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Home » , , , , , » Comments: SBY to be cautious during Darwin summit

Comments: SBY to be cautious during Darwin summit

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on July 5, 2012 | 9:31 AM

SBY and Julia Gillard
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is aware of the sensitivity surrounding the prolonged asylum seeker issue in Australia and has instead opted to focus on discussions beneficial to Indonesia when meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Darwin, Australia, on Monday, according to an official.


I don’t doubt for a moment that the main topic of discussion at the bilateral talks in Darwin will be economic. However, I noted that in the official communiqué from the inaugural Indonesia-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting in Bali in November last year, the statement that the two countries would work together on “the promotion of democracy, good governance, human rights, the rule of law and capacity building” and on defense.

“Reinforcing our comprehensive security cooperation, both leaders directed senior officials of both countries under the Security Cooperation Consultation Group to review existing cooperation, and to coordinate and set priorities under the Plan of Action of the Lombok Treaty. Both leaders also further encouraged the finalization of the defense arrangement as a basis for enhanced defense cooperation between the two countries”.

In the wake of increased violence in Papua, it would appear that the Indonesian government is failing in its attempts to bring democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law to the territory.

I believe the relationship between Indonesia and Australia is strong enough that Julia Gillard can and should raise concerns about the human rights situation in Papua and President Yudhoyono should raise any concerns he might have with Julia Gillard about the US military being hosted in Darwin.

In the past two months, there has been a large number of shooting incidents in Papua by unknown assailants.

If the Indonesian President is serious about improving the well-being of the Papuan people, he should control the security forces in the territory and order them to return to barracks as a way of avoiding any further escalation of an already tense situation.
Joe Collins

The political relationship between Indonesia and Australia is continuously up and down.

In the Paul Keating and Soeharto era, Australia and Indonesia had a good relationship. The relationship, however, started to go downhill when Indonesia accused Australia of helping to push for a referendum in Timor Leste.

Since then, Indonesia has viewed Australia with prejudice, particularly in connection with Papua’s separatist movement.

I believe that Australia has the political will to maintain good relations with Indonesia as Australia sees Indonesia as being a strategic partner in the next decade.
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