10 Apr 2007

Indonesian MP says time not right to open Papua to media

3:23 pm on 10 April 2007

An Indonesian Democratic Party MP says the time is still not right to open up Papua province to foreign journalists and fact-finding missions.

Sutradara Gintings made the comment in his just-concluded visit to Wellington, where he and other members of the House of Representatives met New Zealand's Defence Minister Phil Goff.

Mr Sutradara says the implementation of special autonomy status for Papua is improving, although he admits the province is still hampered by development and human rights problems.

He says Papua needs to be managed with two perspectives: one which seeks to maintain Indonesia's national integrity and the other to give Papuans the opportunity to improve themselves.

"We will open it in the right time. Why? Because you know that the condition of Papua is sometimes very sensitive. But sensitivity is less and less now... We are not resistant to the wants of the media and international community, no... but it must be considered, the sensitivity of the local problem."

Indonesian MP, Sutradara Gintings.