Senate rejects support for West Papua

December 1, 1999

Senate rejects support for West Papua

By Leigh Hughes

CANBERRA — The Coalition and Labor have both voted against a Senate motion, put by Greens Senator Bob Brown on November 23, which would have recognised the overwhelming support for independence among West Papuans.

Brown proposed that the Senate note that intelligence documents have surmised that 95% of West Papuans want independence and that recent protest actions in West Papua's capital, Jayapura, have condemned the actions of the Indonesian regime and its efforts to split the province.

Brown also proposed that the government recognise that the 1969 "vote" for integration was neither free nor democratic and that the UN should act to provide West Papuans with self-determination.

Every Senator except Brown voted against the motion: Coalition, Labor and Democrat.

After 25 years of opposing independence for East Timor, the major parties now claim that they never did so and that they are, and were, supporters of the Timorese. Their refusal to support West Papuan desires for the same thing shows the shallowness of their claimed humanitarian ideals.

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