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Jakarta Post

Indonesia protests the opening of Free West Papua office in Oxford

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, May 5, 2013   /  03:40 pm

The government of Indonesia has issued a statement strongly objecting to the opening of the so-called Free West Papua office in Oxford on April 28. The Indonesian government has
asked its UK counterpart to be consistent in its policy of not supporting any action related to the separatist movement in Papua and West Papua.

'€œIndonesia'€™s ambassador in London has relayed the government'€™s position on the matter to the UK government,'€ said Indonesia Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa in a press release sent to The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

The same disapproval has been sent to the British Embassy in Jakarta.

The government stated that the opening of the office was clearly contrary to the good mutual relations between Indonesia and the UK.

As such, the opening of the office was felt to be contradictory to the position taken by the British government, which has acknowledged the territorial integrity of Indonesia. The new office also opposed the international community'€™s view that firmly acknowledged the territorial integrity of Indonesia with West Papua included as an integral part, said the release.

'€œThis development is a reflection of the desperation among separatists in dealing with that reality,'€ Marty said.

The office has been opened by the Free West Papua campaign, which is led by British-based Papuan exile Benny Wenda, as well as with the support of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP).

The IPWP was launched in Britain's House of Commons on October 15, 2008, and is chaired by British politician Andrew Smith, a Labor Party
legislator.

The office opening was attended by Andrew Smith, the Lord Mayor of Oxford Mohd Niaz Abbasi, former Oxford mayor Elise Benjamin and Benny Wenda. (asw/dic)

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