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Islands in focus: Hundreds rally for West Papua liberation

May 23, 2015
Islands in focus: Hundreds rally for West Papua liberation
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, May 22 2015, 6:39 AM –

Around 700 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) at the Papua Legislative Council (DPRD) supported on Thursday the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) by proposing that Papua become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

“West Papuans from Sorong to Merauke fully support the ULPWP to bring Papua into the MSG,” said KNPB spokesperson Basoka Logo at the Papua DPRD on Thursday.

During the rally, the crowd, using trucks and motorcycles, was escorted by about 400 police officers from Wamena, some 20 kilometers from Jayapura, to the Papua DPRD office, and escorted back to Wamena after the rally.

According to Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Jeremias Rontini, they allowed the KNPB to hold the rally to maintain security and prevent violence.

“They applied for today’s rally permit but it was rejected. However, to respect the instruction from President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo to prevent chaotic rallies, if I were to act repressively, there would be many victims. So I gave them the chance to hold the rally and I will no longer issue rally permits in the future,” Jeremias said. –

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