THE NAME ‘PAPUA’ TO BECOME OFFICIAL

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THE NAME ‘PAPUA’ TO BECOME OFFICIAL

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya, Indonesia (August 15, 2000 - TEMPO Interaktif/Kabar Irian)---The new name of Papua province will soon be announced officially. The Papua legislative council (DPRD I) will convene a special plenary session on August 16 this week. The special plenary session will discuss the name change from ‘Irian Jaya’ to ‘Papua’ and regional autonomy, according to the Papua legislative council speaker Nathaniel Kaiway SH during his interview with TEMPO Interaktif in Papua on Monday, August 14.

Regarding the quarrel that occurred during the first plenary session of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Annual Session, the Vice Speaker of the Papua legislative council, Dr. B.V. Djeharu, criticized the MPR factions for promoting their own personal and group interests. At that time, the name ‘Papua’ became a controversial issue among the legislators. Many members branded the usage of the name ‘Papua’ as an act of illegal separation from the Indonesian state.

Djeharu also asserted that the dispute over the name indicated that several MPR factions’ supported the ouster of President Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) from the presidency.

"The President himself approved the changing of the name ‘Irian Jaya’ to ‘Papua’," Djeharu stated firmly.

The matter concerning the name changing only awaits the issuance of a Regional Regulation (Perda).

Besides the new name issue, this troubled province must also elect a new governor and deputy governor. Currently there are 58 candidates for the governor position and 57 candidates who desire to become deputy governor.

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

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