West Papuans forbidden to commemorate December 1

Kompas Cyber Media – November 26, 2004
Protest action in Jakarta commemorating December 1 (Tempo)
Protest action in Jakarta commemorating December 1 (Tempo)

Jayapura – The governor of West Papua, Jaap Salossa, has forbidden people from commemorating December 1 as Papua’s independence day as well as hoisting the morning star flag or other symbols which are incompatible with official state symbols of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

The prohibition is one of the points from an appeal which was issued by the governor and provincial council following a meeting which took place at the governors audience hall at Dok V Atas in the provincial capital of Jayapura on the night of Thursday November 25.

The appeal which contained five points, which as well as being signed by Salossa was also signed by the commander of the Trikora territorial military command, Major-General TNI Nurdin Zainal and the chief of police, Brigadier-General Pol Dody Sumantyawan, also appealed to the public to continue to carry out their normal activities and to those who know of such activities to report them to the police or security forces.

After reading the appeal, Salossa told journalists that he hoped that the public would be able to create a sense of peace which until now has been well maintained. “Don’t do things which are incompatible with the nation and state because the impact will be felt by the public themselves”, said Salossa. The governor also explained that the appeal would come into force immediately and had no time limit.

According to Salossa, the meeting also discussed a number of other issues including the Constitutional Court decision on West Irian Jaya, the attack by Papuan National Army/Free Papua Movement in Puncak Jaya and the incident which occurred at Assue in the regency of Mappi.

Specifically on the incident which occurred in Assue, from the explanation given by the chief of police the governor explained that action has been taken against his officers who are suspected to be involved the illegal activities adding that this was also the case in the Puncak Jaya incident and that the local government is now able to deal with it. “The security situation in these areas is becoming conducive and the public is carrying out its daily activities as normal”, said the governor. (Ant/Edj)

[Translated by James Balowski.]