Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Separatists in Indonesia's Papua raise independence flag
25 July 2009, in the border region between Indonesia's Papua Province and Papua New Guinea (PNG), members of the National Liberation Army of the Free Papua Movement
(TPN-OPM) raised a Morning Star Flag next to the Muru River, in Kampung Wembi, Arso Timur Sub-district, Keerom District, Papua.
The group, led by Lambert Peukikir, demanded open dialogue regarding Papuan independence. Head of the Information Service for XVII/Cenderawasih Military Area Command, Lieutenant Colonel Susilo, said the flag was raised about one kilometre from an Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Battalion 725 Security Post in Kampung Wembi. He added that TNI's response was limited to being alert and increasing surveillance, as the police are responsible for handling such cases.
According to information collected by Kompas, the flying of the Morning Star flag was part of efforts by OPM to get the government to be willing to discuss the Papua issue.
Additionally, they reject all forms of intimidation of Papuan activists. This incident almost resulted in an armed clash between the separatist group and local security forces.