Vila Times

Indonesia: West Papuan petition is a big lie

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Indonesian Ambassador to Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand has said the petition presented to the UN asking for a referendum on independence for West Papua is a big lie.

Tantowi Yahya said the claim by West Papuan independence activist Benny Wenda that the petition managed to attract 1.8 million signatures is a manipulation, reports Pacific Beat. It has been gathered in secret because it was illegal under Indonesian law.

Mr Yahya also said there are only 1.3 million ethnic Papuans in the two provinces making up the western half of New Guinea island, so the figure of 1.8 million signatures cannot be right.