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West Papuan asylum seekers: a background briefing

Raise the Flag and Cry Merdeka
West Papuan asylum seekers: a background briefing on the issues at stake

Project SafeCom website
21 January 2006

The first traditional West Papuan boat, a canoe with outriggers, arrived on Australian shores this week from West Papua. The heat is on the Howard government especially because the Indonesian government allegedly embarked upon "revenge attacks" against family members of those who made the journey. This is a background briefing on the issues at stake.

"I remember Joseph Luns more because of his enormous nose paired with his highly erudite and eloquent manner of speech than because of anything else, but I forgive myself for that aberration."

"After all, when I remember the time that Dad would switch on the Sunday noon Hilversum 2 radio station to listen to the weekly current affairs wrap-up, I was barely in my teens, we were always having Sunday dinner, and most of us in the family..."

"A legal research group linked to Yale University found, in their report from 2003, the facts which had become known to them sufficiently serious to use the ominous word genocide to describe the situation."

"According to the statements of Papuans with a considerable knowledge of what was going on, not a day went by during the following decades when no one died or no one was seriously mistreated."

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