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Papua & security on agenda at PNG-Indonesia talks


Peter-ONeill-Pacific-ScoopON A THREE-DAY VISIT to Indonesia over this weekend, Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill is discussing the key issues of trade, border security and extradition.

“We want to encourage further strengthening of trade and investment opportunities between the two countries,” Mr O’Neill said.

The prime minister added that he will talk about ways to develop economic opportunities along border areas as well as strengthening the management of border issues.

The approximately 800 km-long porous border between PNG and Indonesia’s Papua province is host to many issues. In addition to cross-border crossings by various tribes and people from Papua seeking shelter in PNG, there are continuing reports of human rights abuses against pro-independence activists.

Mr O’Neill stressed that his country’s policy is to view Papua as an integral part of Indonesia, but added that he looked forward to discussing matters surrounding the shared border.

“We are encouraged by the invitation by the Indonesian government. For the first time in its history, [the country is] asking PNG to help in some of those issues in West Papua,” he said.

Mr O’Neill said that many ministers will be on hand to sign agreements, with more than 100 business people also on the delegation.

Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand International reports that the decision to include the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation in the Melanesian Spearhead Group has received strong support in the Pacific, with the exception of Papua New Guinea.

Decisions in the MSG are usually reached by consensus. If Indonesia succeeds in lobbying PNG, it might persuade it to refrain from supporting West Papuan inclusion in the MSG.

Three weeks ago, the president of the self-styled republic of West Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut, made an appeal to MSG, the Pacific Islands Forum and the African, Pacific and Caribbean group of states to recognise his country.


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Trevor Freestone

Australia's prime minister Julia Gillard is about to have talks in Indonesia with Indonesia's prime minister and other senior officials.

I wonder if the question of West Papua will even be mentioned. Australian politicians seem to be like other close neighbours and avoid saying or suggesting anything that may upset the Indonesian government.

I sincerely pray that before Julia goes to Indonesia her team will do their research and include West Papua in this research.

Bob Carr failed to do any research into West Papua and just found it easier to support Indonesia's military in their actions in West Papua.

Haven't the people of West Papua the right to decide their own future? If the majority choose Independence then let them rule themselves. If the majority choose to be governed by Indonesia then so be it.

In 1966 refugees coming across the border at Pagei were expressing their views that West Papua should gain Independenc about the same time as Papua New Guinea.

They were refugees even in those days just because they believed in an Independent West Papua.

There was not any publicity about their wishes as Pagei was under Australia's 'secret' classification. Many of my school children had relatives who lived on the other side of the border and they were great people not the thugs Indonesia keeps claiming.

The Liberal National parties are just as lame when it comes to West Papua.

They should be cooperating with the government to unearth the real truth.

After all the West Papuans are our very close neighbours and don't deserve to be abused by a strong military force who have been accused of terrible crimes against the people.

Wouldn't we take up arms if the Indonesians behaved the same way in Australia?

Michael Dom

More correctly PM, it is your government's policy to view Papua as an integral part of Indonesia.

If this was made clear from the start there would be room to manuvoure. Tactical non-sense! We're simply perpetuating the long held fear of trodding on the mighty Indonesian toe.

Since when were Papua New Guinean's asked our views about our West Papuan brothers that the government can claim this as the countries view?

I believe such a statement requires that a sufficient amount of public discussion and debate takes place, since we are afterall talking about our relatives.

Or maybe I missed something?

David Kitchnoge

Good start on both sides.

West Papua is a complex issue and we need to take baby steps like this to try and get a better deal for our Melanesian brothers and sisters on the other side.

A great deal of political capital is needed to deal with Indonesians re West Papua. A great deal of tact is required.

And I think our PM has the necessary characteristics required to engage in this very tricky business.

Corney Korokan Alone

Suppression and dominion of the 3 million plus people of Papua cannot and must not continue for another 50 years.

Any agreement that ignores the plight of Papuan people for economic,security and political reasons is an insult and sin against humanity.

Let the Papuans go! Let them be free to decide and govern themselves.

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