15 Dec 2003

Public hearing on the future of the Indonesian province of Papua

8:02 am on 15 December 2003

A public hearing starts today in the capital of Papua on the future of the Indonesian province.

The secretary of the Papua Presidium Council, Willy Mandowen, says the provincial parliament will hold a public hearing with representatives of all sectors of Papuan society.

Their discussions will include Jakarta's decision to split the province which has resulted in widespread and sometimes violent protest.

Mr Mandowen says he expects the Papuans to oppose the government's decision, and to demand that the Papuan People's Assembly, which is guaranteed under the autonomy agreement, be established.