INDONESIAN PRESIDENT WAHID TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN TROUBLED IRIAN JAYA

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JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (December 19, 2000 – ANTRA/Kabar-Irian)---President Abdurrahman Wahid is scheduled to spend Christmas Day in Indonesia’s Irian Jaya province.

However, Irian Jaya’s deputy governor, Constan Karma, told newsmen here that he has received no confirmation about the president’s arrival.

"The provincial government has been making the necessary preparations to make a success of the presidential visit," Karma said.

He called on the people to help create a condition conducive for the visit, and enhance a climate of peace during the Christmas celebration.

According to a reliable source in Jayapura, who declined to be identified, the presidential visit would also be dedicated to gathering firsthand information about the political condition in the province, particularly on the detention of five leaders of the Papua Council Presidium by the Irian Jaya police.

The five detained Papua leaders are Theys Hiyo Eluay (Presidium Chairman), Thaha Al Hamid (Secretary General), Rev. Herman Awom (moderator), Don Al Flassy and John Mambor (members).

President Wahid first visited Irian Jaya on December 31, 1999, when he had a dialog with government, military and informal leaders.

It was during this get-together that President Wahid approved the changing of the name "Irian Jaya" to "Papua," as had been demanded by the Papuans.

The name change, however, has not yet been made official and fully implemented.

KABAR-IRIAN ("Irian News") Websites: http://www.irja.org/index2.shtml and http://www.kabar-irian.com 

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