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Jakarta Post

Protesters hoist separatist flag

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Tue, November 17 2009   /  01:18 pm

Former political prisoners raised the separatist bintang kejora (morning star) flag Monday at the Papua People's Council in Jayapura to protest the failure of seven years of special autonomy for the province. "We say special autonomy has failed," said protest leader Sem Yaru. "If there isn't any improvement, we'd rather demand independence." The three men and two women hoisted the flag, associated with the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM), on a flagpole at the council building. The protesters also spoked for around 15 minutes in the council yard. They distributed pamphlets proclaiming "Papua doesn't believe in Jakarta", "Special autonomy has failed" and "Papua demands independence at all cost". Sem said the flag was a cultural symbol for Papuans, so they had not violated any laws. The protesters were escorted out of the council compound after their ...