The Jakarta Post
Australian academics and researchers have raised concerns, in a letter sent to Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, about a recent fatal shooting in Sorong, Papua.
They said the shooting, perpetrated by the Indonesian security forces, of a group of Papuans marking the 50th anniversary of the transition of power in Papua from the United Nations to Indonesia highlighted continuous conflict in the region.
'It is our responsibility to protect civilians, particularly in our region, against any state brutality. West Papua is not far away from us. They are literally at our doorstep,' they said in the letter made available to The Jakarta Post on Monday.
Therefore, they said, they urged Minister Carr to request the Indonesian authorities to hold accountable all those who were involved in the attack.
'We appeal you to publicly support President Yudhoyono's willingness for peace dialogue with Papuans as a way to find a peaceful solution for West Papua in the long term,' it said.
The letter's signatories include Camellia Webb-Gannon, a visiting scholar at Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney; Francesca Merlan, a professor from Australian National University (ANU)'s School of Archaeology and Anthropology; Rebecca Monson, a lecturer at College of Law, ANU; Budi Hernawan OFM, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at ANU's Regulatory Institutions Network; and Peter King, a professor at West Papua Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney.
The incident occurred on April 30 when a joint patrol of the Indonesian police and military fired shots at a group of Papuans who were gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the transition of power from the UN Temporary Executive Administration (UNTEA) to Indonesia on May 1, 1963.
Two locals ' Abner Malagawak, 22, and Thomas Blesia, 22 -- were killed in the incident while Salomina Klaibin, 42, died later in hospital. Two others ' Herman Lokmen, 18, and Andreas Safisa, 24 ' suffered serious injuries but survived.(ebf)
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