147 IRIANESE ASK TO RETURN HOME FROM PNG

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (September 28, 1999 – Antara/Indonesian Observer/Kabar Irian)---Around 147 border-crossers from Irian Jaya to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and now living there have asked the local government for permission to return.

Governor Fredy Numberi, as reported by Antara in Jayapura, pointed out that his people had been influenced by members of the liberation movement to enter PNG.

"They thought that living in PNG was a realization of their dream to have a prosperous and peaceful life, but in fact they suffered more than while in Irian Jaya. Being neglected, they wanted to go home," he said.

According to Numberi, the border-crossers could be returned after the General Session of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), but there will need to be a complete agreement first between Indonesia and PNG.

The provincial government of Irian Jaya will resettle those who want to return to their homeland.

"These matters should be discussed among the Indonesian and Papua officials during their current meeting in Irian Jaya," he said.

KABAR IRIAN ("Irian News") Website: http://www.irja.org/

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