West Papuan refugee crisis
In early 2006, a furore erupted in Indonesia over the Australian government's decision to grant temporary protection visas to 42 West Papuan asylum seekers. The controversy caused diplomatic tension as well as a "war of cartoons", with newspapers in Indonesia and Australia trading hits over a decision that the Indonesians say questions the sovereignty that they officially have over West Papua.
The issue was caused by the Australian Government's decision through the immigration department to allow visas to 42 refugees that arrived in January. Part of the Indonesian concern is based on the speed at which these asylum seekers were processed – forty-two were processed in just two months, with the remaining asylum seeker having been approved in mid-April. The Indonesian government took the move as a direct challenge, inferring that the approval of the temporary protection visas indicated that the Australian Governmnent agreed with the West Papuans that they face persecution if they returned home.
On 27 March 2006, Indonesian newspaper Rakyat Merdeka published a front-page editorial cartoon depicting the then Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer as dingoes. The cartoon was intended to protest the acceptance of the Papuan refugees by the Australian Government.
In response to The Australian cartoon, Indonesian activists in Makassar, South Sulawesi, demanded that Australian guests be evicted from their hotels and searched hotels across the city for tourists from the country.
Notes and citations
- "Lurid cartoon adds to Australia-Indonesia strains". One India. Reuters. 30 March 2006. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016.
- "Satirists put the bite on Howard". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 March 2006. Archived from the original on 14 April 2006.
- "Dingo cartoon fails to faze Howard". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 30 March 2006. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007.
- "Rudd slams 'disgusting' cartoon". The Age. 30 March 2006. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016.
- Hyland, Tom; Debelle, Penelope (2 April 2006). "Cartoon anger fears". The Age. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016.
- "Australian cartoon irks Indonesia". BBC. 1 April 2006. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
- Forbes, Mark; Grattan, Michelle (5 April 2006). "Papuan boat arrival fuels crisis". The Age. Archived from the original on 18 January 2016.
- Day, Rowan (2015). "West Papua and the Australia-Indonesia relationship: a case study in diplomatic difficulty". Australian Journal of International Affairs. 69 (6): 670–691. doi:10.1080/10357718.2015.1052730.
- Forbes, Mark (4 April 2006). "Yudhoyono questions future ties". The Age.
- Walters, Patrick (8 April 2006). "Out of Papua". The Weekend Australian.
- White, Hugh (11 April 2006). "Our duty to West Papua". The Age.
- Forbes, Mark; Banham, Cynthia (17 May 2006). "Indonesia agrees to return ambassador". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 7 August 2007.
- "Protesters meet Indonesian ambassador". Australian Associated Press. 6 March 2006. Archived from the original on 28 March 2007.
- "Embassy on alert for cartoon backlash". NineMSN. 1 April 2006. Archived from the original on 8 April 2006.
- Walker, Frank (2 April 2006). "Tasteless, offensive and of no merit at all". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012.