24 Dec 2007

Religious leaders in Indonesia's Papua province demand halt to development programmes

5:52 am on 24 December 2007

Some religious leaders in Indonesia's Papua province say the six-year-old autonomy law for their area has been violated.

During talks on the province's future, representatives from the Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim and Protestant faiths said the law had been ignored over development programmes, land rights, and by the police.

The religious leaders said programmes in the province had split local ethnic groups and marginalised Papuan workers.

They have demanded a halt to development programmes at town, district and provincial levels and insist the national government must consider local culture properly before undertaking development programmes.