|For Immediate Release September 27, 1999
Contact: Karen Orenstein, (202)544-6911 John M. Miller, (718)596-7668; (516)317-6257 (mobile)
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Freeze on Military Relations with Indonesia
Normal Relations Must Wait at Least Until Resolution of East Timor Crisis
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee tonight passed legislation banning military cooperation with Indonesia "until the results of the August 30, 1999, vote in East Timor have been implemented."
The Senate bill would bind into law the Clinton administration's temporary ban on military assistance and financial assistance to Indonesia. The bill bans military assistance (training, government transfers, and commercial sales) to Indonesia until certain conditions are met -- including a safe and secure environment in East Timor, an end to anti-independence military and militia violence, and the return home of refugees and displaced persons.
The full Senate is expected to take up the measure on Tuesday, September 28.
"We are very pleased the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed this crucial bill. The situation in East Timor remains desperate and all forms of pressure must be maintained on the Indonesian military until it fully honors the East Timorese' overwhelming vote for independence," said Lynn Fredriksson, Washington Representative of the East Timor Action Network/U.S.
On September 10, President Clinton announced the suspension of military assistance to Indonesia after the Indonesian military and their militias began their campaign of destruction in East Timor.
An estimated three-quarters of the population has been forcibly displaced by the Indonesian military and their militias. "East Timorese in the mountains and in refugee camps in West Timor are at great risk from starvation, dehydration, and disease. Many of the refugees are under threat of military attack," said Fredriksson.
"The Indonesian armed forces (TNI) must fully withdraw (including Kopassus Special Forces and Intelligence units before the U.S. administration reestablishes financial and military assistance. Since the TNI abuse human rights in Indonesia itself, bans on military assistance should remain in place until there are fundamental changes Indonesian military," she added.
The bill also requires the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United States executive directors to the international financial institutions vote against financial assistance to Indonesia. The World Bank and IMF have refused to move forward on further funding to Indonesia.
The Senate bill was introduced by Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) and co-sponsored by Jesse Helms (R-NC) and over a dozen other Senators. Similar legislation (HR 2895) is awaiting action in the House of Representatives.
TEXT OF THE BILL
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES S. 1568
To impose an immediate suspension of assistance to the Government of Indonesia until the results of the August 30, 1999, vote in East Timor have been implemented, and for other purposes.
Section 1. Short Title This Act may be cited as the "East Timor Self-Determination Act of 1999".
Sec. 2. Finding; Purpose (a) CONGRESSIONAL FINDING.-- Congress recognizes that the Government of Indonesia took a positive and constructive step by agreeing on September 12, 1999, to the deployment of an international peacekeeping force to East Timor.
(b) PURPOSE.-- The purpose of this act is to encourage the Government of Indonesia to take such additional steps as are necessary to create a peaceful environment in which the United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) can fulfill its mandate and implement the results of the August 30, 1999, vote on East Timor's political status.
Sec. 3. SUSPENSION OF ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE.
(a) Multilateral Economic Assistance- (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subsection (c), the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive directors to the international financial institutions to oppose, and vote against, any extension by those institutions of any financial assistance (including any technical assistance or grant) of any kind to the Government of Indonesia.
(2) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is the sense of Congress that the international financial institutions should withhold the balance of any undisbursed approved loans or other assistance to the Government of Indonesia.
(3) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS DEFINED-- In this subsection, the term "international financial institution" includes the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency, and the Asian Development Bank.
(b) RESTRICTION ON BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE-- Except as provided in subsection (c), none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to carry out chapter 1 of part I (relating to development assistance) or chapter 4 of part II (relating to economic support fund assistance) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 may be available for Indonesia, except subject to the procedures applicable to reprogramming notifications under section 634A of that Act.
(c) EXCEPTION. -- Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to the provision of humanitarian assistance (such as food or medical assistance) to Indonesia or East Timor.
(d) CONDITIONS FOR TERMINATION.-- The measures described in subsections (a) and (b) shall apply until the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Indonesia is cooperating with efforts by the international community to establish a safe and secure environment in East Timor and is taking significant steps to --
(1) end the violence perpetrated by units of the Indonesian armed forces and by armed militias opposed to the independence of East Timor; (2) enable displaced persons and refugees to return home; (3) ensure freedom of movement within East Timor, including access by humanitarian organizations to all areas of East Timor; and (4) enable UNAMET to resume its mandate, without threat or intimidation to its personnel.
Sec. 4. SUSPENSION OF SECURITY ASSISTANCE (a) PROHIBITIONS ON COOPERATION AND SUPPORT--
(1) ASSISTANCE-- None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available under the following provisions of law (including unexpended balances of prior year appropriations) may be available for Indonesia:
(A) The Foreign Military Financing Program under section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act.
(B) Chapter 2 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to military assistance).
(C) Chapter 5 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to international military education and training assistance).
(2) LICENSING- None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available under the following provisions of law (including unexpended balances of prior year appropriations) may be available for licensing exports of defense articles or defense services to Indonesia under section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act.
(3) DELIVERIES.-- No defense article or defense service may be exported or delivered to Indonesia or East Timor by any United States person (as defined in section 16 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. app. 2415) or any other person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States except as may be necessary to support the operations of an international peacekeeping force in East Timor or in conjunction with the provision of humanitarian assistance.
(b) CONDITIONS FOR THE TERMINATION.-- The measures described in subsection (a) shall apply with respect to the Government of Indonesia until the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that--
(1) a generally safe and secure environment exists in East Timor, including-- (A) an end to the violence perpetrated by units of the Indonesian armed forces and by armed militias opposed to the independence of East Timor; (B) the ability of displaced persons and refugees to return home; (C) freedom of movement within East Timor, including access by humanitarian organizations to all areas of East Timor; and (D) the ability of UNAMET to resume its mandate, without threat or intimidation to its personnel;
(2) the armed forces of Indonesia clearly-- (A) have ceased engaging in violence in East Timor; (B) have ceased their support and training of armed militias opposed to the independence of East Timor; and (C) are withdrawing their forces from East Timor in cooperation with a United Nations-supervised process of transferring sovereignty from Indonesia to an independent East Timor; and
(3) significant steps have been taken to implement the results of the August 30, 1999, vote on East Timor's political status, which expressed the will of a majority of the Timorese people;
SEC. 5. MULTILATERAL EFFORTS- The President should continue to coordinate with other countries, particularly member states of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, to develop a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to further the purposes of this Act, including urging other countries to take measures similar to those described in this Act.
SEC. 6. APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED.
In this Act, the term "appropriate congressional committees" means the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
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