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West-Papua "crucial"

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Tribune (Sydney, NSW : 1939 - 1991)Wednesday 12 July 1978

Bringing an end to human rights violations in West Papua is crucial to regional security and Australia has an important role to
play, according to Australian Democrats' Foreie n Affairs spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.
Senator Stott Despoja said:
"Australia's proximity to West Papua and our direct involvement in previous injustices against the West Papuan people, meant that
we had a responsibility to try and redress the wrongs of the past.
"We are talking about an extended and ongoing history of grave human rights violations on our doorstep, involving the deaths
of at least 100,000 West Papuans," said Senator Stott Despoja.
'Australia cannot stand by and watch these atrocities continue. We have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure the
safety of the West Papuan people.
"Achieving a peaceful resolution of the outstanding issues between West Papua and Indonesia will be crucial to the future security
of the Asia-Pacific region.
"The Australian Government should pursue a friendship with Indonesia based on open and frank dialogue and mutual respect for
human rights.
"There is much scope for our two countries to work together to redress the wrongs of the past and ensure that fundamental human
rights are protected within our region.".