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JAKARTA, Indonesia (March 31, 2001 – The Jakarta Post/Kabar-Irian)---Two outspoken legislators from Irian Jaya called on the House of Representatives to drop the bill on special autonomy in Indonesia's troubled easternmost province as it failed to fully accommodate the Irianese people's aspirations.

Alex Litay of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) and Simon Maori of the Golkar Party said that all the legislators from the province would resist if the House went ahead with its plan to debate the controversial bill.

"We will have to conduct a campaign of protest until the bill is dropped from the House's agenda," Alex said at the House's plenary session here on Friday.

He said the bill was opposed by local politicians in Irian because they were not involved in its drafting and it was regarded as failing to accommodate the province's aspirations.

"The issue of Irian Jaya will never be solved if the government forcibly inserts its idea into the bill and ignores the province's political aspirations," he said.

The bill on special autonomy for Irian Jaya was recently submitted to the House but it has yet to be disseminated among the legislators.

Maori, who, along with Alex, returned from Jayapura on Thursday, said the House should adopt the new bill being jointly prepared by the Irian Jaya provincial administration and legislative council.

"Let the Irianese people channel their aspirations for the province through this bill . . . the central government should not teach them what they want and need. It is of the utmost importance that the province remains within the unitary state of Indonesia," said Maori, who was applauded by other legislators.

Maori also said the government should be flexible in putting into effect the 2000 People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) decree that sets May 1, 2001 as the deadline for the implementation of special autonomy in the province and in troubled Aceh.

"It seems impossible for the government to meet the deadline because the two bills have yet to be debated. It's better to lay the groundwork properly rather than face numerous problems following their passage," he said.

House Speaker Akbar Tandjung, who presided over the plenary session, said that it was impossible for the House to drop the bill but the draft being prepared by the Irian Jaya administration could be taken as the main point of reference in discussing the government's bill.

"Regarding the May 1 deadline, the House should discuss it with the government so that the implementation of special autonomy in the two provinces (Aceh and Irian Jaya) will not give rise to new problems," he said.

Akbar said in his speech before the plenary session that the two bills were among 14 bills which would be held over from the House's third session because of the House's full agenda over the last three months.

"Other bills which have been postponed include those on electricity, eradication of money laundering, building construction and the establishment of 12 new mayoralties and provinces," he said.

He said that of the 20 bills listed for the third session, the bill on extradition between Indonesia and Hong Kong was passed into law last month.



JAKARTA, Indonesia (March 30, 2001 – The Jakarta Post/Antara/Kabar-Irian)---The Irian Jaya provincial prosecutors' office has submitted the dossiers of the five leaders of the pro-independence movement in Irian Jaya to the local court for further processing, Antara reported Friday.

Head of the local prosecutors office Y.M. Yahya confirmed the submission of the dossiers of the five leaders of the Papuan People's Presidium Council (PDP).

The five were identified as PDP chairman Theys Hiyo Eluay, PDP moderator Rev. Herman Awom, the group secretary general Thaha Alhamid, and members Don A.L. Flassy and John Mambor.

The suspects were charged for violating Criminal Code Articles No. 106, 107, and 110 on subversive activities.

The news agency quoted from reliable sources at the local court that hearings for the suspects would start in early April.

They had been detained since November 27 last year, several days before the commemoration of their unrecognized independence declaration.

One of the suspects, Theys, is still being treated at the Christian Cikini Hospital in Jakarta but his health was reported as improving.

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