3 Feb 2011

PNG politician accuses government of doing Indonesia's dirty work

8:32 am on 3 February 2011

The governor of Papua New Guinea's National Capital District is accusing the government of using a security operation along the Papua border to do Indonesia's dirty work.

More than a hundred Papuans are said to have been arrested in Sunset Merona, a joint forces operation involving police, the defence force, immigration, customs and other government agencies on the Indonesian province's border.

The detainees are being investigated for links with the Papua liberation movement or OPM and while the authorities say they sympathise with the people being held, respect for Indonesia's sovereignty takes priority.

Powes Parkop, a long-standing advocate of Papua's independence, says it's obvious the Indonesian government has been pressuring PNG.

"Because they've just had the recently trans-border liaison meeting I think last month or just towards the end of the year and I think that's where the pressure came from, from the government of Indonesia. We cannot be seen to be doing the dirty work of the Indonesian government. The Indonesian government should recognise the problems in West Papua and deal with it seriously as a political issue."