TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Papuan students collected in the anti-racism, capitalism, colonialism, and militarism group staging a protest today at 13:00 in front of state palace asked for a referendum of the region.
"We want a referendum, we don't want development, Papua is not red and white (Indonesian national flag). Papua is morning star (West Papuan flag)," said the leader of the demonstration in Jakarta, Thursday, August 22.
About 60 Papuan students joined the rally that is staged as a form of an anti-racism protest following the persecution against fellow students in Surabaya. Acts of racism have allegedly triggered the rioting in West Papua's city of Manokwari and Sorong.
"The Papuans asked for a settlement of human rights violation. The Papuans don't need development and road construction. Don't make the Papuans mad," he said.
The protesters urged the government to grant West Papua rights to self-determination in ending the racism and colonialism in the region. They asserted the needs of eliminating racism against the people of Papua.
"I'm telling you, the people of Papua are fed up because we need to be respected as a decent human being. The government shouldn't do anything arbitrarily. Papua wants independence at a fixed price. A referendum of Papua. Independent Papua," he said.
The university students have previously gathered in front of the Home Affairs Ministry since 11:45 and conducted a long march heading to State Palace. A number of police officers guarded the demonstration and there were a riot and act of pushing each other.
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