West Papua is a province of Indonesia, which has been fighting for independence. Indonesia has been accused of shooting and beating activists and there have been claims of torture.When it came to stopping the asylum seeker boats, Abbott says that even before he was sworn in as prime minister he met with border protection agencies and told them their duty was “to stop the boats by all lawful means notwithstanding fierce controversy at home and possible tension abroad”.He continues: “Some media claimed that harsh treatment of boat people was being hidden. Some government lawyers claimed that the operation was beyond power. Some senior officials fretted about the consequences for our relationship with Indonesia. Abbott has penned a 3,706-word essay for the rightwing magazine Quadrant defending and celebrating his two-year period in office, The Guardian reported. Australia’s former prime minister says he is proud of his decision to not “join the human rights lobby” and take a stand against what he describes “tough but probably unavoidable actions taken” by the Sri Lankan government during the civil war there. Abbott says not mentioning the alleged war crimes would have pleased the Sri Lankan president, which was important because it was a “seminal truth” that “all politics is personal” – an aphorism he attributes to the US vice-president, Joe Biden. He suggests his diplomacy allowed the two countries to cooperate more strongly to stop asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia.That sort of diplomacy is also embodied, he says, by an interaction he had with Indonesia: “As a very early sign of good faith to the Indonesians, I had West Papuan activists, who’d arrived in the Torres Strait claiming asylum, quietly returned to Papua New Guinea.” “But the government simply had to stop the boats – our national interest and our self-respect as a country demanded it – and succeed we did through an indefatigable resolve to get it done.” Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended the stand he took on Sri Lanka when he was Prime Minister.Abbott was accused of backing the Mahinda Rajapaksa led Government when it was accused of grave human rights abuses. He adds: “A country that can’t control its borders sooner or later loses control of its future.”Abbott also trumpets his efforts against terrorism. Because of his decisions – and “despite the Turnbull government’s recent decision not to commit specialist troops to ground operations in the Middle East” – Australia is the biggest contributor, after the US, to the battle against Islamic State.
Former Australian PM defends stand he took on Sri Lanka