Friday, December 15, 2006

Papuan Youths demand PT Freeport's closure

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Tens of youths from Papua demonstrated in front of the Gedung Plaza 89 in Kuningan, South Jakarta, where PT Freeport Indonesia`s Jakarta office is located on Wednesday to demand the closure of the company`s operations in Timika.

The youths from the West Papua People`s Struggle Unity Front (Front Pepera PB) carried posters and banners containing their demands.

"The foreign investor in Timika has not brought any welfare to the locals. People have remained poor in spite of its presence for the past 30 years in the region. Around 37 percent of the local population live below the poverty line and are still backward," the demonstrators` spokesman, Viktor Kogoya, said.

He said the Front Pepera PB had also asked the government to facilitate a political dialogue on various problems facing them.

"The success the government has achieved in settling the Aceh problem must be repeated in Papua. It is high time for the government to settle the Papua problem," he said.

Tens of policemen blocked access to the building so that the dmonstrators could not enter it.

The rally proceeded orderly but the demonstrators were disappointed because there was no response from the company.

"The demonstration happened at lunch time so that many company employees who wanted to go out for lunch could not do so and had to wait until it was over," a security guard said.(*)

December 13, 2006


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