March 21, 2007 from 09:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Trades Hall Bar. Cnr Lygon St & Victoria St, Melbourne VIC
The people of West Papua have faced 38 years of military oppression from the Indonesia military (TNI). More than 100,000 have been murdered and everyday West Papuans face the threat of violence, rape, torture and imprisonment. Thousands of West Papuan refugees have been fleeing to neighbouring PNG and hiding in forests of West Papua. In January 2006, 43 asylum seekers from West Papua landed on Christmas Island are now here with us in Melbourne.
The Indonesian government has a strong interest in West Papua’s huge gold and copper deposits owned by Western Mining giants like Rio-Tinto and BHP Billiton. The mining industry funds the Indonesian military and is a huge source of revenue for the Indonesian government. The Howard government has just signed a broad reaching agreement with Indonesia which criminalizes Australians, Indonesians and West Papuans calling for democracy in Indonesia. It contains clauses that threaten to limit free speech, increase militarism and develop a nuclear export industry.
There are no human rights safeguards, and nothing has been done about the severe restrictions on international media access to West Papua. Come and find out more about West Papua and what you can do…