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but is it appeasement « Previous | |Next »
June 15, 2006

It's the Jakarta lobby in action again isn't it.

The decision to grant temporary protection visas to 42 asylum-seekers of the 43 from the Indonesian province of West Papua who landed at Cape York. That decision infuriated the Indonesian Government, which promptly recalled its ambassador and launched a diplomatic broadside, charging that the decision represented de facto Australian recognition of West Papuan secessionists, and undermined Indonesian sovereignty.


Prime Minister John Howard publicly declaring his support for Indonesia's territorial integrity and dispatched diplomats to give the same assurances to Indonesian government officials. The Indonesians, however, have not been mollified, have kept up a steady pressure on Australia to rescind the granting of the visas, or, failing that, to ensure there is no repeat of the episode, and stated that Australia still had to prove its commitment to respect Indonesia's sovereignty.

Doesn't the new immigration law do this? It prevents any further asylum-seekers from seeking refuge in Australia. The Bill recreate supplements the so-called Pacific Solution, whereby potential unauthorised asylum-seekers (including women and children) are moved to offshore processing centres without recourse to legal avenues available on the mainland.

So, is it just business-as-usual for the Jakarta lobby? Or does appeasement apply? And that in doing so, as the senate Committee noted the Bill breaches Australia's obligations under international law and that it "represents deficient foreign policy, in terms of a perceived attempt to appease Indonesia over the situation in West Papua".

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:02 PM | | Comments (1)


It is Konfrontasi politics from Indonesia. Yudahano is weak politically atm, and the concern is the TNI is getting the upper hand in West Papua. This is where Howard's aversion to playing power politics falls up short.