The ramifications of the fast moving events in Libya and the middle east could be felt as far away as Papua in Indonesia.
A movement for greater autonomy or even independence from Indonesia has been active since Papua was absorbed by the Muslim state in 1969.
Its been at times ruthlessly suppressed by successive governments in Jakarta fearful of the breakup of national unity and the loss of rich resources.
But observers say with demands for greater democracy reverberating around the world there might be a new willingness in Jakarta to take on board the calls for change.
“Anybody would be encouraged by what’s gone on in the Middle East. And the Papuans are even more mobilized than those Arab populations were, its a kind of permanent Papuan mobilization against Jakarta. And the tactic so far of cultivating an enriched elite of bureaucrats and politicians which has been the main Indonesian strategy to pacify Papuans plus the influx of migrants from outside Papua, that’s not going to wash in the post-Tahir Square millieu that we’re living in.”
-Peter King, from Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Listen to the entire broadcast at http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201102/s3148222.htm
Presenter: Karon Snowdon
Speakers: Peter King, from Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies;
John Otto Ondawame, Vice President of the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation;
Jacob Rumbiak, coordinator of the foreign office of the West Papua National Authority