BOMB FOUND ON IRIAN JAYA BOAT

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JAKARTA (February 15, 2000 - Indonesian Observer/Antara/Kabar Irian)---A bomb found on a passenger ship last Thursday in Irian Jaya province was allegedly produced by PT Pindad, an industrial company owned by the Army, a report said yesterday.

The Antara news agency quoted regional military commander Major General Albert Inkiriwang as saying his office had not yet checked whether the bomb was actually made by Pindad. Police are still making investigations, he added.

A report in Jakarta quoted local policemen as saying the bomb was a GTS-A2. A passenger found it on the deck of the Dobonsolo when the vessel was about to leave Sorong Quay for Manokwari district.

The ship, which was carrying about 3,000 passengers when the bomb was found, plies the Tanjungperak (Surabaya, East Java)-Jayapura (Irian Jaya) route via Benoa (Bali), Kupang (East Nusatenggara), Ambon (Maluku), Sorong, Manokwari and Biak (Irian Jaya).

The ship, which was made in Germany in the 1990s, takes one week to reach Jayapura from Surabaya.

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY OF IRIANESE ONLY 40 YEARS

JAKARTA, Indonesia (February 16, 2000 – The Jakarta Post/Antara/Kabar Irian)---The life expectancy of Irianese is about 40 years, the shortest among ethnic groups in Indonesia, due to malnutrition and a poor health service, a senior local official says.

"Reaching the age of 40, let alone 50, is an extraordinary divine reward," Decky Asmuruf, chief of the Irian Jaya provincial Office of Social Affairs, told the Antara news agency in Jayapura last week.

According to the United Nation’s Development Program’s (UNDP) 1999 Human Development Report, life expectancy in Indonesia as a whole is 65.1 years.

Asmuruf attributed the untimely deaths in Irian Jaya to widespread malnutrition and common chronic diseases like malaria, respiratory problems, tuberculosis, leprosy and skin diseases.

Malnutrition and poor medical care are complicated problems for the cash-strapped Irian Jaya provincial government.

Tribal people living in isolated areas lack adequate health facilities.

The short life expectancy is also attributed to the high rate of infant and maternal mortality in indigenous peoples in the hinterland.

Asmuruf warned that unless the central government in Jakarta did something to reverse the situation, Irian Jaya would see its indigenous population shrink every year.

The high mortality rate in Irian Jaya has resulted in an increasingly large number of orphan children.

"Just imagine, with a population of only 2.3 million, Irian Jaya has 76,779 orphans," he said. "Most of the children live a miserable life because their parents died young."

At present, the local government accommodates only 17,340 orphans in orphanages and with foster parents.

Statistics at the social affairs office show that Irian Jaya has 11,900 people with physical disabilities, 38,092 unemployed women and 2,720 prostitutes.

"The unemployed women are mostly at their productive ages. It is feared that they will turn to prostitution if they cannot get employment," Asmuruf said.

 

SORONG PROVOCATEUR ARRESTED

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (February 16, 2000 - The Jakarta Post/Kabar Irian)---Sorong police have arrested a man for allegedly provoking the Malamoi tribe to close down government and private company offices during a demonstration in Sorong last week.

Chief of the Sorong police precinct Lt. Col. Viktor Sitorus confirmed the arrest on Tuesday and said the man, identified only as MF, had instigated the closure of the offices in the tribal protest which demanded Sorong Regent John Piet Wanane resign.

Sitorus said that MF had previously joined various demonstrations demanding West Papua independence.

Last week’s protest turned ugly when protesters began arbitrarily demanding the closure of various offices.

The protesters demanded that employees hand over keys and locked the offices after employees were forced to vacate the premises.

Hengky Rumbiak, Deputy Chairman of the Sorong Regency Legislative Council told The Jakarta Post by telephone on Tuesday that most government offices were now operating.

"However, several private company offices remain closed, as the Malamoi people have yet to return the keys of the offices," Hengky said.

Representatives from Malamoi said they will return the keys after regent Wanane resigns.

Meanwhile, Sorong police are also hunting for seven people who allegedly ordered a 14-year-old boy to torch a church.

Viktor said that the boy, who was not identified, claimed that he had been promised Rp 100,000 if he succeeded in burning down the church.

The boy remains detained by police.

KABAR IRIAN ("Irian News") Internet: http://www.irja.org/conf.htm 

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