Road map for West Papua

I wrote a piece recently about the new Cabinet of the Indonesian government, including their new Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa who gained his PhD at the Australian National University.  As I’ve written a number of times, Indonesia has made very impressive progress in a range of areas in recent years.  I believe one of their…

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Mega oil spill reaches Indonesian Coast

A leaking oil rig off the north-western coast of Australia has been spewing oil into the marine environment for over two months.  Whilst there has been intermittent publicity about the ongoing oil spill, it certainly hasn’t galvanised wide-scale public concern in Australia. I have to confess that, like Northern Territory based blogger Bob Gosford, I am perplexed…

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Indonesian election

I’ve http://andrewbartlett.com/?cat=27 written on this blog about Indonesia quite a few times over the years, and had a couple of brief visits to Jakarta and once to Aceh. I’ve also tried to follow events in that country and speak with Indonesians – delegations and individuals – who are visiting Australia. The elections held in Indonesia…

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Rebuilding in Aceh

The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 seems a very long time ago. I was fortunate to make a brief visit to Banda Aceh in mid-2005, which I wrote about here and here. Some parts of that visit I’ll never forget. This story from last weekend’s Jakarta Post (found through Breakfast Politics) gives a snapshot of the reporter’s brief…

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Suharto and human rights

The death of former Indonesian President Suharto has naturally provided many articles examining his legacy.  Most note the major economic expansion which occurred in Indonesia during his time in power, including a relative decline in overall poverty, whilst making some mention about his “less than desirable” record on human rights (to quote Alexander Downer). Without…

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Reluctant Indonesians

Tonight I am introducing the public lecture and book signing for Dr Clinton Fernandes, author of the recently released, Reluctant Indonesians: Australia, Indonesia and the future of West Papua. I’ve written many times, see here , about West Papua, Indonesia and the fraught relationship with Australia and it is pleasing to see an account that…

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An Enemy of the State?!

Media reports have stated that my name is on an “Indonesian intelligence agency watch list” in support of independence for West Papua. This report on the ABC Asia Pacific website says it is an ‘enemies list’ of prominent Australians and organisations regarded as being supporters of Papuan Independence. However, this story on ABC radio said…

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More on West Papua

It is now 2 months since 43 asylum seekers from West Papua arrived in Far North Queensland. They were whisked away to our nation’s most remote, expensive and rudimentary detention centre on Christmas Island, and still await news on the result of their claims. The changes announced by the Prime Minster last June require an…

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Bali – nothing to justify terror

As mentioned below, the Senate devoted most of Tuesday to a condolence debate on the Bali bombings. It isn’t a good idea to get stridently political too close to such a traumatic event. However, I do find it a bit irritating when I hear gratuitous demands of the Indonesian government that they ban Jemaah Islamiah….

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I is for Immigration AND Indigenous (and Indonesia)

One aspect of the controversies surrounding the culture of the Department of Immigration Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) that I haven’t seen mentioned is how it reflects on the sort of deal indigenous Australians are getting. The second ‘I’ in DIMIA stands for Indigenous, and the recently removed Secretary of the Department, Bill Farmer, oversaw…

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More impressions of Aceh & beyond

Just before leaving Aceh yesterday, our delegation was told we would probably be able to meet in the morning with the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. It would be a good finish to a visit focused on the enormous human impacts of the tsunami and earthquakes in the region. The twin messages I got from…

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In Aceh

We left Jakarta at 6.30 this morning on the Government jet to Banda Aceh. It is further away from Jakarta than I expected – over 1800 kilometres – and is actually further west than Vietnam and Thailand and lies well north of the Equator. Accompanying us was Dr Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who is the Director of…

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