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Indonesia lacks direction on Papua, says academic

An academic who focuses on Papua says Indonesia’s government lacks a clear sense of direction in how it wants to deal with the ongoing security problem in troubled Papua region.

The comment from Richard Chauvel from the School of Social Sciences at Melbourne’s Victoria University comes as members of Indonesia’s House of Representatives voice support for any military offensive against Papuan separatists.

Dr Chauvel says there’s been little momentum achieved on the government’s stated aim late last year to have peaceful dialogue with Papuans.

He says the heavy presence of the military in Papua is complicating resolution of broader political, historical and human rights issues.
“Those types of restrictions of human rights people, journalists, academics, is clearly becoming less effective and one’s tempted to ask the question, whether from the Indonesian national point of view it’s really counter-productive.”
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