20 Dec 2007

American Samoa's Congressman raises concerns over military in Papua

11:05 am on 20 December 2007

American Samoa's Congressman says a lack of co-ordination between Indonesia's government and military hampered his brief and disappointing trip to Papua.

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has written to the Indonesian President expressing his disappointment over his recent trip to Papua to study the provisions of the Special Autonomy Law.

Instead of his scheduled five-day visit to main centres of Papua, Faleomavaega was only allowed just over two hours in Biak and Manokwari, and wasn't permitted to visit the capital Jayapura.

Faleomavaega says he found the overpowering military presence that shadowed his visit deeply disturbing.

"There was a breakdown in communications between the President's office and the Foreign Ministry and the people who have control over the military forces there in Indonesia. And what I sense also is that the people of Papua continue to be harrassed and abused the military strikes fear and intimidation against the Papuan people and I think that was not right."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.