Irian Jaya (or West Papua or Irian Barat or Papua Barat) is the western part of New Guinea, controlled by Indonesia since 1961. Under terms of US support of the 1961 invasion Indonesia was to allow an United Nations adminstrated 'Act of Free Choice' by 1969; in 1969 this operation was undertaken by the Indonesian military. The Indonesian methodology for a free election took the form of selecting approximatly 1026 of the most suitable representatives as determined by Indonesia; housing and training them to speak some suitable Indonesian sentences and explaining that Indonesia would help them remove any Dutch claims of colonial ownership of Western New Guinea; and finally having these representatives vote in front of armed Indonesian military.
Irian Jaya provides considerable taxes and training to Indonesia through the licencing of exclusive mineral rights to the Freeport Corporation since 1967. With a large oil deposit found in 2001 some governments continue to have a considerable motivation to veto any initives in the UN to review any alledged human rights violations or colonisation of Irian Jaya.
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West Papua forms the western half of New Guinea and shares its eastern boarder with Papua New Guinea. Under Indonesian military occupation since 1961 the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) has continued its fight with bows, arrows and spears against the Indonesian military armed with assult riffles; Huey helicopter gunshps; and F-16s.
Though New Guinea is one of the few significant rain forest regions left, Indonesia has been strip logging vast areas of forest to provide cheap wood for the Japanese paper industry. There are are crediable though company disputed reports that the worlds largest gold and copper mine operated by the Freeport Corporation has be pouring untreated toxic wastes into the local river system poisoning many villages.
Since Abdurrahman Wahid was replaced by Megawati Sukarnoputri as Indonesian President there has been a massive build up of the Indonesian miliaty base on the West Papuan Island of Biak; and the August 2001 US State Department travel warning advised "all travel by U.S. and other foreign government officials to Aceh, Papua and the Moluccas (provinces of North Maluku and Maluku) has been restricted by the Indonesian government". As few Non-Government Organisations are allowed into West Papua and these are restricted to the Indonesian townships, there is no means to report an any new military operations against the Papuan populations.