26 Apr 2007

Jakarta's use of West Papua to name just part of the Papua region is considered theft

7:24 pm on 26 April 2007

An academic says the move by the Indonesian government to renamed West Irian Jaya province as West Papua amounts to theft.

Jakarta announced earlier this week that they name change would be fully in place by April next year.

But West Papua has long been the name applied to the entire Papuan region by the self determination movement and was the name they gave it when declaring independence in 1961.

Papua specialist at Sydney University, Professor Peter King ,says the move is designed to undermine the Papuan independence movement.

"To name one of the provinces which is being set up by manipulation and collusion at the centre - that's mud in the eye for the independence movement because they're stealing the name which Papuans have long regarded as the proper name for their province, it's what an independent Papuan entity would be called if that ever came about."

Professor Peter King