East Timor ACTION Network ALERT
Call Your Representative Today to Sign Letter to Powell to Say “NO” to
New Financing for Indonesian Military
The Bush administration is working to assist the brutal Indonesian
military with alarmingly new haste. ETAN has recently learned of State
Department plans to budget foreign military financing (FMF) for Indonesia
in 2006. FMF, which funds weapon sales, has been banned for Indonesia
since 2000 following its scorched-earth campaign in East Timor. Not a
single Indonesian officer has served jail time for the crimes against
humanity committed then, and the military continues to commit heinous
rights violations with impunity throughout the archipelago.
The final decision on inclusion of FMF in the 2006 State Department
budget has not yet been made. Please join us in sending a resounding
message to the Bush administration that we say "NO" to its latest attempt
to prop up the brutal Indonesian military! Call your Representative
today and urge her/him to sign a Congressional letter to Secretary of
State Colin Powell stating that foreign military financing for Indonesia
is ill-advised and should not be included in the Bush Administration’s
fiscal year 2006 budget request.
Signers to date
(Oct. 1): McGovern (D-MA), Evans (D-IL), Oberstar (D-MN),
Baldwin (D-WI), Serrano (D-NY), Meehan (D-MA), McCollum (D-MN), DeFazio
(D-OR), Payne (D-NJ), Grijalva (D-AZ), Tancredo (R-CO), Holt (D-NJ),
Kucinich (D-OH), Weiner (D-NY), Karen McCarthy (D-MO), Carolyn Maloney
(D-NY), Farr (D-CA), Watson (D-CA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Langevin (D-RI),
Gerlach (R-PA), Lowey (D-NY), Mark Udall (D-CO), Hoeffel (D-PA), Lee
(D-CA), Frank (D-MA), Filner (D-CA), Herseth (D-SD), Stark (D-CA), George
Miller (D-CA), Hinchey (D-NY), Brady (D-PA), Bordallo (D-Guam),
Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), Schakowsky (D-IL)
What YOU can do:
Contact your Representative today. We need to get this letter out fast
with as many signatures as possible. The deadline is in only a week and a
Phone calls are the most effective way to contact your Representative.
The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121; ask for your
Representative's office. Then ask to speak with the foreign policy aide.
If you don't know who your Representative is, go to
www.house.gov to find out. If you are
not able to make a phone call, then fax. Emails are a last option, but are
generally less effective than phone calls and faxes. Please let us know
the results of your efforts -- by email,
email@example.com, or phone, 202-544-6911.
- Urge your Representative to sign Representatives Patrick Kennedy’s
(D-RI) and Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) Dear Colleague letter urging Secretary
of State Powell not to include foreign military financing (FMF) for
Indonesia in the State Department’s fiscal year 2006 budget request.
- Restricting FMF sends a critical message to the Indonesian military
that they must stop killing, raping and torturing throughout Indonesia
and that they must be held accountable for human rights violations.
- Congress has restricted FMF for Indonesia since FY 2000,
conditioning its provision on military budget transparency and
accountability and justice for gross human rights violations. These
conditions have not been met, and the prospect of military reform
remains bleak. Provision of FMF for Indonesia in 2006 is premature,
unwarranted, and unwise.
Offices should contact Dominic Nguyen in Representative Patrick
Kennedy’s office to sign the letter. The deadline has not been firmly
established but will be during the last week of September.
Together we can pre-empt Bush’s move to seriously vamp up aid to the
Indonesian military. Thank you for your efforts! They make a big
A copy of the Congressional letter follows:
September X, 2004
Dear Secretary Powell:
We are deeply concerned that the Department of State is considering
provision of foreign military financing (FMF) for Indonesia. FMF for
Indonesia is ill-advised and should not be included in the
Administration’s FY06 budget request.
As you are aware, Congress has restricted FMF for Indonesia since FY
2000, conditioning its provision on Indonesian military (TNI) budget
transparency and accountability and justice for gross human rights
violations. There has been no such justice served, and impunity remains
firmly entrenched. Recently, an appeals court in Indonesia overturned the
only convictions of Indonesian military and police charged with crimes
against humanity in East Timor in 1999. The State Department declared, “We
are profoundly disappointed with the performance and record of the
Indonesian ad hoc tribunal.” The tribunal on the 1984 massacre of Muslim
protesters at Tanjung Priok in Jakarta has been gravely disappointing.
Further, because of the absolute lack of cooperation by Indonesian
government and security forces with the East Timor-UN Serious Crimes Unit,
75 percent of those accused remain at large in Indonesia.
The rights record of the TNI continues to be unacceptable. Crackdowns
against civilians have escalated in West Papua. The end of martial law in
Aceh has not led to improvements on the ground. Since May, hundreds have
been killed. Support for Laskar Jihad, nationalist, and other terrorist
militia to cause and provoke conflict remains a common strategy of the
Despite Congressional and other calls for greater transparency in the
TNI’s budget, the military remains a massively corrupt institution, with
less than a third of its funding provided by Jakarta. Much of the rest
comes from illegal and semi-legal activities, including prostitution,
drug-dealing, environmentally destructive logging, and trafficking in
While Indonesia's civilian institutions deserve praise for the
country's first direct presidential election, we have grave concerns over
the prospects for real military reforms. President Megawati has not yet
demonstrated a willingness to assert power over the TNI. Leading
presidential candidate Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was a general under
Suharto and a commander in East Timor in the 1980s.
Restricting FMF sends a critical message to the TNI and should not be
dispensed until there is genuine reform and justice for rights violations.
To date, however, reform and accountability are absent. Provision of FMF
for Indonesia in FY06 is premature, unwarranted, and unwise.
We thank you for your serious consideration and look forward to your