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10 February 2013

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I share the sentiments expressed by the West Papuan leaders.

To try and justify the domination of West Papua by painting a backward picture of them (and by extension us and vice versa) is unacceptable.

If ever there will be a judgement day, then may all of our consciences be judged by our silence over the brutal oppression of this proud nation.

Peter, I think rather than blame Australia for what is happening in West Papua, direct your questions to Lilianne Ploumenm, the present Dutch Foreign Minister.

I believe history will state that the whole of the Indonesian islands, were under the control of this country until after WW2.

The Japanese did control for a period during WW2. And I believe when I left TPNG in 1969, the colonials of Holland,
still controlled West Irian.

Yes you can Google her. All there to see. If you are so concerned why not got back to Mosbi, I thought it was
called, Port Moresby and fix the problems?

First we have an attack on orchardists in Mildura, then we have "your version of Sherlock and Holmes". I can't recall any plantation residence being called a "Homestead"!

I think you would be better employed for the benefit of the people of PNG, If you were on the ground up there, than being in the Hunter Valley of NSW. Just my "humble" suggestion.

Next to Washington, the most important diplomatic posting is Jakarta. Neither posting has "fools" sent there.
_______

Taking this omnibus of grumpiness seriously for a moment, Colin’s memory has betrayed him badly on at least one point. Netherlands New Guinea was a Dutch overseas territory from 1949 (when Indonesia became independent) until 1962. That same 1962 when Colin and I and our colleagues were students at ASOPA debating what Indonesia taking over West Papua may mean for us TPNG-bound teachers - KJ

It quotes him as saying (and I paraphrase), how wonderful that white man came and brought food the locals can now buy in shops. It makes their lives so much easier, because now they do not have to dig their gardens.

I have not read the book, but this would be a very odd statement for Diamond, who usually argues the very opposite, that it's terrible how development comes in and destroyed the agrarian skills of the people.

And the West Papuans are bloody violent. Does anyone dispute the bloody tribal warfare that goes on there?

I think the Indonesians are far, far worse, but I think the West Papuan independence people (who I am very sympathetic with) are being driven to deny the obvious for political reasons.

Strategically Indonesia is probably the most important country for Australia, so we can't do anything to upset them.

This means we ignore the situation in West Papua and gloss over the human rights abuses, and have been doing so for over 60 years.

The whole of Australia for the last generation should be ashamed. 100,000 killed on our doorstep, and we did nothing!

Bob Carr, stand up to the mark.

Many people believe that many tribes in remote parts of PNG are primitive and unable to survive without outside intervention.

How wrong they are.

I have always admired these people for they have survived for thousands of years in their very hostile environment; an environment where outsiders under the same conditions would not survive for a week.

As I have stated before Australia has been very aware of the atrocities that have been occurring in West Papua ever since Indonesia took over control.

They even had a special branch officer interviewing refugees at the then Pagei in the 1960's.

Since then Australian Governments have done nothing to condemn Indonesia for their actions.WHY?

Even Mr Downer of the Liberals wrote to me and told me they were aware of what was happening but were not going to do anything about it as it was an Indonesian problem.

Bob Carr even supports the Indonesians. He should visit what we know as West Papua and see for himself what is happening. Of course he won't.

Couldn't agree more. Read an article in the Weekend Australian, Review magazine about Diamond's book.

It quotes him as saying (and I paraphrase), how wonderful that white man came and brought food the locals can now buy in shops. It makes their lives so much easier, because now they do not have to dig their gardens.

I wonder if he then goes on to discuss the problems this causes; that they need money to buy that food, and how often mines have destroyed their food gardens so they no choice but to buy food, but without education or training, they can't get jobs, so can't buy food...

What a disgrace that this book and this man it seems is seen as the definitive authority on Papua New Guinea.

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