Indonesian authorities says anyone on board a 'freedom flotilla' headed for West Papua could be arrested if the boats arrive without authorisation.
17 Aug 2013 - 7:00 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 2:01 PM

Indonesian authorities says anyone on board a 'freedom flotilla' headed for West Papua could be arrested or detained if the boats arrive without authorisation.

Foreign minister Marty Natalegawa says after discussions with Australia and Papua New Guinea all three countries are in agreement.

"Indonesia, Australia and PNG are all on the same page in not wanting such a stunt to interrupt or disrupt our relations," Mr Natalegawa says.

Two yachts set sail today with about thirty crew members.

They have been warned that if they enter the West Papua waters they will be intercepted by Indonesian Navy vessels.

But the activists say they are highlighting abuses that West Papuans endure under Indonesian rule.

"That is something that you cannot turn a blind eye to when you hear some of the thing that are happening," says activist Natalia Papa.

Australia recognises West Papua as part of Indonesia but not all politicians do.

Liberal MP Warren Entsch says he supports the flotilla.

"I'm hoping at some stage that common sense will prevail and we'll be able to see West Papua regain it's identity. It's true identity," says Mr Entsch.

One of West Papua's political leaders - who lives in Australia in self imposed exile - says Australia needs to take a leadership role is helping bring about self determination.

"We hope Australian government can be a third party to bring Indonesia and West Papua to sit together to talk about our future," saysWest Papua political leaders Jacob Rumbiak.

The flotilla is expected to reach West Papua in 13 days.