26 Feb 2008

Papua separatist speaks out against BP project

3:16 pm on 26 February 2008

A separatist leader from the Indonesian province of Papua says the British energy giant, BP, should not open a gas plant in the region this year.

The London-based Kotega Tribal Chairman, Benny Wenda, says he doesn't recognise BP's deal with the Indonesian government.

Hundreds of homes in the Bintumi Bay area have been relocated for the Tangguh project and specially trained local police are set to patrol the site.

But Mr Wenda says the development will not be sustainable.

"West Papua is the earth and forest, and sea, and this is all, you know, what we call our supermarket and our mother. So now BP will operate in West Papua, this is another genocide toward earth and animal, wildlife and all the species. This is not Indonesia's land. This is land of West Papuan people; they have to deal with West Papuans."

Benny Wenda.

BP hopes to pump the first liquified natural gas from Tangguh in October.