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Jakarta Post

Papuans ‘should have their identity recognized by govt’

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 31 2012   /  07:45 am

Papuan activists and scholars have called on the government to allow the use of the region’s traditional symbols and stop prosecuting locals who promote them.

Franz-Magnis Suseno, a Catholic priest and philosophy professor at the Driyarkara School of Philosophy, said that the Indonesian government should stop treating the hoisting of the Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag as an act of treason. The flag has long been associated with the Papuan separatist movement.

“Why not let Papuans fly the flag as a symbol of their land? We must also allow them to express their opinions in an assembly,” he said.

Papuan peace activist Neles Tebay said that the close association between the flag and the Papuan separatist movement had often been used as an excuse to abuse the human rights of native Papuans.

Neles also said that the central government should drop its secur...