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Senate calls on Foreign Affairs Minister to investigate West Papua claims.

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Bob Brown, Senator for Tasmania

Senate Calls on Foreign Affairs Minister to Investigate West Papua Claims

17th Mar 05

Downer should use talks to pursue claims against Indonesian military

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer should use the meetings with Indonesian ministers taking place today and tomorrow to pursue claims concerning the misuse of aid money in West Papua, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

The Senate has this morning passed a motion demanding urgent action by the Foreign Minister.

“He has the ideal opportunity when he meets his Indonesian counterpart today.

“I sincerely hope Mr Downer will not turn his back on human rights in West Papua in talks with his Indonesian guests.

This morning the Senate passed the following motion moved by Senator Brown:

The Senate (a) notes: (i) claims on the SBS Dateline program that international aid money earmarked for humanitarian and development purposes in West Papua has been siphoned to the Indonesian military, and

(ii) reports of destruction of highland villages by the Indonesian military causing thousands of West Papuans to flee; and

(b) calls on the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Downer) to investigate the claims and report back to the Senate as a matter of urgency.