APSNet for 20060119
Austral Peace and Security Network (APSNet)
Thursday 19 January 2006
Bi-weekly report from the Nautilus Institute at RMIT, Australia.
- Boat People To Test Jakarta Ties
- Coastguard Patrols End After Death
- Freeport Says It Paid Indonesia US$1 billion since 2004
- Gusmao To Hand Report To UN
- Australia-US Alliance
- N Korea Seeks To Restore Relationship
Boat People To Test Jakarta Ties,
Tom Allard and Andra Jackson, Age, 2006-01-19
The Howard Government faces a potential new flashpoint in relations with Jakarta after 43 asylum seekers from the troubled Indonesian province of West Papua landed by boat at Cape York. It is only the third boat of asylum seekers to reach the Australian mainland in four years. By reaching the mainland, they are automatically eligible to apply for refugee status.
Coastguard Patrols End After Deaths,
Michael McKenna, Australian, 2006-01-14
Austalia’s immigration boats have not patrolled the Torres Strait for three months after the ‘Malu Sara’ sank with the loss of five lives. Immigration officials confirmed the fleet is impounded indefinitely after testing found them unseaworthy. The boat was launched by Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone on August 29 2005. It was one of six new Immigration vessels for the region.
Of related interest:
a. Operation Relex II – Australian Border Protection
The Australian Defence Force operation contributes to the whole of government program to detect, intercept and deter vessels carrying unauthorised arrivals from entering Australia through the North-West maritime approaches. Operation Relex II includes units from all three services and supports Coastwatch and Customs.
b. Coastwatch – Operations
The civil surveillance program is comprised of both wide area planned (WAP) surveillance and tactical surveillance operations.
Freeport Says It Paid Indonesia US$1 billion since 2004,
Bloomberg, 2006-01-17 (Jakarta Post)
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. paid Indonesia about US$1 billion since 2004, including for security at the Grasberg mine that has sparked a U.S. government inquiry, Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson said.
Of related interest:
Gusmao To Hand Report To UN,
AAP, Age, 2006-01-19
East Timor’s ambassador to the United Nations says his country is unlikely to seek the prosecution of Indonesian military officers accused of widespread human rights abuses in a UN report. A leaked copy of the report includes claims the Indonesian government and military were responsible for the deaths of up to 180,000 East Timorese during a 24-year occupation of the former Portuguese colony.
Of related interest:
a. Media Misrepresentations Of The CAVR Report,
Patrick Walsh, CAVR Special Advisor, JSMP, 2005-05-26
This report refutes misunderstandings that resulted from publication of leaked versions of limited sections of the report. Walsh writes: ” CAVR’s estimate of the minimum total number of conflict-related deaths is 102,800 (+/- 12,000). This figure includes both killings and deaths due to privation. The figure of 183,000 is CAVR’s upper-bound estimate of total conflict-related mortality”. Walsh describes the methods used to gain these figures.
c. Masters of Terror: Indonesia’s Military And Violence In East Timor in 1999
_ Richard Tanter, Gerry van Klinken and Desmond Ball (eds.), Masters of Terror: Indonesia’s Military and Violence in East Timor in 1999 (second edition, forthcoming from Rowman and Littlefield)
America: The Cost Of Alliance,
John Langmore, Age, 2006-01-09
There are major political, financial, and military costs from Howard’s closeness to the Bush Administration and his Government’s imitation of American ideology and policies. These positions restrict Australia’s capacity to express its own international priorities, have weakened Australia’s independence and its standing with regional neighbours and at the UN. The issue is not whether to retain or renounce the US alliance. Rather, the immediate issue is about the policies adopted and advocated by Australia within the alliance.
Spooky Tales In Land Of Bungles Bungles,
Tony Walker, AFR*, 2006-01-13
When Foreign Minister Alexander Downer flew into Washington this week for a meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice he gave the impression that this represented a discussion between two participants in a successful joint venture in Iraq. Nothing could be further from the truth. Downer’s talks with “Condi” – as if a cloying familiarity signals a dialogue of equals – were conducted against a background not only of bleak news from Iraq, where casualties continue to spike, but also amid latest revelations about the extent of US incompetence in Iraq. A reality check is in order.
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Why The US Alliance Is A Good Deal,
Michael Fullilove, Age, 2006-01-16
The benefits of the alliance outweigh its costs – resoundingly so. The alliance contains the promise that the United States would protect us from a major strategic threat. It provides a rare level of access to US defence technologies and, in particular, the products of its intelligence agencies. It brings us influence on – or at least access to – the global hegemon. America’s wrong-headed misadventure in Iraq does not wipe out the credit it deserves for the provision of international public good since the close of World War II – or, indeed, for the security contribution it makes now.
N Korea Seeks To Restore Relationship,
John Kerin, Australian, 2006-01-18
North Korea has urged Australia to help bring it in from the diplomatic deep-freeze, with an appeal to Canberra to resume training of its industrial and agricultural scientists. A rare public submission by Pyongyang to a parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s relationship with the Koreas, says the projects have been “quite beneficial” to economic development. A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Government wanted to see North Korea make real progress on dismantling its nuclear weapons before any further expansion of ties was considered.
Contact editor: Jane Mullett