There’s recently been a number of violent incidents in West Papua. It’s a part of Indonesia that has harboured a strong separatist sentiments ever since it was controversially incorporated into Indonesia over forty years ago. A large meeting of independence activists held in the province late last month was met with a violent crackdown by Indonesian forces. The upsurge in violence has gone unremarked upon by Australia’s foreign minister, Kevin Rudd.
Activists in Australia say that Rudd’s silence is part of a bargain with Indonesia that sees our politicians ignore human rights abuses to safeguard the other advantages of a steady bilateral relationship.