PROTESTS DAMAGE LOCAL IRIAN JAYA ECONOMY

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JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya, Indonesia (February 10, 2000)---The closure of government and private company offices by demonstrators who sought the dismissal of the Sorong regent has incurred big losses for local companies.

(See: Irian Jaya Demonstrators Call For Sorong Regent To Resign)

Poerwandi, branch manager of PT Usaha Mina, a private fishery company, said on Wednesday that his company suffered Rp 200 million in financial losses due to the closure.

"The losses exclude the operational costs of seven unloaded ships which have been berthed at the port for days," he said in a report to the Jayapura based Institute for Human Rights and Advocacy (IGRSTAD).

Human resources development manager of PT Herikson Iriana, Edi Widayanto, said that the forestry company had lost at least Rp 5 billion in production expenses.

On Monday thousands of demonstrators urged that Sorong Regent John Piet Wanane resign. The angered protesters then urged the closure of 11 government and private companies in the town.

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

 

AUSTRALIA SAYS INDEPENDENCE FORCES IN PAPUA NOT CAPABLE

CANBERRA, Australia (February 11, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Australia says independence forces in West Papua are far from being organized or capable.

Giving evidence at a Senate hearing in Canberra, diplomats noted that Indonesia has announced it will change the name of the province from Irian Jaya to Papua.

A deputy secretary of the Foreign Affairs Department, John Dauth, said East Timor's separation from Indonesia has encouraged the independence movement in Papua.

"They have over the past year sought with what you might describe as increased vigor to put their point of view to the authorities in Jakarta.

"But I'd have to say that it remains our assessment, Senator, that the movement is still a very long way away from being coherent, or focused or capable."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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