24 Mar 2006

Indonesian MP calls for government to protest to Australia

10:15 am on 24 March 2006

A member of Indonesia's powerful foreign affairs commission in parliament says the government must mount a diplomatic protest against Australia.

Indonesia has reacted angrily to Australia's decision to grant temporary visas to a group of asylum seekers from the Indonesian province of Papua.

The group had claimed they faced persecution in the Indonesian province.

Jakarta had earlier appealed to Australia to send the 43 asylum seekers back, warning that to do otherwise could affect the relationship between the two countries.

But Australia has decided to grant temporary protection visas to 42 of the 43 Papuans who landed at Cape York in January.

An Indonesian MP has labelled the decision as unfriendly.

Djoko Susilo says it means that Australia has accepted the claims made by the Papuans.