Police Ban Morning Star Flag At Funeral Of Papuan Separatist Leader
Mourners have continued flocking to Papua’s Regional Representative Council building on Monday to attend the funeral of separatist leader Kelly Kwalik, who was shot by police last week.
Kwalik will be be buried on Monday afternoon in Timika, Papua.
Hundreds of people were awaiting the Catholic funeral mass outside the building. The mass would be led by Bishop John Philips Saklil.
Kwalik’s coffin was covered by the Morning Star flag. Behind the coffin was a banner stating: “USA, the Netherlands and the United Nations are coming soon to settle Papua’s political status so we can make our own decisions.”
Kwalik was a leader for separatist Free Papua Movement. He was shot by the police last week in a raid in Timika. Police said Kwalik was armed so they had to shoot his leg. He died later in hospital.
A Papuan lawmaker, Karel Gwijangge, said that Kwalik’s family requested police’s permission to erect the Morning Star Flag, the symbol of the Free Papua Movement, to honor him. The request was turned down.
Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Bekto Suprapto said the police strictly forbade Kwalik’s supporters from erecting the flag, which is banned in the province, to keep the security situation stable at the funeral.