There was controversy yesterday because some independent-minded Australian Labor MPs attended the launch against the wishes of the acting Foreign Minister, Dr Emerson.
The suffering of the West Papuan people and the denial of their right to self-determination has become a dirty secret hidden from the rest of the Pacific region. Indonesia has controlled the region against the wishes of the indigenous people for nearly 50 years, but because journalists and humanitarian workers (including the Red Cross) are largely excluded the ongoing conflict is little understood.
New Zealand, Australia and other Pacific countries have shamefully put their desire to be on good terms with Indonesia ahead of the rights of a colonised people. But the tide is turning thanks to the efforts of citizen journalists to expose the truth from inside, and now thanks to the efforts of these principled IPWP parliamentarians.