INDONESIA STEPS UP PRESSURE ON WEST PAPUA FOR DISCUSSING INDEPENDENCE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (March 23, 2000 -- Radio Australia)---Indonesian security forces are stepping up pressure on one of the country's main separatist movements, in the province of West Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya.

Eight West Papuan leaders, including a priest, have been taken in for police questioning following several demonstrations demanding independence from Indonesia over the past six months.

The events included rallies, flying the Free Papua flag, and a Papuan Congress held last month.

Clemens Runaweri, a West Papuan independence leader based in Papua New Guinea, said police have been threatening jail for talking about independence:

"They are now threatening them -- to put them in jail -- and we deplore this kind of tactic, which is against democratic principles," he said

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

 

LEGISLATORS DENY RECEIVING BRIBES FROM FREEPORT IN IRIAN JAYA

JAKARTA, Indonesia (March 21, 2000 – Antara/Kabar Irian)---A member of the House Commission VIII for mining and energy denied rumors that each member of the commission had received bribes totaling Rp900 million (US$ 121,294) from PT Freeport Indonesia in return for its decision to suspend a hearing with the copper and gold mining company indefinitely.

"It is not true. If it is true, could you give me proof," Chief of the House Commission VIII Irwan Prayitno told reporters on the sidelines of a hearing with PT Newmonth Pasific Nusantara.

Rumors had earlier said members of the House Commission VIII had received money amounting to Rp900 each from PT Freeport following the company’s success in lobbying them to suspend the hearing.

PT Freeport was reportedly afraid to hold the hearing before members of the House Commission VIII visited the giant gold and copper mining company in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Irian Jaya on April 9-10.

The House Commission had earlier held a hearing with the Econit Advisory Group on PT Freeport’s activities.

The allegation said during the two-day visit, Freeport would only show the legislators the evidence on the company’s good management and handling of its tailings.

Responding to the allegation, deputy chairman of the House Commission VIII Antonious Rahail said during the working visit to PT Freeport, his side would make an impromptu inspection without having to inform the company first.

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

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