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Home » , » UNCEN students raise referendum with new US ambassador

UNCEN students raise referendum with new US ambassador

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on October 8, 2010 | 8:02 PM

Abridged in translation.   Bintang Papua 6 October 2010  UNCEN students raise referendum with new US ambassador  During a visit to Jayapura, the new US ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Marciel, visited the Padang Bulan health  clinic and a number of government offices.  During a visit to Cenderawasih University, there was a one-hour dialogue with the students at which the students raised their demand for a referendum and called for merdeka a number of times during questions and answers. They expressed their disappointment that the ambassador's visit to the university was only one hour long and the newly appointed ambassador  made no reference to the issue of a referendum or similar matters.  [According to a report in JUBI posted earlier, UNCEN students had said that they rejected the ambassador's visit if it was only to discuss matters such as education.]  Ambassador Marciel who was accompanied by several staff members from the US embassy said he had just be appointed to the job and did not yet know much. 'I  still need to study a lot. I will study everything first,' he said.  Speaking to journalists, he said that the purpose of his visit to Papua was to visit UNCEN and the health clinic and a number of officials such as the MRP and the governor and he would be discussing the question of education with the Indonesian authorities.  Responding to questions about a referendum, he said that the US government supports special autonomy status for Papua within the NKRI. He said that his government had never supported separatism for Papua.  During his visit to the health clinic, he met midwives. 'I am visiting Papua to take a look at development here and to meet health personnel and other Papuan leaders.' During his meeting with midwives,  he discussed issues related to pre-natal care and malaria which have been funded by the US since 2006.  During his meeting with members of the MRP, the implementation of special autonomy was discussed. MRP members told him that special autonomy had been a failure. 'The Papuan people have said that special autonomy has failed and we facilitated this,' they said. They said that the failure of special autonomy was evident from the fact that there had been very little improvement in the living conditions of the Papuan people and moreover, the government had pressed ahead with a decision to split up the province which was not in accord with the terms of special autonomy.  According to Agus Alua, chairman of the MRP , the ambassador said only that he first needed to study all this information.
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