1 Dec 2008

Separatists in Indonesia province of Papua warned against raising Morning Star flag

6:10 am on 1 December 2008

Police in Papua are warning people against raising the Morning Star flag, a symbol of the Free Papua Organisation separatist movement, to commemorate its anniversary.

The Indonesian province's Police chief says officers will not tolerate the raising of the flag anywhere in the province during celebrations today, the 1st of December.

He said police had rejected a request from a group in Puncak Jaya to hoist the flag on December 1, adding that local authorities had taken down flags that were seen flying in the district.

The Morning Star flag represented the territory of West New Guinea, now West Papua province, from December 1, 1961 until October 1, 1962, when the territory came under the administration of the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority.

The territory was later internationally recognized as an Indonesian province following the controversial 1969 UN-supervised "Act of Free Choice" which resulted in the territory joining Indonesia, despite strong opposition from West Papuans.