Gunawan Mashar, Makassar – Scores of West Papuan students in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar have also held an action demanding the release of the Timika detainees. As well as giving speeches, the demonstration was accompanied by traditional dances.
The 30 or so Papuan students started the action at around 9.30am. They held the action at the Reformasi toll road intersection between Jalan Urip Sumohardjo and Jalan Andi Pettarani in Makassar on Monday January 23.
The students — some of whom wore traditional Papuan clothing — held speeches in front of drivers. “We demand that the Timika detainees be release. Because it was not them that did it, but the TNI [Indonesian military]”, they said in a speech.
In addition to giving speeches, some of the students danced non-stop. Forming up into a line, they danced around their friends that were playing guitars. After the dance, they sang traditional Papuan songs.
The students also held an action at the South Sulawesi Regional House of Representatives on Jalan Urip Sumohardjo where they also gave speeches. The demonstration finally ended when they dispersed at around 1.30pm.
As many as eight Papuans have been arrested on charges of carrying out the shooting of US citizens in Timika in 2002. (nrl)
[Translated by James Balowski.]