22 Sep 2008

Indonesian Minister's dialogue comment treated with caution by Papuan Coalition

3:01 pm on 22 September 2008

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says a signal from Indonesia's Defence Minister that Jakarta could enter dialogue with Papuans should be treated with caution.

This follows comments from the Minister, Juwono Sudarsono, that the raising of the outlawed Papuan Morning Star flag isn't an act of separatism and that Indonesia should seek dialogue with Papuans instead of punishing them.

But Paula Makabori of the Coalition for Liberation says Jakarta has still not responded to their request at the beginning of the year for peace dialogue involving third-party mediators.

She says with all the native Papuan political organisations, a wide range of NGOs and church groups under its umbrella, the coalition would welcome dialogue with Jakarta but suspects its not serious about it.

"If they're so serious than they should respond to the Coalition's letter which is sent to them, that they need to dialogue with a third party mediator. It's always the people that support Jakarta's will that are being chosen by Jakarta to come and talk over there."