Presidium.

The police crackdown, called Operasi Adil Matoa, began two days ago and is scheduled to run for two months.

The police minutes play down the risk posed by the militant groups such as the OPM, which they characterise as ill-equipped, poorly co-ordinated and relatively inactive.

But they are concerned about the political movement headed by the Presidium, and its ability to win international backing.

The paper says there are fears that foreign lobbying activities by the Presidium could help change sentiment in countries such as the US and Australia.