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DATE=12/1/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDONESIA / IRIAN JAYA (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-256699 BYLINE=PATRICIA NUNAN DATELINE=JAKARTA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: An estimated 20 thousand people gathered Wednesday in the capital of the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, to raise the flag of the separatist movement pressing for independence from Indonesia. Patricia Nunan reports from Jakarta that the symbolic gesture is expected to be repeated on Saturday in the northern province of Aceh, where Indonesian security forces are bracing for violence on the anniversary of a guerilla separatist movement there. TEXT: Thousands of people in the city of Jayapura wept as the anthem of the separatist group the "Free Papua Movement," was played. Demonstration leaders also raised the "Morning Star" flag of the separatists, before hoisting the Indonesian flag. It has been 38 years since Dutch colonialists last allowed the separatist flag to be raised. Three years later, the region's independence movement was dampened by a special ballot resulting in West Papua becoming Irian Jaya, a province of Indonesia, some four-thousand kilometers east of the capital, Jakarta. A low-intensity independence campaign has been waged ever since, with separatist leaders demanding that the United Nations overturn the results of the 1964 ballot. Irian Jaya is one of several Indonesian provinces pushing for independence from Jakarta, because of alleged human rights abuses by the military and because of growing resentment of the central government's alleged exploitation of the provinces' natural resources. Separatist leaders in Irian Jaya say they will not accept plans proposed by Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid for a special autonomy package for the province -- which would allow local people greater control over the province's affairs. The separatists say they want nothing less than independence and the complete withdrawal of the Indonesian military by the first of May, next year. Meanwhile, tension is mounting in the northern province of Aceh, where separatists are expected to make a symbolic gesture by raising the flag of the "Free Aceh Movement" Saturday, the 23rd anniversary of the guerrillas' declaration of independence. Almost 900 extra police have been sent to the province because of fears violence will erupt. Thousands of people have been leaving the province over the past few weeks because of fears of clashes between the military and separatist rebels. December 4th is also the deadline local parliamentary leaders gave the government in Jakarta to declare readiness to hold an independence referendum in Aceh. They say they will hold one themselves, if the central government does not do so. /// REST OPT /// Separatists in Aceh and Irian Jaya have been emboldened by what is seen as a victory for East Timor -- where the people were recently allowed to vote on whether or not to separate from Indonesia. The Indonesian government granted East Timor independence in September after the ballot revealed almost 80-percent of the people wanted the territory to become independent. NEB/PN/FC/gm 01-Dec-1999 04:48 AM EDT (01-Dec-1999 0948 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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