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The police went and stopped the West Papuans who gathered to celebrate their 61st anniversary of struggle to recuperate West Papua Independence since 1961 in Port Moresby on Thursday.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Justin Tkatchenko went after the police asking for clarifications as to why the event is not allowed to take place.

He said the West Papuans have outstanding issues that are concerning them and one of them is the citizenship of becoming a Papua New Guinean.

More than 300 West Papuans living in Port Moresby gathered at Baratahua where their main Centre is, while preparing for the celebration, the police went and stopped them due to what they claim to be some outstanding issues.

The chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, PNG Office Philip Kepan said they have given a formal notice and an invitation to the office of foreign affairs to celebrate the day and also to open their new office.

Unfortunately, he confirmed that there was no formal response letter given until today.

“I’m not happy with the Government of the day, the police came down and treated us like criminals” Kepan said

Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko went there to listen to their concerns and said the most important thing is to respect each other.

He said about 1000 West Papuans were put through citizenship committee and were given PNG citizenship 4 to 5 years ago.

With that 4 to 5 thousand West Papuans have applied to become Papua New Guineans but still haven’t been processed as yet and he will find out what is causing the delay.

“It is important that we did the right thing diplomatically by our neighbors. Indonesia have raised some concerns about the issues that are happening here with West Papuan refugees,” Tkatchenko explained

Tkatchenko also mentioned that the other issue is the land that they are living on but this is a local issue that they will fix.

He added he was there to explain and to respect the laws of PNG and to respect the republic of Indonesia.

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