The repressive acts of the Indonesian military against liberation movements in East Timor, the island of Maluku to the west and Aceh in north Sumatra, bodes ill for the people of West Papua, whose leaders defied Indonesian President Habibie in February by demanding independence by April. The ultimatum was given to Habibie at talks in Jakarta held on February 26. Although they were officially dubbed a "Dialog Nasional" (national dialogue), the West Papuan delegation was carefully screened and selected by the Indonesian state security agencies to exclude the more outspoken independence advocates, such as the Chairman of the Council of Traditional Chiefs, Theys Eluay, Chairman of the Combined Christian Churches in West Papua, Reverend Karel Philip Erari, and even the two former governors, Barnabas Suebu and Isaac Hindom. This "vetting" by Indonesian authorities was intended to ensure a vote for "Irian Jaya" to remain part of Indonesia. But of the 76 members of the delegation, representing a broad-based coalition of traditional chiefs, political activists, academics, civil servants, churches, women, student and youth groups, only four succumbed to Indonesian pressure and opted for a political status other than outright independence. The majority demanded instead that the people of West Papua be allowed the right to set up their own fully independent sovereign nation no later than April this year. The delegation did not mince words, reading a blunt statement to Habibie and assembled Indonesian leaders that said in part: "It is important to recognise from the outset that the fundamental issue that has given rise to the prevailing political instability and security-related problems in West Papua (Irian Jaya) dating back to 1961 cannot be solely blamed on the apparent failure of the Government of Indonesia in attending to the province's development needs. "The real cause for this unfortunate state of affairs can be clearly traced to developments associated with the then emerging political status of West Papua, which at that point in time was on the verge of becoming a fully fledged independent sovereign nation, thereby offering an opportune alternative for the people of West Papua to finally realise their hopes and aspirations to take their rightful place among other nations of the world, had it not been for the forced annexation of the territory by Indonesia." The delegation said it did not "see any need for us to even discuss the renewed desire or intentions of the Indonesian Government to develop our land and our people within the context of a united state of the Republic of Indonesia". Instead, they issued a three-point demand: "1. It is the unanimous wish of the entire people of West Papua to become a fully independent sovereign state and to take our rightful place among other nations of the world; "2. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the people of West Papua, on the basis of mutual trust, jointly take all necessary steps and be responsible for ensuring the successful implementation of all relevant decisions in an amicable manner towards realising the expressed wishes of the people in establishing a fully independent sovereign state of West Papua no later than March 1999; "3. In the event that the wishes of the people of West Papua are not adhered to, as stated in point number one, it will be necessary for the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the people of West Papua to enter a process of a negotiated settlement internationally no later than April 1999 under the direct auspices of the United Nations." There is stiff opposition within Indonesia to a fully independent West Papua. The country's rich gold and copper deposits, as well as oil, gas, timber and marine resources already contribute significantly to the Indonesian economy. President Habibie's reaction to the demand for independence was to appeal for "calm" and to urge the West Papuan leaders to return home and get their people to instead consider "alternatives other than full independence". The meeting with Habibie and especially the demand for independence has been deliberately played down in Indonesia, the Government citing unspecified "security reasons".