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ETAN Accuses House of Representatives of Selling Out Rights, Reform

Bill Would Lift Restrictions on Military Assistance to Indonesia

For Immediate Release

Contact: John M. Miller (718) 596-7668
Karen Orenstein (202) 544-6911

June 29 - The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) condemned last night's move by the House of Representatives lifting all restrictions on military assistance for Indonesia in the FY 2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The group urged Congress to continue restrictions as the best way to promote democracy, respect for human rights and democratic reform in Indonesia and justice for East Timor.

“We condemn the refusal of the House of Representatives to impose any restriction on the still unreformed, unaccountable, and intensely corrupt Indonesian military. This is a grave setback, which turns a blind eye to the ongoing violations and horrific record of the Indonesian military,” said Karen Orenstein, Washington Coordinator for ETAN.

For well over a decade, Congress led the effort to build a policy promoting human rights in East Timor and Indonesia. It would be a shameful disservice to the Indonesian military’s countless victims should Congress renege on its important leadership,” stated John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN.

“If the Bush administration and its allies in Congress were serious about promoting democratic reform and human rights in Indonesia, they would not be seeking to prop up the Indonesian military, the country’s least democratic institution. The Chair of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, Representative Jim Kolbe, has offered an all carrot and no stick approach toward Indonesia, surrendering the U.S. government’s primary leverage to encourage reform,” commented Orenstein.

The House version of the FY 2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill removes the restriction of foreign military financing for Indonesia first put in place for FY 2000 following the Indonesian military’s destruction of East Timor.

“Indonesia’s armed forces have not met existing congressional conditions," said Orenstein. “It is critical that the Senate maintain restrictions on military assistance to Indonesia when considering their version of the bill. Strong restrictions must be included when the two versions of the bill are reconciled.”

"Today's action, just six months after the tsunami devastated Aceh, represents a slap in the face for survivors who continue to be victimized by the Indonesian military. This military refuses to accept a ceasefire and opposes any concessions toward a negotiated settlement,” said Miller. “Further, under the new Indonesian president, humanitarian and human rights conditions have significantly deteriorated in West Papua and militarization of the entire archipelago has increased. Accountability for crimes against humanity in East Timor remains a distant goal."


In the past week and a half, Chair of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee Kolbe (R-AZ) blocked Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) from including in the FY 2006 bill any restrictions on military assistance for Indonesia. Rep. Kolbe would only accede to a reporting requirement, introduced by Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), on whether Indonesia has met past congressional conditions, although Kennedy supports legislated restrictions. Both Lowey and Kennedy have championed human rights in East Timor and Indonesia for years.

Congress first voted to restrict Indonesia from receiving International Military Education and Training (IMET), which brings foreign military officers to the U.S. for training, in response to the November 12, 1991 Santa Cruz massacre of more than 270 civilians in East Timor by Indonesian troops wielding U.S.-supplied M-16 rifles. All military ties with Indonesia were severed in September 1999 as the military and its militia proxies razed East Timor.

At that time, Congress banned foreign military financing, IMET and export of lethal defense articles for Indonesia until a wide range of conditions were met, including presidential certification that the Indonesian government is prosecuting members of the armed forces accused of rights violations or aiding militia groups and punishing those guilty of such acts.

In light of the late May visit of Indonesian President Yudhoyono to Washington, the Bush administration announced it would permit government sales of "non-lethal" military equipment and excess defense articles.

In recent years, Congress had maintained only one condition restricting full IMET: cooperation by Indonesian authorities with an FBI investigation into the 2002 ambush murder of two U.S. citizens and an Indonesian in West Papua. In late February, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice restored full IMET for Indonesia. But cooperation by Indonesia has been spotty at best. Just two days after IMET’s release, the State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices said, "Security force members murdered, tortured, raped, beat, and arbitrarily detained civilians and members of separatist movements, especially in Aceh and to a lesser extent in Papua."

In May, 53 U.S. organizations urged President Bush not to offer military assistance to Indonesia. East Timorese and Indonesian NGOs have repeatedly called for maintaining restrictions on U.S. military assistance. Victims and survivors of the West Papua killings have called for IMET restriction to continue until their case is fully resolved.

