Ready To Explode

Last week, rallies to demand the closure of a gold and copper mine run by U.S.-based Freeport-McMoRan in Indonesia's Papua province turned violent, leaving three policemen and one air force officer dead. But the real surprise is that violence didn't break out sooner. Papuans have long seen the mine as a symbol of Jakarta's unequal share of the proceeds from the province's natural resources—and the roots of their resentment go even deeper. The remote province, whose inhabitants are ethnically distinct from the rest of the country, was forcibly taken over by Indonesia in 1963 and remains bedeviled by corruption, secessionist...

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