13 Apr 2010

NZ should do more over Papua issue, says author of new book

9:14 am on 13 April 2010

An author of a new book about peacebuilding in Indonesia says governments like New Zealand's can and should do more to help resolve the problems of the Papua region.

The book, 'Anomie and Violence: Non-truth and Reconciliation in Indonesian Peacebuilding', says international leadership on the Papua question is essential to avert catastrophe and end almost 50 years of conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Professor John Braithwaite's book says that ongoing repression and exploitation in Papua is feeding deep resentment and alienation among the indigenous people.

He says regional players like New Zealand cannot continue to ignore it.

"New Zealand has done some very good things in the past but like many governments has given up (on) a problem that's been there for fifty years, seems insoluble. But one day it will either explode into something really awful or it will be resolved. It won't drift forever. So to just let it sit there and fester is a very irresponsible position for western diplomats to take."