27 Jul 2005

PNG funeral of rebel leader Ona to be held in his no go zone village

3:28 pm on 27 July 2005

The funeral of the Bougainville secessionist leader Francis Ona will be held in his home village after his followers rejected plans by the new autonomous government in the Papua new Guinea province for a state funeral.

The self-proclaimed king of the island, who launched the island's civil war, died in Guava village on Sunday, aged 52.

Government officials have said his Meekamui Movement followers had rejected the proposal despite Mr Ona's immediate family reportedly agreeing to release the body for a state funeral.

They said Ona's followers planned to hold a funeral service in Guava, restricting attendance to Meekamui followers.