Thursday, February 17, 2011

Papua Protesters Sever Access to Manokwari

Hundreds of candidates who failed to gain government jobs took the streets of Manokwari, West Papua, on Wednesday.

The demonstrators blocked access to the city at 7:30 a.m. after toppling trees and electricity poles on the main streets leading to the city.

The disruption caused a traffic jam that stretched two kilometers in some areas.

During the rally, protesters demanded the West Papua municipal government be fair and honest in the recruitment test.

Warmere Police Chief First Insp. Christian told the Jakarta Globe that he had tried to negotiate with the protestors but to no avail.

“The crowd demanded the West Papua municipal government explain why they were not accommodated in the civil officer candidate recruitment test. They won’t rest until their demands are met,” Christian said.

It was not the first such rally in Manokwari. In December 2008, a rally took place in front of the district head’s office to protest the municipal government’s then regulation that did not allow senior high school graduates to apply for the test.

The demonstration is ongoing.