Bishop leads requiem for Papua rebel leader

Bishop leads requiem for Papua rebel leader

The Jakarta Post
Markus Makur

Hundreds of mourners attended a mass service for Papuan rebel leader Kelly Kwalik outside the Mimika legislative council building in Timika, Papua, on Monday.

Timika Bishop John Philip Saklil, who led the service, recalled Kelly as a “great figure” for Papuan people despite his armed struggle to separate the territory from Indonesia.

“Like or not, we have to admit his patriotism made him dedicate his life to the land of Papua for the last 30 years,” the bishop said.

He said Kelly took up arms to fight injustice and rights abuses under the guise of state interests.

The Catholic Church, however, condemns any forms of violence, John Philip added.

“Acts of violence will only generate new violence and murders will only result in more killings,” he said.

Kelly’s remains will be buried at Timika Indah cemetery later in the day.