Rabu, 21 Maret 2012

Justice commission calls for stronger stand on West Papua

Bob Carr
The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) has called on the new Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr to change the direction of Australia's approach to conflict in the Indonesian provinces of West Papua, reports The Catholic Leader.
The Brisbane Archdiocese's CJPC also formed part of a demonstration in King George Square on March 16, the same day as the final court appearance of five West Papuan independence leaders.
CJPC executive officer Peter Arndt said the demonstration included placards bearing the photographs of the five men. "We later learnt the men had each been imprisoned for three years," he said.
The men were initially arrested after an attack by Indonesian military units on crowds gathered for the Third Papuan People's Con-gress last October.
A number of unarmed Papuans were killed following the attack.
Mr Arndt said the militarisation of West Papua had led to great problems in the region, situated on the western half of the island of New Guinea.
"The indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua have never accepted the Indonesian takeover of West Papua in the 1960s," he said.
Mr Arndt hoped the appointment of Mr Carr as Foreign Affairs Minister "will give Australia a chance to take a stronger stand on military brutality and intimidation in the region".
"We also hope Mr Carr can encourage the Indonesian Government to sit down with all political groups in West Papua and find a way to end a conflict which has lasted fifty years," he said.

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