: Media : View on Asia
Date: 13 July 2004
Contact: Patty Fawkner SGS, Director, on
(02) 9356 3888
Uniya releases briefing paper on Indonesia
View on Asia / View on the Pacific briefing series
Sr Patty Fawkner SGS, the Director of Uniya Jesuit Social Justice
Centre, today released a new report as part of its View on Asia/View
on the Pacific briefing series, which offers background to key security
and human rights challenges for the Asia Pacific and poses questions
for Australia in its relations in the region.
"Uniya is seeking to sharpen its focus on the region,"
Sr Fawkner said, "especially the Indonesia-Australia-Timor
Leste trilateral relationship. Our aim is to raise awareness and
understanding of countries in our region, to research and report
on issues through the lens of human rights and social justice.
"This initial report comes at a time when Indonesia's first
popular election raises many questions about the future direction
of Australia's largest regional neighbour. Indonesia has been embarking
on a course of reform towards the rule and law and respect for human
rights. It is in Australia's interest to support Indonesia on this
"However, the challenges to reform are great. The greatest
of these is dismantling the entrenched legacy of militarism which
will be a slow and difficult process.
"While Australia and Indonesia are historically and culturally
different, we share many common interests. The Bali bombings are
a tragic reminder that the security of both our countries will depend
upon an Indonesia that is democratic and prosperous and an Australia
that is seen as an honest neighbour and not as a self-serving regional
"This report, coming in an election year for both Indonesia
and Australia, will be of interest to those who wish to learn more
about our regional neighbours, and those, within Australia and beyond,
who are concerned for human rights and security in the region."
Further reports on Burma and Vietnam are due out soon as part of
the View on Asia briefing series. Reports on the situation in the
Solomon Islands and the change of government in Nauru will be among
the first papers in Uniya's View on the Pacific briefing series.
Reports are available for download on Uniya's website: www.uniya.org.
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