Wednesday, April 05, 2006

West Papua

It was the early eighties when I joined the campaign to lobby for the rights of East Timorese. Yes, I was a terrorist supporter, the terrorists being Fretelin who were fighting against the Indonesian army.

I did not blow anything up, nor mail white powder to anyone. I did attend a rally and I wrote lots of letters, BY HAND. Although I was passionate, I was also niave. But I was also reasonable.

Someone must have noticed me as I was invited to a private meeting somewhere now forgotten in the city. Oddly, this letter came from someone who lived in East Malvern less than a kilometre away from me. This would have been shortly after Malcolm Fraser was re-elected for the last time. I left the issue behind after that. I did not attend the meeting nor acknowledge receipt of the letter. Any authorative person would have made mince meat of me in any sort of personal encounter.

But I never stopped fuming over the injustice.

Is it all starting again in West Papua? They voted in a shonky referendum to join Indonesia when the Dutch bolted. BHP exploited them and their enviroment via the Indonesian government but with Australia's complicity. That task has now been handed on to Canada. They are being flooded with immigrants from Java.

Please somone, don't let East Timor repeat itself in West Papua. Australia needs to use all of it's diplomatic skills. Perhapas, just perhaps, Indonesia is a bit smarter now too.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.