PAPUANS ANNOUNCE WEST PAPUA PEACE PLAN

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 16, 2000 - Post-Courier, Radio Australia/PINA Nius Online)---The Papua Council has announced its plan to end the conflict in its homeland, the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (West Papua).

The plan, contained in a plea to the Indonesia government, asks the Jakarta administration to agree to the unconditional release before December 25 of all West Papuan detainees.

This includes members of the Papuan Task Force and Papuan leaders arrested before and after December 1.

The plea was made in Melbourne, Australia, after the Papuan Council said Papua New Guinea’s Police commissioner John Wakon had refused to let them march to the Indonesian embassy in Port Moresby to present their plea to the Indonesian ambassador.

The petition states that the Indonesian government should immediately halt the pursuit of repressive policies and practices such as military interventions, suppression of personal liberties and basic individual and collective human rights of West Papuans.

The plea asks that the United Nations take immediate steps to reinstate peace and normalcy as the general security situation in West Papua can no longer guarantee the safety of all its inhabitants.

It says the UN, in accordance with its role and function as the global peacekeeper, should immediately apply established conflict resolution procedures and that a third party be appointed as a mediator on neutral grounds by February 26.

The plea was signed by West Papua’s foreign affairs moderator Franzalbert Joku and 14 other members.

Mr. Joku complained to reporters the Australian government’s stand and said it was "appeasing" interests in Jakarta. He said Papuans were "allergic" to the concept of limited autonomy from Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Radio Australia reported a human rights worker in West Papua has been arrested on charges of discrediting the Indonesian police by publicizing the deaths of three students in police hands.

The AFP news agency said Johannes Bonai, the director of the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy, answered a summons to appear at the police headquarters in the provincial capital of Jayapura.

Earlier, Bonai told AFP by phone that he was facing arrest in connection with a press conference on Thursday in which he reported victims' accounts of an incident on December 7 in which police killed three students after a separatist attack.

In Port Moresby, Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta has reaffirmed that West Papua remained an integral part of Indonesia. The government would make sure that PNG’s side of the border was not used as a "staging point to mount attacks on Indonesian troops," he said.

"We are in constant touch with the Indonesian ambassador here and both sides agreed that we will ensure that the overflow, the outflow, into our side is controlled," he said.

"On our side, we want to make sure that it’s an internal matter. . . but at this stage, it seems to be under control," he said.

Sir Mekere said PNG would not encourage West Papuans to come across.

The government will watch the crossing points, but he admitted it was difficult to prevent any crossing given the rugged terrain and nature of the border area. It is unmanned in most places.

He said the government would provide all the necessary funding to make it possible for some Defense Force soldiers to be stationed on the border.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT  News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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

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