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JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (July 2, 1999 - Jakarta Post/Kabar-Irian)---Dozens of residents in the remote Irian Jaya district of Ganyem defied a police warning to lower a separatist West Papua flag Thursday.

Scores of police and military troops were trying to persuade the people to abide by the police order.

Provincial Police Chief Brig. Gen. Hotman Siagian said that the police would take stern measures against the pro-independence group if they failed to lower the flag.

Pro-independence student Samuel Yaru said the security authorities did not have the right to stop people from hoisting the Morning Star flag.

Demands for independence have been persistently aired in the country's eastern most province for years, with many protesting Jakarta's allegedly unfair revenue-sharing deals from mining exploitation there.

At the Cendrawasih University campus Thursday, hundreds of students commemorated the death of Steven Suripaty, who was shot during a pro-independence rally on July 3 last year.

Chairman of the university student senate, Philipus Oscar Mansi, said the memorial would last until Saturday.

In Semarang, some 50 Irian indigenous students marched peacefully through the Central Java capital city in support of independence for both Irian Jaya and East Timor.

They distributed leaflets demanding the Indonesian Military (TNI) leave Irian Jaya and the government release political prisoners.

KABAR IRIAN ("Irian News")

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