4 Apr 2005

Papuan leader says Australia should support human integrity in the Indonesian province

8:12 pm on 4 April 2005

A church leader from the Indonesian province of Papua says if Australia reconfirms its commitment to Indonesia's territorial integrity it will give the green light to the military there to kill more Papuans.

The Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is now visiting Australia and Prime Minister John Howard is expected to re-state Canberra's backing for the country's current borders.

The Reverend Socrataz Sofyan Yoman, the president of the West Papua Baptist Church, says the military is currently carrying out an action in the Papua highlands and is causing deaths from starvation.

He says instead of territorial integrity the emphasis should be on human integrity.

"'What is this territorial integrity? They have to say we support the human integrity, yes, human rights and human dignity."

But the head of Asian and International Affairs at the University of Victoria in Melbourne, Dr Richard Chauvel, says territorial integrity for Indonesia remains a key element of Australia's regional security.