25 Feb 2011

Middle East-style uprising unlikely in Papua, says academic

4:28 pm on 25 February 2011

An academic specialising in Papua affairs says it's unlikely effective popular uprisings like those in the Middle East and North Africa will take place in Indonesia's Papua region.

The comment by Richard Chauvel from Melbourne's Victoria University came at this week's Comprehending West Papua conference in Sydney.

Some delegates at the Sydney University conference claimed that ongoing mass mobilisations demanding change in Arab countries give hope to Papuans frustrated with Indonesian rule.

However Dr Chauvel says the context is very different in Papua.

"The Indonesian government can contain what happens in Papua in a way that doesn't affect mainstream Indonesian politics and society. For this Indonesian government and President, there are no votes in Papua. That consensus that Papua is part of Indonesia is still intact."

Richard Chauvel