TV ads to attack Indonesia
September 15, 2006

THE faces and testimony of Wim Zonggonau and Clemens Runawery are to be beamed into Australian homes in a paid national television campaign that threatens to further strain relations with Indonesia.

The ads, to be screened from next month, will accuse Indonesia of crimes such as torture and extrajudicial killings in the province of Papua.

In 1969 Australian authorities, including ASIO, intercepted Mr Zonggonau and Mr Runawery at the Papua New Guinea border while they were on the way to New York to press the United Nations for a fair vote on independence from Indonesia.

They had been part of a local assembly in what was then known as Irian Jaya, as well as members of Indonesia's upper house, in Jakarta, and had wanted to present a petition to the UN calling for the full implementation of an agreement pledging a free and fair act of self determination. But the vote that rubberstamped Indonesian rule involved only 1025 selected individuals and was widely seen as an orchestrated travesty.

The two men whose free speech was curtailed by Australia said yesterday that the Australian Government bore some of the responsibility for the abuses that followed.

Mr Zonggonau and Mr Runawery now live as exiles in Papua New Guinea and are visiting Australia.

The ads are being financed by the millionaire businessmen Ian Melrose, who backed a similar ad campaign critical of Australia and Indonesia over East Timor.

Craig Skehan
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