Thousands of Papuans occupy MRP, reject special autonomy

Tempo Interactive – January 26, 2011
Papuans occupy Papua People's Council offices in Jayapura - January 26, 2011 (Tempo)
Papuans occupy Papua People's Council offices in Jayapura - January 26, 2011 (Tempo)

Jerry Omona, Jayapura – Thousands of Papuan occupied the Papua People’s Council (MRP) offices in the provincial capital of Jayapura on Wednesday January 26 demanding that the government cancel the election of council members scheduled to take place on January 31.

The head of the Papua Referendum Front (Front Pepera), Selvius Bobi said that the election of MRP members will never take place and the Papuan people will blockade the elections and close down the MRP.

“Close down the MRP, reject special autonomy, end the election of council members now”, said Selvius in a speech in front of the MRP in the Kotaraja suburb of Jayapura today.

Thousands of Papuans have swarmed over the MRP offices since early morning. Later in the afternoon they plan to continue the protest action at the Papuan Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).

The action was joined by hundreds of students from Cenderawasih University, the Indonesian Christian Students Movement (GMKI) and thousands of church congregation members in Papua.

Officers from the Jayapura municipal district police were deployed to secure the protest action. As of filing this report, thousands of protesters were beginning to leave the MRP office and set out of foot towards the Papua DPRD to convey their opposition to election of MRP members.

[Translated by James Balowski.]