IRIAN JAYA GOVERNOR CALLS FOR PEACE DURING DECEMBER 1 CELEBRATION

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JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (November 28, 2000 – ANTARA/Kabar-Irian)---Irian Jaya’s newly installed governor, JP Salossa, on Tuesday called on the Papua Council Presidium, security authorities and residents to refrain from violence during the December 1 celebration.

The Papua Council will celebrate the anniversary of West Papua’s Independence Day, which the Papua Council Presidium has claimed to be on December 1, 1961.

Last year, the Irianese marked the "independence" day by hoisting the Morning Star flag all over the province.

"All parties concerned should resort to self-introspection to prevent them from committing violence," Salossa said.

The governor said he expects the Papua Council Presidium and its Papua Task Force throughout the province to stick to its agreement with the Irian Jaya provincial government last October 18.

According to the agreement, the provincial government will pave the way for the Presidium to have a dialog with President Abdurrahman Wahid on whether to continue or stop hoisting the Morning Star flag.

The agreement also stipulates that as of December 2, the Morning Star flag should be lowered, except in the residences of the chairmen of five Irian Jaya "Adat" (Customary) Brotherhood Institutes – those in Jayapura, Yapen Waropen, Merauke, Manokwari and Puncak Jaya.

In Jayapura, the flag will only be allowed to be hoisted in the residence of Theys Hiyo Eluay, chairman of the Papua Council Presidium.

Salossa said he did not expect the bloody October 6 Wamena incident to reoccur.

The incident killed 32 people and injured 44 others.

Meanwhile, Irian Jaya Police chief, Brig. Gen. SY Wenas, maintained that he has achieved an understanding with the Papua Council Presidium that the December 1 celebration will only feature thanksgiving and religious worship without making any political statement.

According to the police chief, the Papua Task Force will evacuate its current headquarters on December 2 at the Irian Jaya Cultural Center in Jayapura. The headquarters will be moved to Theys Hiyo Eluay’s residence.

At the same time, all Morning Star flags should be lowered, except one at Theys’ residence.

Wenas also disclosed that he has requested Jakarta to deploy Mobile Brigade police units to Irian Jaya to anticipate any eventuality.

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