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Australian daily depicts Indonesian Prez as dog

An Australian newspaper published a cartoon depicting Indonesia's President as a copulating dog.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2006 14:22 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

An Australian newspaper published a cartoon on Saturday depicting Indonesia's President as a copulating dog, after a Jakarta paper portrayed the Australian leader in a similar manner this week.

The Australian government immediately condemned the cartoon in The Australian newspaper but said it was powerless to interfere in editorial decisions made by the country's free press.

The cartoon is likely to place further pressure on Jakarta-Canberra relations already strained over Australia's decision to grant refugee visas to 42 asylum-seekers from Indonesia's independence-minded Papua province.

The image, penned by award-winning cartoonist Bill Leak, shows President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as a tail-wagging dog mounting a startled-looking Papua dog and saying "don't take this the wrong way".

The caption under the cartoon reads "no offence intended".

It follows a front-page cartoon in Monday's edition of the Rakyat Merdeka newspaper portraying Prime Minister John Howard and his Foreign Minister Alexander Downer as copulating dingoes.

In that image, a shaking Howard is mounted on Downer with the prime minister saying: "I want Papua!! Alex! Try to make it happen."

Howard dismissed the Indonesian cartoon, although Downer described it as grotesque and "way below standards of public taste".

Downer responded to the latest cartoon by saying the Australian government in no way condoned it.

First Published: Apr 01, 2006 13:35 IST