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Academic raises concerns at Yudhoyono's tougher line on Papua

Radio New Zealand - August 20, 2007

There is concern being expressed about the statement by the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, linking Papuan separatists to terrorism.

In his annual address to parliament, Mr Yudhoyono said there would be no place for anyone pushing separatism while at the same time he had stated that Indonesia was serious about stamping out terrorism and praised the security forces for preventing it.

Professor Peter King from Sydney University, says the president is taking a much harder line than previously and it shows support for the armed forces. But, he says it won't stop Papuans speaking out about their right to self determination.

"He's aware that when they do speak out that there's a lot of resonance, particularly in Australia and New Zealand but around the Pacific as well and even in America and Britain. So, he's really trying, I think, to also deflect the international community from contemplating any sort of intervention, even diplomatic intervention."