Papua school shooting not raised with Indonesia says PNG
The Papua New Guinea foreign minister has not raised shooting of school children with Indonesian counterpart.
In the wake of a visit to Papua New Guinea of the Indonesian Foreign Minister, the PNG government has confirmed that the killing of school students in Papua was not raised in the meetings.
The PNG Foreign Minister, Rimbink Pato, says human rights are a major concern for both countries and documented abuses are raised if and when they occur.
However, following Retno Marsudi's visit to PNG, Mr Pato confirmed he had not been briefed on the December incident.
Mr Pato spoke to Alex Perrottet.
RIMBINK PATO: Indonesia, like Papua New Guinea, is a member of the United Nations, Indonesia is a member of the Human Rights Commission, a member of RCN and a member of regional and sub-regional groups which Papua New Guinea is a member of, so sometimes the press, or someone may make an allegation which may or may not have any basis, but if we have a closer, an openness, in the communication between the two countries, and the foreign ministers in particular, then we'll be able to deal with each allegation as and when it arises. If it arises, yeah we will enquire into it and all of us will act in a spirit of cooperation to get to the bottom of it so that we can deal with it appropriately.
ALEX PERROTTET: In the tour that Ms Marsudi has done of the Melanesian countries, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister did specifically mention these instances of human rights abuses, we know that Vanuatu often makes representations, what representations did you make on behalf of Papua New Guinea about these specific instances?
RP: Well as I've just said, the specific allegations which arise are matters that we will discuss between Indonesia and ourselves and some of them have a basis in fact and some of them don't. So it's not to rush into quick conclusions. We are members of the international organisations which are interested in the protection of human rights and the rule of law, which we should all be, and we are part of the global community so our position is to work with Indonesia and with the international agencies and organisations to ensure that we investigate all of those allegations when they are received through the process of open-line communication and with the hotline I have to the Indonesian foreign minister. Human rights is clearly a concern to all of us but as to the specifics, it's a matter that we have to deal with case by case, rather than draw rushed and blanket conclusions.
AP: This instance of the school children who died, five or six of them, was in early December, it's now three months since that event. So that is a specific case that was well-documented. Do you know whether that specific case has been raised with Indonesia?
RP: Well that was not, I will have to check on that, put it that way, because, during the meeting I had that was not one of the specific matters that was not one of the matters that was raised on our part, and neither was it raised on the part of the Indonesians, because I did not receive a brief in relation to it.
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