Subject: CONG: House Letter on Delaying CGI

October 16, 2000

Mr. James D. Wolfensohn 
President World Bank Group 
1818 H Street NW 
Washington, DC 20433

Dear Mr. Wolfensohn:

We are writing to thank you for your demonstrated commitment to the people of East Timor, and to call your attention to a matter of extreme urgency. We request that you make every possible effort to postpone the annual meeting of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI), currently set for October 17th in Tokyo. The government of Indonesia has failed to rein in violent militias wreaking havoc in West Timor and along the East Timorese border, and it should not be rewarded at this time with further funding from the international community.

We greatly appreciate your recent letter to President Abdurrahman Wahid expressing hope that, by the date of the CGI meeting, the violence will have ended, the United Nations will be able to resume its humanitarian activities in West Timor, and all those who wish to return to East Timor will be allowed to do so safely. As the date of the CGI meeting draws near, however, none of these positive developments has happened. The militias in West Timor have not been disarmed, and they have taken advantage of the departure of international relief workers to solidify their control over the refugee camps. Humanitarian assistance and repatriation efforts have ceased, and medical and food supplies for the refugees are dwindling. The Indonesian government must address these critical issues at once.

We believe that the CGI meeting should be delayed until the government of Indonesia has made serious progress in the effort to rein in militias and guarantee safety to international relief workers. An internationally-supervised refugee registration should be conducted, giving refugees the option of repatriation to East Timor or resettlement in West Timor without intimidation. And efforts must be made to investigate the September 6th murder of UNHCR staff and East and West Timorese civilians, and to bring those responsible to justice.

We thank you for your continued support for the people of East Timor, and your serious consideration of our request. We look forward to your reply.

Sincerely, Nita M. Lowey 
Member of Congress

Additional Co-signers of 10/16/00 letter:

The Honorable Tammy Baldwin

The Honorable Michael E. Capuano

The Honorable Joseph Crowley

The Honorable Peter A. DeFazio

The Honorable Eni F.H. Faleomavaega

The Honorable Dennis J. Kucinich

The Honorable James P. McGovern

The Honorable Cynthia A. McKinney

The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton

The Honorable John Edward Porter

The Honorable John F. Tierney

The Honorable Mark Udall

The Honorable Henry A. Waxman

The Honorable Anthony D. Weiner

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