Sunday, July 1, 2012

Media release -Aust PM to meet Ind President in Darwin. Should raise West Papua

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Media release 1  July 2012

Aust PM to meet Ind President in Darwin. Should raise West Papua

The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will meet with the Indonesian President in Darwin for the 2nd Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders` Meeting. In the wake of increased violence in West Papua AWPA has written to the Prime Minister asking that she raise the human rights situation  and the the behaviour of the security forces in West Papua with the Indonesian President.
AWPA letter below


Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
ACT 2600

1 July 2012

Dear Prime Minister,

On behalf of the Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) in Sydney, I am writing to you concerning the deteroriating  human rights situation in West Papua. 
In the past two months there has been a large number of shooting incidents in West Papua by unknown assailants. The Indonesian security forces have tried to blame the attacks on the Free Papua Movement (OPM) however, the OPM has denied involvement in the attacks.

What is not in doubt is the attack on the village of Honai Lama, a sub district of Wamena in the Baliem Valley by the  Indonesian security forces in which one person has been reported killed and up to 17 wounded and a large number of houses set on fire. There have also been reports that the military and police on Yapen Island have conducted military operations in villages looking for  peaceful political activists which the security forces  claim are so called seperatists. These military operations are creating a population living in fear from the security forces.

The security forces in West Papua have been targeting peaceful activists including members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). In one horrific incident the security forces killed Mako Tabuni, deputy chairman of the KNPB. The police claimed he was armed and resisting arrest but witnesses said he was not armed and shot by men in plain clothes from a passing car. 
 Some media reports have also said the Australian trained Detachment 88 was also involved in the killing.

As you will be meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the 2nd Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders` Meeting in Darwin in the next few days, we urge you to raise our concerns about the attacks against the civilian population by the Indonesian security forces in West Papua.

We note that in the official communiqué from the inaugural Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting in Bali in November 2011, the statement that the two countries would work together on
“the promotion of democracy, good governance, human rights, the rule of law and capacity building”.
and on the defense relationship

“Reinforcing our comprehensive security cooperation, both leaders directed senior officials of both countries under the Security Cooperation Consultation Group to review existing cooperation, and to coordinate and set priorities under the Plan of Action of the Lombok Treaty.  Both leaders also further encouraged the finalisation of the Defense Arrangement as a basis for an enhanced defense cooperation between the two countries”.
In the wake of increased violence in Papua it would appear that the Indonesian Government is failing in its attempts to bring democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law to the territory.

As Australia helps train the Indonesian military and in particular Detachment 88, we have to accept some responsibility for the Indonesian security forces behavior in West Papua.
I urge you to to raise the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President asking that he control the security forces in West Papua and urging him to order the security forces to return to their barracks as a way of avoiding further escalation of an already tense situation. 
Yours sincerely
Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney)

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