For additional background see "The Question of U.S. Military Assistance for Indonesia" and

ETAN advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for East Timor and Indonesia. ETAN calls for an international tribunal to prosecute crimes against humanity committed in East Timor from 1975 to 1999 and for continued restrictions on U.S. military assistance to Indonesia until there is genuine reform of its security forces.


see also ETAN's Legislative Action pages
U.S.-Indonesia Military Assistance page

FY06 House Full Appropriations Comm Mark-up; June 2005

HR 3057 RH

Union Calendar No. 92


1st Session

H. R. 3057

[Report No. 109-152]

Making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.


June 24, 2005

Mr. KOLBE, from the Committee on Appropriations, reported the following bill; which was committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed





1st Session



June 24, 2005- Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. KOLBE, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted the following


together with


[To accompany H.R. 3057]

The Committee on Appropriations submits the following report in explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs, and for sundry independent agencies and corporations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes.


The Committee recommends $67,500,000 for Indonesia, an increase of $2,500,000 over the 2005 level and $2,500,000 less than the 2006 request. Within the $15,000,000 provided for education programs, the Committee recommends funds be provided as necessary to re-establish midwifery education systems throughout Aceh, Indonesia.


Fiscal year 2005 level $326,189,000

Emergency supplemental funding 620,000,000

Fiscal year 2006 request 523,874,000

Committee recommendation 437,400,000

The Committee recommends $437,400,000 for `International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement'. This is $86,474,000 less than the budget request and $111,211,000 above the fiscal year 2005 level, excluding the emergency supplemental appropriations Act. A limitation of $33,484,000 is recommended for administrative expenses.

The Committee assumes all funding for Indonesian police training will remain in the Economic Support Fund as it has in previous years. The Committee recommends $31,500,000 for Pakistan from funds under this heading and notes that $30,000,000 of fiscal year 2005 emergency supplemental funds for Pakistan remain unobligated and are available for the same purpose.


The Committee strongly supports the efforts of the civilian authorities in Indonesia to promote the rule of law, including efforts to exert control over the Indonesian military forces (TNI). It is critical that the Government of the United States closely monitor the use and dissemination of assistance under the FMF program for Indonesia. The restoration of the FMF program for Indonesia in no way signals dcreased concern about the poor human rights record of the Indonesian military forces and is intended only as a sign of measured support for the continuing efforts of the civilian Government of Indonesia to bring the Indonesian military forces under control. Congress has restricted the FMF program for Indonesia since fiscal year 2000, conditioning the provision of assistance under the FMF program for Indonesia on the budget transparency of the Indonesian military forces and accountability and justice for gross human rights violations. The Committee directs the Secretary of State to submit to Congress, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, a report on the progress of the Government of Indonesia in achieving the benchmarks specified in section 572 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2005.


The Committee recommends $13,500,000 for programs in East Timor, as requested, to support income producing projects and other reconstruction activities.

The Committee notes that East Timor is eligible under the Threshold Country Assistance Program funded within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) account. The MCC estimates that East Timor is eligible for an estimated $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 in assistance, which would bring the total for East Timor provided in this bill to approximately $18,500,000 to $20,500,000.


The Committee has included a provision providing for authority to provide assistance to certain countries that miss MCC eligibility as defined in section 616 of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003. The Committee has included a limitation of 10 percent of funds again in 2006 for such activities.

The Committee reaffirms prior year report language on effective inter-agency cooperation and implementation of the threshold country assistance. In fiscal years 2004 and 2005, the Committee notes that the MCC identified the following countries as potential recipients of MCC threshold country assistance: Albania, Burkina Faso, East Timor, Guyana, Kenya, Malawi, Paraguay, the Philippines, Sa.AE6o Tome and Principe, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, and Zambia.

The Committee understands that threshold country assistance will be used to help countries address issues impeding MCC eligibility, and that these countries may earn eligibility status in fiscal year 2006 or subsequent fiscal years. The Committee expects threshold country assistance to reaffirm the incentives of the MCC eligibility process. The Committee directs the MCC and USAID to transparently disclose this process and justify it in the fiscal year 2007 budget submission.


While we have conditioned all assistance to the GEF on the completion of specific reforms, we have removed conditionality currently in law on U.S. military assistance to Indonesia. For the first time since Indonesian military-backed militias laid waste to East Timor in the wake of its August, 1999 independence referendum, we will provide FMF to Indonesia free of any conditions. And, despite the Guatemalan government's noncompliance with military reforms stipulated in the Peace Accords, we have removed IMET restrictions on that country as well.

I commend the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations for working with me to put together a bipartisan bill within an unfortunately tight budget.

Nita M. Lowey.





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