3) Australia and Indonesia: are we there yet?
Dozens of KNPB members and sympathizers arrested and taken to Merauke Police – Jubi / Frans L Kobun
2) FOR THE SAKE OF PALM OIL, BRIMOB ALLEGEDLY PERSECUTED CUSTOMARY LAND OWNER
Yan Ever Mengge, an alledged victim of violence in Puragi Village, South Sorong, West Papua Province – IST
THE PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMANT DECEMBER 5 2017 - 12:15AM
The people of these neighbouring nations know surprisingly little about each other.
He was no doubt right about that, although, when I got to Jakarta, I wondered how anyone could survive, let alone prosper, in a city with traffic congestion of mind-boggling dimensions and air pollution bad enough to make your eyes water.
Foreign policy statements play primarily to a domestic audience, so in a sense it doesn't matter whether the other countries in the drama agree with their Australian-assigned roles. In any case, the real action lies in bilateral relations, which will always be advancing and retreating, largely unheralded, on a range of fronts.
Even so, something seems not quite right. We used to spend a lot of time talking about Indonesia (only Papua New Guinea is closer), but unless something happens to upset or inconvenience us, our near neighbour excites little public interest. I expected to meet many Australians as I travelled around Java; to my surprise, I found almost none. All the Australians, I was told, were on Bali, and most never got beyond Kuta. Other tourists were European, predominantly Dutch. No doubt many had connections going back to the days (over 70 years ago now) when the Netherlands was the resident colonial power. I suspect the lack of interest is reciprocated: most Indonesians I met seemed to know little about Australia. Having established through friendly enquiry that I was Australian, if I said I was from Canberra, people looked a bit puzzled.