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Dutch PM should raise West Papua issue with Howard

Dutch PM should raise West Papua issue with Howard

Media Release
Monday April 3 2006 12:45am WST
For immediate Release
No Embargoes

"The Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr Jan Pieter Balkenende, who will this week be in Australia on an official visit, should raise the issue of independence for West Papua with the Australian Prime Minister John Howard, says WA Rights group Project SafeCom."

"The Dutch government, just in December 2005, published a report into the "Act of Free Choice", commissioned by the government to review all events around the handover via the United Nations in 1862 under the then Secretary-General U Thant, and the report by Professor Pieter Drooglever included damning findings on the part of the UN and the international community and the silence on the issue."

"West Papuans never wanted to be part of Indonesia - they are Melanesians and they don't eat rice," spokesman Jack H Smit said. "The Act of Free Choice referendum was stacked by just 1074 hand-picked voters, and reports exist that even those handpicked individuals were threatened with having their tongue cut out if they would not vote for integration with the Republic of Indonesia."

A summary of the report is available online.

Sham vote thwarted West Papua's self-determination dream: Dutch report

15 November 2005 - TAPOL press release - The 1969 Act of Free Choice, intended to be an act of self-determination by the people of Indonesian-occupied West Papua, was doomed to failure from the outset suggests a Dutch government-commissioned report released today.


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