Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Indonesia police use water cannon against Papua protesters



Indonesia police use water cannon against Papua protesters

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Papuan students protest on Tuesday. AFP

Indonesia police use water cannon against Papua protesters

Indonesian police used water cannon against protesters in the province of Papua on Tuesday, after thousands came out to oppose plans to for a major redistricting in the restive region.

Jakarta announced last year it was considering making six new provinces in the region, home to a decades-old rebel insurgency.

It said the shake-up would accelerate development and make it easier to govern, but many Papuans fumed that they were not consulted, and the move would tighten the capital’s control over the mineral-rich region.

In March, two people were killed and several others injured when a protest against the plan turned violent in Papua’s Yahukimo district.

On Tuesday, thousands gathered in several locations near the provincial capital Jayapura to reject the plan, with similar protests in other parts of the country.

Authorities used water cannon to disperse the protesters in Waena, on the outskirts of Jayapura, national police spokesman Gatot Repli Handoko told AFP.

“The students were blocking the road which was disturbing the public and the officers opened the blockade. At that time we did use water cannon to disperse the mass,” he said.

Images showed anti-riot police deployed with heavy equipment, and gunshots were heard.

More than 1,000 police officers were sent to the protests in Papua.

At least one person – identified only as JW – was arrested, for allegedly spreading provocation and fake news ahead of the protest.

Local media reported that it was Papuan activist Jefry Wenda.

“He was arrested for spreading fake and provocative news which he spread through social media prior to the demonstration,” Handoko said.

Papua’s ongoing insurgency aims to gain independence from Indonesia, which took control of the former Dutch colony in the 1960s.

In 2019, at least 20 died in neighbouring West Papua province during a clash between security forces and protesters following days of violent unrest to protest against racism towards Papuan students in the country’s second-biggest city, Surabaya.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol