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10 June 2017

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Yeah Phil, it seems so. And yes, he has performed in Nashville.

The indigenous melanesian people of West Papua have been ruthlessly opressed by the Indonesian Military/Police administration ever since the Indonesian occupation of their country over 50 years ago.

In the early to mid 1970's I was stationed at Vanimo, PNG with the Australian administration & was involved in many Border Liason meetings with the Indonesian authorities in Jayapura.

Under the Indonesian Governments Transmigration policy huge numbers of Javanese & other Indonesians were relocated to West Papua. They took over the prime agricultural & urban land & the traditional owners were forced to move to more marginal areas. It was apparent to myself as a casual observer that the indigenous people were vastly outnumbered by Indonesians in Jayapura.

It is well known that the West Papua people have suffered large scale gross human rights abuses over the past 50+ years.

The weakness of the U.N. to adress the issue of the Indonesian takeover in 1963 was deplorable.

One hopes that as people of PNG & other Pacific nations become more aware of the plight of the West Papuans, that they & other countries will advocate on their behalf to the U.N.

Greater international media coverage of the issue would certainly assist such advocacy.

Not long after reading Vilimaina's report i opened one of my emails which shows perhaps the most important reason for Jakarta to keep its stranglehold on West Papua is the Grasberg Mine - richest in world.

"20170609 - Three Thousands of Indonesian workers at Grasberg Mine have been fired for going on strike -- and they need our support today (www.labourstart.org).

"US company Freeport-McMoRan fired 3,000 workers over the last month at the massive Grasberg copper and gold mine in West Papua.

"The firing violates the workers fundamental rights, the collective bargaining agreement and Indonesian law. The workers had gone on strike in protest against the company's unilateral decision to put them on long-term leave of absence.

"The conflict has spread to Java, where over 300 workers have been fired at a joint venture between Freeport and Mitsubishi known as PT Smelting, which processes copper from Grasberg.

"The Indonesian government cannot allow Freeport and Mitsubishi to abuse workers in this way. Mining and metals unions around the globe have demanded Indonesia enforce its own law and defend the right to strike, so far to no avail. Global unions have called for a massive online campaign in solidarity with the workers.

"Please take a moment to show your support."

http://www.labourstart.org/go/freeport

Apparently it's the giant gas field resource between Qatar and Iran that is fuelling the latest strife in the Arabian world.

Behind the scenes of so much mayhem is the lust for control of the earth's resources.

The song sheet he brought with him seems to be a one hit wonder Johnny.

It's also the kind of response one would expect from Indonesia (and maybe an old country and western singer and TV reality show host).

At least there are eleven parliamentarians in New Zealand with a bit of gumption. Sadly, we have none in Australia's parliament.

Readers may be interested in reading/hearing an interview with Jakarta's new man in Wellington.

He has arrived having told Indonesian media his main objective was to inform NZers about Papua. Here he is asked about human rights abuses, media access and treatment of local journos:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/332545/jakarta-s-new-man-in-wellington-opens-up-on-papua

and there's more in this audio and transcript:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/201846654/papuans-love-being-part-of-indonesia-says-ambassador

Why Radio Australia shut down its shortwave service to the Pacific defies comprehension.

One can only assume there was some sort of sinister motive involved. I wonder if Peter Dutton's fingerprints are on the decision.

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