The OPM’s general coordinator, Lambert Pekikir has announced that three regions in Papua are ready to fly the Morning Star flag on 1 July, the anniversary of the OPM’s military wing, the TPN.
The flag flying will last for three days, along with fireworks. He said that the three regions are Wamena, Keerom and Yapen Waropen. People in Wamena are from the mountains, the people Yapen Waropen are coastal people, while those from valleys and lowland areas live in Keerom.
OPM troops along with civilian sympathisers will take part in the flag-flying. ‘There will be ceremonies as well, attended by the general public and those struggling for an independent Papua.
‘Our military forces are well prepared for these events and if the TNI and police respond with violence, we are ready,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the police have issued an ultimatum urging that there is no flag flying. ‘The Morning Star flag is not a flag of the Indonesian Republic or a regional symbol, and anyone who unfurls that flag anywhere in Papua will be seen as having violated the law and will face the consequences in accord with the laws in force in Indonesia.’
The army spokesman, Yohannes Nugroho Wicaksono called on people not to fly the flag. ‘In the interest of security and order throughout the area of Papua, we urging people not to be provoked by those who are planning this event.’
Activities undertaken by the police in anticipation of the flag flying on 1 July include intensifying police patrols and sweepings in all police regions. He said that the police have been ordered to act professionally.’
The chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, the Papuan legislative assembly, Ruben Magai, has called on all the people not to be provoked by unnecessary issues in advance of the TPN anniversary. He hoped that people will continue to engage in their everyday activities, while calling on the security forces not to use violence. ‘The persuasive approach must be prioritised. The best thing would be for all those concerned to sit down and talk, to as to find out what each sides wants.
[Slightly abridged translation by TAPOL]
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