Letter: Business must face a new ethical world

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The Independent Online
Sir: All praise to the Liverpool women campaigning to ban arms exports to Indonesia because of the use of these arms against the people of East Timor ("Mr Cook, we are up in arms").

We should remember that Indonesia has been holding the Western end of New Guinea, so-called "Irian Jaya", since the Sixties. The only rationale for handing it over to Indonesia was that country's status as successor to the Dutch East Indies. The New Guinea people are quite unlike Indonesians.

Since then Indonesia has colonised the country, moving in thousands of Javanese settlers, and terrorised the people. A friend staying in a village in the south of "Irian Jaya" some years ago reports having seen a human hand floating by on the river. Her host was unsurprised, as such sights, he said, were a common result of Indonesian activities.

East Timor is enough reason for keeping arms out of their hands, but not the only reason.


Royston, Hertfordhsire