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JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya, Indonesia (May 20, 2000 – ANTARA/Kabar Irian)---A regional Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) leader here refuted certain local people’s claims that PDI-P leader Megawati Soekarnoputri had once promised to support the separatist cause in Irian Jaya.

Yance Fery Kogoya, chairman of the PDI-P’s Jayawijaya sub-district chapter, said the claims were totally baseless and nonsensical because Megawati never made such a pledge.

Speaking to the press at Wamena airport on Friday afternoon after joining a party welcoming Vice President Megawati, Kogoya also denied that PDI-P’s general election victory in Irian Jaya was due to Megwati’s alleged campaign promise to back local aspirations for an independent Papua.

"I need to make it plain that Megawati never made such kind of a promise prior to last year’s general election," he said.

"All people know that it was former president Sukarno who led Indonesia’s struggle to liberate Irian Jaya (from Dutch colonial rule). So it’s inconceivable that Megawati (a daughter of Sukarno) would undo the result of her father’s struggle," Kogoya said.

He said as a leader of the PDI-P in Irian Jaya, he knew well the important things Megawati had said during the last year’s general’ election campaign.

"So, if certain elements in this province now expect Megawati to support the Free Papua cause, that is only wishful thinking," he said.

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