Friday, April 07, 2006

Papua: Unsafe for refugees to return

The Age reports "exiled West Papuan independence leader Jacob Rumbiak is well placed to challenge the credibility of Indonesian assurances that 43 West Papuan refugees could have been safely returned to Indonesian-controlled West Papua.

The Indonesian Government and demonstrators in Jakarta have vented their fury at Australia for granting visas to 42 of the 43 West Papuan refugees, claiming it violates Indonesia’s territorial integrity and upholds the refugees’ claims of genocide against West Papuans. What they conveniently disregard is Indonesia’s track record with returned West Papuan refugees opposed to Indonesian rule."

Appeasement of Indonesian agression has been a serial failing of Australian governments, whilst Papuans have been serially abused by successive regimes. This cannot stand, and no amount of posturing out of Jakarta will change the fact that Indonesia does not have a legitimate right to control Papua - it does so by force!

A young boy at the Free West Papua protest outside the indonesian embassy in Canberra.

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