7 Apr 2006

Asylum seekers are deserting their fellow Papuans, says Indonesian official

1:20 pm on 7 April 2006

The Indonesian embassy in Australia has reiterated its demand to have the opportunity to verify claims of any future asylum seekers.

This comes two weeks after Australia gave temporary protection visas to 42 Papuans.

Embassy spokesman Dino Kusnadi has also called on people with evidence of human rights abuses in Papua province to come forward.

However he says many have cried foul over unsubstantiated reports of abuses and killings.

Mr Kusnadi says Papuan asylum seekers are abandoning their people's and development and democratic progress.

"Let us proceed without spreading the seed of non-cooperation. I see the people of the asylum seekers as non-cooperative, that they didn't want to a part of developing Papua, that rather they fight and spread ill words about Indonesia with regards to Papua and I think that's detrimental to the needs of the Papuan people. They have abandoned the Papuan people to develop themselves."

Meanwhile, Dino Kusnadi says Indonesia appreciates Australian Prime Minister John Howard's comments that he doesn't support any Papuan independence movement.