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Howard misjudges Australians: 77% support W. Papua

Howard has badly misjudged Australians - Brown

Newspoll shows 77% support West Papua

Prime Minster Howard has badly misjudged his fellow Australians over the right of West Papuans to self determination. A Newspoll shows that for every Australian who backs Mr Howard's recognition of West Papua as part of Indonesia, 15 want West Papuans to have a vote on independence.

"The Prime Minister is horribly out of touch with Australian values.
While this nation backs freedom and a fair go for our West Papuan neighbours, Mr Howard backs Indonesian military occupation. Never has the Prime Minister been so out of step with average Australians. He should heed the Australian people and change his mistaken appeasement of Jakarta," Greens leader Bob Brown said today.

"In future discussions with Indonesia's President Yudhoyono, Mr Howard must elevate the Papuan's desire for 'merdeka', freedom, to the top of the agenda," Senator Brown said.

The Australian Greens, who have always backed a proper UN act of self determination for West Papua, will move a new motion on the issue when the Senate sits again in 2 weeks time.

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