12 Oct 2011

Thousands rally in Papua for referendum on independence from Indonesia

4:09 pm on 12 October 2011

Thousands of Papuans have rallied in front of the Papuan People's Assembly in Jayapura, demanding a referendum on the province's independence from Indonesia.

The West Papua National Committee deputy chairman Mako Tabuni told the rally that they gained freedom in 1969 and that Papuans will demand independence until they die.

According to the Jakarta Post, Mr Tabuni said they have had enough with Indonesia in Papua and it was time to end that.

Dozens of police officers guarded the protesters, who carried banners demanding a referendum, similar to their last rally in June, which also drew thousands of participants.

More than a dozen of rallies demanding a referendum on Papuan independence from Indonesia have been staged this year.

The UN approved the controversial 1969 vote on which Indonesia bases its claim on the former Dutch colony.