Wed, 02 Aug 2000

Free Papua movement wins support

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya: Vanuatu and Nauru are the first countries to express support for the independence movement in Irian Jaya, promising to convey the aspirations of the province to the United Nations' general assembly in September.

The support from the two South Pacific countries was revealed during a meeting in Vanuatu's capital of Port Villa on July 31 between a nine-man Papuan delegation and Vanuatu Premier Barak T. Sope Mautamate and Nauru Premier Bernard Dowiyogo, a Papuan figure said here on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Committee for an Independent Papua, Laurents Mehue, told The Jakarta Post when the delegation arrived home that Papuan Council Presidium chairman Theys Hiyo Eluay led the Papuan delegate.

"The two countries have also agreed to finance the Papuans' struggle for independence as they feel Papuans are part of the Melanesian people," Laurents claimed.

Meanwhile, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) AM Fatwa said that the House would summon Theys over his trips to Middle Eastern and Pacific countries and Australia. (34/sur)