10 Nov 2009

US Committee proposes dialogue between Jakarta and Papua

2:30 pm on 10 November 2009

A US Congressional Committee has called on Indonesia to create an internationally-mediated commission to establish a dialogue between Jakarta and the leaders of Papua.

The call was made by the chair of the US Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, American Samoa's Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, in a letter to the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The letter says this could be done along the lines of the resolution of the Aceh separatist conflict.

It urges the Indonesian President to seize the opportunity provided by these developments to establish a similar process for Papua.

Faleomavaega says he believes such a process would build on important steps Indonesia has taken in recent years, such as its accession to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Indonesia annexed the former Dutch colony after a controversial 1969 UN-backed referendum.