REGRET OVER IRIAN JAYA (WEST PAPUA) DEATH

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PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT Suva, Fiji Islands

PRESS STATEMENT November 13, 2001

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr. Noel Levi, CBE, has expressed regret over the recent killing of a senior Irian Jaya (West Papua) leader, Mr. Theys Hiyo Eluay, and urged the Indonesian government to bring those responsible to justice.

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their meeting in Kiribati last year had expressed deep concern about past and recent violence and loss of life in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (West Papua).

They called on the Indonesian Government, the sovereign authority, and secessionist groups to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue and consultation. They also urged all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents of Irian Jaya (West Papua).

"In August, the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum again expressed continuing concern about violence and loss of life in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (West Papua)," Mr. Levi said.

"Forum Leaders encouraged the Indonesian Government, the sovereign authority, to ensure that the voices of all parties in the province are heard in order to achieve a peaceful resolution of their differences.

"The Forum welcomed the recent presentation of special autonomy proposals to Indonesia's Parliament, which have recently been passed by the legislature.

"The Forum urges all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents in Irian Jaya (West Papua), and agrees to follow closely developments in the province," Mr. Levi said.

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at UlafalaA@forumsec.org.fj

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