World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Resumption of ties with the Indonesian military.

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Press release 29 Jan 2006

Resumption of ties with the Indonesian military.

The Australia West Papua Association calls on the new Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson, to re-think the plan to renew ties or train with the Indonesian military and in particular the Indonesia special forces Kopassus. Without going into any great detail of its past history, Kopassus has been notorious for its role in human rights abuses in East Timor and West Papua.

In light of the recently released UN report about the activities of the Indonesian military in East Timor, where the TNI used napalm and chemical weapons against the East Timorese people, AWPA believes that it is untimely for our military to recommence co operation with the Indonesian military.

Another recent report on West Papua titled "Genocide in West Papua?" from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, also documents the military's involvement in illegal activities including illegal logging, rigged construction projects and theft of aid.

Joe Collins of AWPA said that " while such entrenched practices continue, it is highly unlikely that the professionalism of the Australian military will have any influence on the TNI", and also "as the Indonesian military receive only 30% of their budget from the government and must raise the other 70% themselves, it should be realised that such an institution is open to corruption".

We understand that the Australian government encourages the Indonesian Government , and the Indonesian military, to enhance its human rights awareness and accountability programs, but this human rights component of training on the Indonesian military had no effect on its behaviour in East Timor and will not in West Papua.

Joe Collins said "that by their very nature, Special Forces troops such as Kopassus will always be used in conflict areas such as West Papua".

Dr. John Ondawame of the West Papuan Peoples Representative Office in Vanuatu said "that he believes that if the Australian military decide to train the Indonesian Kopassus troops , it will only increase the danger to the West Papuan People".

AWPA also notes that Australia and Indonesia are signing a new defence treaty and urges that the 43 West Papuan asylum seekers who fled to Australia be assessed solely on their claims to be genuine asylum seekers and not on any foreign policy decisions to do with the new treaty with Indonesia.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO: