“Secure” May 1: TNI/Police deployed in full strength

by OKTOVIANUS POGAU, Editor, SuaraPapua.com

May 1, 2013

West Papua, Jayapura – Both the Papuan Regional Police (Polda) and Indonesian Military (TNI) Command XVII/Cenderawasih are reportedly at full strength to “secure” actions that commemorate the annexation of West Papua by the Indonesian state on 1 May 1963.

Police anti-demonstration apparatus in a show of force, Jayaura, May 1, 2013 (Photo: SuaraPapua.com)

Arnold Belau, a journalist from suarapapua.com reported that dozens of police (Polri) and military (TNI) trucks were driving through the streets of Jayapura. A number of trucks were parked in places that have been sites of regular protest action by Papuans in the past.

“I just came from the housing estate Perumnas III, right at the round-about of Uncen campus. There are 5 Brimob trucks, and several military trucks parked there. I didn’t see any signs of protest or public speaking near the taxi ranks. The situation was very tense,” said Belau, via mobile connection from Jayapura.

Apart from Perumnas III, Belau also monitored the Waena area, right in front of the Museum Budaya (Cultural Museum), on the road towards Sentani, a usual location for protest action.

“At Expo, right next to Cultural Museum, there are 5 police trucks, 1 mobile water cannon, 3 armoured military vehicles and 10 Brimob (paramilitary police) patrol cars. There are hundreds of fully armed security forces near the vehicles” said Belau.

In the Sentani area Belau reported that Kampung Harapan (the village of hope) has been also occupied by hundreds of security forces. They stand alert in combat gear and are armed with automatic weapons.

“In Kampung Harapan, I observed 4 police trucks, 2 police vehicles, and 1 military truck. At the junction of the Institute of Agriculture, also in Sentani, there is 1 water cannon vehicle, 1 police truck, and 1 truck with a mounted tear gas cannon,” said Belau.

Belau continued to monitor the Sentani area, especially at the memorial of Theys Hiyo Eluay, the slain West Papuan independence leader where a protest of national mourning will be organized by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and their supporters.



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