Indonesia accepts Australians' execution will fray ties
Indonesia on Wednesday accepted that "all aspects" of its relations with Australia would be affected by the execution of two Australians convicted of drug smuggling, according to media reports.
Sydney: Indonesia on Wednesday accepted that "all aspects" of its relations with Australia would be affected by the execution of two Australians convicted of drug smuggling, according to media reports.
Indonesia`s Ambassador to Australia Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, while making such a concession, emphasised that his country was not "trigger happy", Xinhua reported.
The two convicts - Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - and the rest of their "Bali Nine" gang were caught trying to smuggle 8.2 kg of heroin worth 40 billion rupiah (about $3.1 million) into Indonesia in 2005.
Chan and Sukumaran were on Wednesday transported from Bali to Indonesia`s "execution island" of Nusakambangan, where they are to be killed by a firing squad.
Kesoema, addressing an Australia-Indonesia Business Council event in Perth, said: "We are not trigger happy. We do it for a very good reason."
He said that it was a sad situation for both nations, but pointed out that many people died in Indonesia every month from drugs. "All of them (are) poisoned by these people."
The pending execution would "of course" affect all aspects of relations between the countries, including diplomacy, the News Corporation reported citing the ambassador.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday that he was "revolted" by the prospect of the impending executions.
The transportation of the pair to the "execution island" comes after months of behind-the-scenes diplomatic negotiations, led by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and activism by more than 100,000 Australians, who have signed petitions opposing the death penalty imposed on the pair.
The Australian government and supporters of the apparently doomed duo have not sought their release, but argued that the convicts have shown signs of being reformed in their 10 years at Bali`s Kerobokan prison, where they had become mentors and carers of other prisoners.
It has been argued by those who want to see mercy for the convicted duo that it was a credit to Indonesia`s prison system that the men, part of a heroin smuggling ring involving seven other young Australians, had been rehabilitated.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo had refused Chan and Sukamaran`s pleas for clemency.
An editorial in the frontline Australian daily Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday reflected the groundswell of public opinion against the death sentence of Chan and Sukumaran.
The daily argued that President Widodo "might have the power", but "no right as a human being in all good conscience to kill" the two Australians.
It warned that if Indonesia proceeded with the executions, "an important opportunity will be gone for Indonesia to show the world it is a civilised nation willing and able to assume the moral high ground, when mercy and empathy demand it".