IRIAN JAYA ASKS FOR NEW SHIPS FOLLOWING FERRY TRAGEDY

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IRIAN
JAYA ASKS FOR NEW SHIPS FOLLOWING FERRY TRAGEDY

MERAUKE, Irian Jaya, Indonesia (October 26, 1999 – Jakarta Post)--- Merauke legislators are urging the transportation ministry to send new ships to Merauke and withdraw a number of vessels which are no longer seaworthy.

A.B. Ohoiwutun of the Merauke Legislative Council said here on Monday that the local assembly has contacted the director general of sea transportation in Jakarta to respond to the sinking of the MV Bimas Raya II in the waters off Habe last Monday.

The ill-fated and over-loaded vessel was carrying 339 passengers when it went down in the ocean.

Of the 339 passengers, 73 have been found, including 38 bodies.

Ohuiwutun said the council also would ask sea transportation authorities to impose stricter safety requirements on for boats plying Irian Jaya's waters to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

He said past shipping arrangements have involved corruption, collusion and nepotism, so many of the ships still in use are not seaworthy, as was the case with the MV Bimas Raya II.

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

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