Sat, 05 Apr 2003

Security boosted in Maluku, Papua

SORONG, Papua: The Navy plans to deploy dozens of warships to ensure security in Indonesian waters, especially off Maluku and Papua.

Sorong Navy Base commander Maj. Kris Sri Hod told Antara on Friday that his organization was optimistic of being able to ensure security in the waters off Maluku and Papua, despite the small number of naval vessels assigned to cover such a huge area.

He stressed, however, that the Navy had been successful in educating and informing the public and the business community about the need to report any violation of the law at sea, such as foreign ships illegally entering Indonesian waters.

"We will also increase the frequency of our patrols at sea," he said.

According to Kris, the number of foreign ships entering Indonesian waters had sharply decreased.

He explained that the Navy would allow all fishing companies to operate in Maluku and Papua waters provided they preserved the maritime environment and possessed the necessary permits.

He said that the Navy would not tolerate any use of bombs or chemical substances for fishing.--Antara