Franciscans say Jakarta ignoring root cause of West Papua tension

A Franciscan lobby group said the Indonesian government has failed to recognise the "root causes" of unfolding violence in the province of Papua.

In a report last month distributed with the April issue of their email Newsbrief, the Geneva-based human rights lobby Franciscans International said it regrets recent violence and loss of life in Papua but that it believes "the Central Government in Jakarta has not yet reconciled itself to deal with (the root causes of the violence)."

The comments follow violent clashes last month between students and the Indonesian police and military over the operation and impact of the New Orleans-based Freeport McMoRan gold and copper mine located near Timika, southern West Papua.

"Those root causes include: the widespread environmental destruction due to the Freeport McMoRan 'Grasberg' gold and copper mine's operations," the Franciscan report said.

It also includes "ongoing and systematic human rights abuses committed against indigenous individuals, communities and peoples; and economic dispossession of Papuan peoples near the Grasberg mine."

The Franciscan lobby group, which has an office in Papua's capital of Jayapura, said it will continue to monitor the situation as Indonesian police and military reinforcement moves into West Papua.

Violent protests erupt in West Papua (Franciscans International 17/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Franciscans International
Hampapua.org - A Human Rights Resource for West Papua (Catholic Diocese of Jayapura)

Priest concerned for safety of new Papuan arrivals (CathNews 5/4/06)
PNG bishop warns jihadists setting up in West Papua (CathNews 27/3/06)
Commission seeks action on West Papuan asylum seekers (CathNews 16/3/06)
'Repeat of Timor' fear for West Papua (CathNEws 2/2/06)
Bishop says Jakarta sought access to Papuan asylum seekers (CathNews 25/1/06)

Refugee advocate says human rights take precedence over politics (ABC Radio The World Today 5/4/06)
Warnings to Papuan boat people (The Age 6/4/06)
Papuan union leader misses the mark in bid for asylum (The Australian 6/4/06)

12 Apr 2006