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Indonesia’s gross violation of local culture and rights in West Papua

West Papuan activists at a rally calling for the nationalisation of the Indonesian
unit of a US-based mining company, and the right to self-determination
for West Papua. Photograph: Bagus Indahono/EPA
Lionel Sawkins hopes George Monbiot’s recent article might spur the UK government into action to support the independence wishes of West Papua’s indigenous population
The welcome article by George Monbiot (Britain can help erase one of the world’s last colonial stains, 21 November) about Indonesian colonisation of West Papua covers the ground admirably. One could just add that the indigenous Melanesian population of Papua is entirely different ethnically, culturally and in most other ways from Indonesia, and the implantation there of Indonesian settlers was a gross violation of local culture and rights. Let us hope the UK government will be spurred into some long-overdue action to support the wishes of the original indigenous population to achieve independence. Lionel Sawkins


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