24 Mar 2006

Indonesia summons Australian ambassador over Papuan asylum decision

1:43 pm on 24 March 2006

Indonesia has summoned Australia's ambassador to Jakarta, Bill Farmer, to protest Australia's decision to grant temporary visas to 42 Papuan asylum seekers.

The Indonesian government says it is "surprised, disappointed and deeply deploring" the granting of the temporary visas.

All but one of the 43 Papuans who arrived in Australia's far north in January and were flown to Christmas island for processing are allowed to stay.

Jakarta has said that none of the Papuans is subjected to any persecution, claiming their safety was guaranteed if they returned.

A spokesman for the Indonesian embassy in Australia, Dino Kusnadi, says the decision is a case of double standards.

"If you are aware of the many cases of asylum seeking in Australia, then you would definitely see that there are different standards to each issue. Perhaps they see it on a case-by-case basis. But on those case-by-case basis, you also need a similar standard of implementing it. but unfortunately in these cases, those standards are different."

Indonesia spokesman Dino Kusnadi