Tue, 11 Apr 2000

OPM members reject autonomy

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya: Members of the Reconciliation Forum of Former Free Papua Organization (OPM) have written President Abdurrahman Wahid expressing their rejection of his offer of autonomy for the easternmost province of West Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya.

In the letter dated April 3, the forum members, who are former political prisoners, said the Indonesian government's offer of wide ranging autonomy to West Papua would just lead to further murder, rape and oppression as committed by the old regime.

The letter, signed by 15 OPM political prisoners, also said they had been fighting for years for an independent state of West Papua, not just a wide ranging autonomy. "Therefore we strongly reject the offer," the letter read.

They also urged the President to have the newly deployed troops in Papua withdrawn. (eba)