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West Papua- a no go-area

West Papua- a no go-area

An Australian Parliamentary delegation is visiting Indonesia (from 11 to 16 April) as part of regular official exchanges to strengthen links and engagement between the two parliaments. The delegation which is led by The Hon Duncan Kerr MP, will hold a range of meetings in Jakarta. The delegation will also visit a number of joint Australia-Indonesia programs in Central Kalimantan in the areas of environment, health and education.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, "there has been a large number of bilateral visits between Australia and Indonesia
since the Rudd Government has come to power yet none of the Australian delegations have so far visited West Papua. Its as if West Papua is a no-go area yet West Papua is the one issue that could cause major friction between Australia and Indonesia (as it has in the past) and it is in Australia’s interest to help resolve the many critical issues in West Papua" .

A new book, "Anomie and Violence: Non-truth and reconciliation in Indonesian peacebuilding" points out that
"Papua is the most troubled part of Indonesia today, suffering the greatest extremes of inequality and poverty, arguably the most debilitating levels of corruption and the worst conduct of the Indonesian military. Papua struggles through its fifth consecutive decade of intermittent armed conflict. It is one of the places in the world with a risk of civil war in the next few years"

and

"Papuans have less access to legitimate economic opportunities than any group in Indonesia and have experienced more violence and torture since the late 1960s in projects of the military to block their political aspirations than any other group in Indonesia today".

AWPA believes the situation in West Papua could deteriorate further and now is the time for the Australian Government to be raising all the issues of concern in West Papua with the Indonesian Government and encouraging Jakarta to dialogue with representatives of the West Papuan people as the best way to try and solve the many problems in West Papua.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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