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Indonesian Defence Minister's call for a ban on Senator Nettle counterproductive.

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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

Indonesian Defence Minister's call for a ban on Senator Nettle counterproductive

Senator Nettle, 22nd March 2006

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today called on the Indonesian Defence Minister to retract the accusation made by his office that she is 'indirectly linked' to violent protests in the province of West Papua.

"The accusation is ridiculous, and should be withdrawn," Senator Nettle said.

"Neither I nor my office has had any involvement in violent activities in West Papua. I continue to be concerned about human rights abuses in West Papua at the hands of the Indonesian military and the Defence Minister's recent comments heighten my concern.

"If the Defence Minister is proud of the actions of the Indonesian military in West Papua then he would welcome international scrutiny. I would be happy to meet with him and exchange views on the situation in West Papua.

"The presence of international parliamentarians in West Papua would have a calming effect on the tense situation, not an inflammatory one as asserted by the Indonesian Defence Minister.

"I hope that cooler heads than the Defence Minister's prevail and that international politicians are invited to visit West Papua.

"In light of the comments of the Indonesian Defence Minister I have written to the Indonesian Ambassador today in the hope that we can meet to discuss the issue of West Papua and continue to explore the possibility of a visit to the province.

"The Greens hope for a peaceful resolution to the problems in West Papua that sees the West Papuan people decide what is best for their future."

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146 Created by Administration Last modified 23-03-2006 01:13 PM