Gunawan Mashar, Makassar – The perpetual internal conflicts in West Papua has prompted students originating from Papua who are studying in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar to demonstrate on at the provincial parliament on Jalan Urip Sumohardjo.
Grouped under the Papua Students Democratic Forum (Forum Demokratik Mahasiswa Papua, FDMPP), the students held the action on the grounds of the parliament on November 1. They were demanding that the new government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice-President Jusuf Kalla immediately resolved the frequent conflicts in West Papua.
The demonstrators said that the cause of the recent conflicts which have occurred in Papua are because of the government’s policy to divide Papua in to three new provinces.
The students believe that it is time for the government to provide the right to the Papuan people to determine their own future democratically though dialogue with all components of Papuan society.
The demonstration started at 11.30 local time with students arriving at the parliament wearing traditional Papuan clothing. There were even some who came wearing palm leaves and carrying spears. As well as giving speeches the students also sung songs and danced to traditional Papuan music. (nrl)
[Translated by James Balowski.]