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Jakarta Post

Papuans shut down airport, seek compensation

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Sat, August 29 2009   /  02:10 pm

Scores of residents seeking compensation for land they claim was taken away from them, closed down the Sentani Airport in Jayapura on Friday, suspending flights for about two hours. Protesters, who came from the three tribal groups of Fele, Sokoy and Kalem, were seeking a Rp 79 billion compensation for their ulayat (collectively owned) land the local administration used to build the airport. They placed crossbars on the runway from about 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. local time, stopping aircrafts from landing and taking off. The Garuda flight serving the Jakarta-Makassar-Biak-Jayapura route, which was scheduled to arrive at the airport at 6:45 a.m., was forced to go back to Biak, and was only able to land at Sentani Airport at 9:15 a.m. The Lion Air flight scheduled to arrive at 7:10 a.m. at, was only able to land at 10:20 a.m. Protesters left the runway only after the Ja...