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Jakarta Post

Papua rejects heavy military presence

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 4 2008   /  10:37 am
(JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)(JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

(JP/Nethy Dharma Somba) Around 100 protesters from the International Parliament for West Papua (IPWP) staged a rally Monday against an alleged increase in militarism in Papua outside the Provincial Legislative Council building. "We reject militarism in Papua. We see more and more fully armed Indonesia Military (TNI) soldiers milling around in villages and towns," IPWP Papua coordinator Buchtar Tabuni (standing left in military attire) said in his speech. "The soldiers are supposed to ward off expansion threats from outside, not watch people in towns." Buchtar said the number of armed troops in Papua gave the impression there was a war taking place. He said the military presence was particularly strong on Oct. 16 when a rally was staged to celebrate IPWP's establishment. The organization was founded in London by two British p...