Indonesian troops "die on the border"
The Advertiser, Wednesday 1-06-1977
From ANGUS SMALES and AAP
PORT MORESBY, Tuesday — Papua New Guinea Radio said tonight that the
entire population of a small village near the Irian Jaya border had vanished
following reports that two Indonesian soldiers had been killed in the area.
Reporter Albert Crighton of the National Broadcasting Commission's Wewak
office said the Indonesian soldiers had been killed, and two others had been
captured by guerillas at a village inside Irian Jaya.
The two captives had been brought to a village on the PNG side, Crighton
The village, which was unnamed, is believed to be a tiny settlement in the
Imonda area where a Papua New Guinean has already reported shot by
Indonesian soldiers who crossed the border.
It is in the northern section of border region separating PNG from Irian
Jaya, the most easterly province of Indonesia. The village is said to
normally have a population of about 40.
It is several hundred kilometres from the southern border area where nearly
700 Irianese refugees have crossed into PNG and are being interviewed by
The PNG Government today remained silent over the developments on the
The only formal statement so far has been from the Prime Minister (Mr.
Somare) telling people not to be alarmed about reports of border incidents.
The situation was discussed in Port Moresby today between the Government and
its defence, security and intelligence advisers, but no statement was issued.
Mr. Somare cancelled a Press conference which he had earlier agreed to hold.
The Opposition's Deputy Leader (Mr. Langro) said today that PNG was "going
much too far in its efforts to appease the Indonesian Government" over the
It was time the PNG Government devoted its attentions to the protection of
its borders and citizens, he said in a statement.
"There can be no excuse for Papua New Guineans being shot by foreign
soldiers in their own land," he said.
"By its silence, our Government appears to be giving tacit approval to such
ventures — something it has no right to expect the people of this country to
put up with.
'"l support good relations with our neighbours, but such support does not go
so far as to tolerate armed invasion of our land or the present Government's
apparent policy of keeping events on our borders secret from our own people.
"The reported shooting and the presence of armed invaders on our soil demand
an immediate statement from the Government, a full and detailed explanation,
and assurances that there will never be a repetition," Mr. Langro said.