It might be three months and more since Boxing Day, but waves are still being felt around the region going by an interesting little item that appeared on the wires while you were heading off for the long weekend on Thursday. “Indonesia says it will provide evidence to Canberra that Australian-funded aid groups are helping separatists in Aceh and Papua,” it said. You can see the story still in The Age.

“At a recent meeting of Indonesian and Australian ministers in Canberra, the federal government agreed to investigate Indonesian concerns that Australian non-government organisations were secretly supporting pro-independence activities in Jakarta’s two most restive provinces… Hamzah Thayeb, the director of East Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Indonesian foreign ministry, said police and other agencies would supply proof soon, forcing Australia’s government to take action.”

Interesting indeed – and even more interesting given that the weekend goss from NGO watchers has suggested that one of the bodies in question is linked to the Australian trade union movement.

Peter Fray

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