New post for critic of Papua Catholic aid agencies

Jakarta's new ambassador to Australia is an official who earlier this year sought to rein in the activities of Catholic aid agencies suspected of being supportive of West Papuan moves towards independence from Indonesia.

Australian Associated Press reports that Hamzah Thayeb, a 53-year-old Acehnese, criticised the Federal Government in March for not doing enough to reign in Australian-based aid groups in Papua whom he accused of supporting separatist groups in the province.

Thayeb said Indonesia was assembling a dossier of evidence on the activities of Catholic aid agencies in Papua, as well as the aid wing of the Australian union movement, known as Australian People for Health Education and Development, or APHEDA.

"There is certain information, indications, that certain NGOs operating here and funded by the Australian government are doing these sorts of activities," he said.

The Federal Government, which has consistently said it backs Indonesian territorial integrity, agreed to look into the claims at a meeting of ministers from both countries in Canberra.

Aid critic named as new Indonesian envoy (Sydney Morning Herald/Australian Associated Press 30/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Separatists milking aid: Indonesia (Australian Associated Press 24/3/05)
The Church and human rights in West Papua (Australian Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs)
West Papua and Self Determination (Pax Christi Australia)

Brisbane bishop meets West Papua human rights advocate (CathNews 3/8/04)
Franciscans request Jakarta to halt Papua paramilitary training (CathNews 7/4/03)

31 Jul 2005