18 Oct 2006

Indonesia allows Papua burial of exiled leader Zonggonau

4:24 pm on 18 October 2006

The Indonesian government has granted approval for the remains of an exiled leader of the Papuan independence movement to be repatriated to his home village in the province.

Wilhelm Zonggonau died in Australia early this month after suffering a heart attack.

Mr Zonggonau had become a naturalised citizen of Papua New Guinea after seeking political asylum there in 1969.

His sister Adolfina Zonggonau had lodged an official request for her brother to be buried in Engarotali in Paniai Regency in Papua.

A statement from the Indonesian embassy in Port Moresby says this very genuine plea from the Zonggonau family was taken into account, and it accepted the firm assurance that the funeral would not be used for political purposes.

The embassy also says Mr Zonggonau's supporters should cover the costs of repatriating his body.