Thu, 04 Dec 2003

Papua Council to hold dialog

JAKARTA: The Papua Council will hold a gathering on Dec. 15 to discuss the fate of the province.

Council head Jhon Ibo said on Wednesday the dialog would respond to the government's decision to split the province, which has resulted in several clashes.

"We still don't know about our status. Frankly speaking, most Papuans expect to separate from Indonesia," Ibo said, adding that Papuans had to resolve the issue to curb separatism.

Ibo said the council would discuss four options that could help the government settle the future of the province, including the establishment of the Papuan People's Assembly and a ballot to determine whether Papuans agreed to Law No. 45/1999 on the province's partition.

The Constitutional Court is hearing a demand for a judicial review of the law. -- JP