|Subject: CONG: Senator Feingold to SBY re.
March 21, 2006
His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Dear President Yudhoyono:
I appreciated the chance to meet with you when I was visiting your country last month. I am writing to you now because I am deeply concerned over reports of clashes between security forces and protesters in Indonesia's eastern province of Papua. While the protesters must not turn to violence, the Indonesian security forces in the region must also show restraint in dealing with the protesters and respect their fundamental human rights. These recent events further demonstrate the your government needs to address the simmering political tension in the region.
As we discussed during our meeting, the situation in Papua is a chance to show the world that Indonesia can deal with political discord peacefully and without unlawful or abusive force. I hope the security forces use restraint and patience when dealing with the unrest, and that your government takes this opportunity to address the underlying causes of tension.
I was encouraged by your promise during our meeting to review your government's policies barring international journalists from visiting the province of Papua. I again urge you to open Papua to international observers, journalists, and to investigate the recent violence thoroughly. I appreciate that Papua is a difficult and complicated situation, and I look forward to discussing the issue with you in the near future.
Russell D. Feingold