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Should Indonesia reciprocate for foreign aid by sparing Bali nine pair?

A new call for the clemency of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran says it would be a fair exchange for Australia's billion-dollar tsunami aid.

Should Indonesia reciprocate for foreign aid by sparing Bali nine pair?

In a last diplomatic resort, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called on the Indonesian government to “reciprocate” for Australia’s billion-dollar aid package following the 2004 Tsunami by sparing the Bali nine pair.

Mr Abbott renewed calls for clemency of the two citizens on death row for drug smuggling warning that “Australia would feel grievously let down” and that we would “make our displeasure known” should Indonesia proceed with the executions.

“Let’s not forget that a few years ago when Indonesia was struck by the Indian Ocean tsunami Australia sent a billion dollars worth of assistance, we sent a significant contingent of our armed forces to help in Indonesia with humanitarian relief and Australians lost their lives in that campaign to help Indonesia.”

“I would say to the Indonesian people and the Indonesian government: we in Australia are always there to help you and we hope that you might reciprocate in this way at this time.”

Yesterday, Indonesian authorities announced that they would be delaying the planned transfer of the pair to Nusa Kambangan and that the execution were unlikely to happen this month.

The prime minister said this was an “encouraging sign” adding that he hoped Indonesia “realised that its own best values and its own best interests are served by not going ahead with these executions”.

But Indonesia’s foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, said “it should be underlined that this issue is purely a law enforcement issue, law enforcement against an extraordinary crime”.

Mr Abbott said Chan and Sukumaran, two of nine people that sought to smuggle heroin from Indonesia to Australia, deserved a long time in jail but they did not deserve to die.

“In fact, they have become, it seems, thoroughly reformed characters in prison in Bali and they are now helping the Indonesian fight against drug crime, so much better to use these people for good than to kill them.”

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3 Comments on Should Indonesia reciprocate for foreign aid by sparing Bali nine pair?

  • Dianne
    February 20, 2015 5:16 am

    Bali 2 broke the Indo law in their greed which involved 7 others, but were caught, (not like many others before them). PM Abbott etal appear to be economic blackmailing Indonesia. Should foreigners get special treatment. Do the crime and pay for it.

  • Claire
    February 20, 2015 6:09 am

    Australia gave aid without strings. I find it offensive that the prime minister now wants a favour for drug dealers in return. I don’t support the death penalty but these men made a choice to carry drugs knowing the penalty. I don’t see much outrage about the 8 year old girl who stood on a needle at st kilda beach and now has a 3 month wait for aids results.

  • Jetz
    February 20, 2015 8:23 am

    While I do not wish for the two men to be executed I strongly belief our foreign aid SHOULD NOT be linked in this way. It does sound like an implied threat that next time we may not be as generous. These issues should be completely separate and not linked in any way. We do not give foreign aid in the hope of something in return. We should give foreign aid to help other countries develop their health and education which leads to a better standard of living. The left hand should not know what the right hand is doing. Tony Abbot should not have even raised this issue. It looks as though he has not learnt anything from his ‘near death experience’.

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