Subject: CONG: Frank Wolf to U.S. Amb. and responses
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 21:00:46 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-4610

November 24, 1998

The Honorable J. Stapleton Roy
US Ambassador
American Embassy
Jakarta
Box 1 APO AP 96520

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

I am writing again, as I have so many times in the past on behalf of the people of East Timor. Enclosed is an article from today's Washington Post reporting the daily carnage in Indonesia with a special East Timor box score pertaining solely to the killing of an additional 44 people plus 40 more injured.

What the Washington Post does not report is any response from the U.S. Government. There is no expression of outrage, no call, no urging or no demand that President Habibie and his government end the brutality in East Timor. Instead of pulling troops out as they have said, there are reports of more soldiers there. And yet we remain silent. Today, the Post reports new killings and we are silent.

Isn't this the time our words ought to fall on the most receptive ears in the Indonesian government? Aren't we propping them up with IMF funds and other financial support? Haven't they earlier indicated a new willingness to consider broader options to resolving the mess in East Timor? And, finally, aren't their hands full with internal strife all throughout greater Indonesia?

It seems that East Timor poses problems for the Indonesian government that it doesn't need and there is little for them to gain by keeping their army's boot heel on the neck of East Timorese people. The unneeded and unnecessary brutality, terror and violence goes on and on when it could just stop. Today.

But Mr. Ambassador, the U.S. Government has not spoken out on behalf of the East Timorese. Not only do our actions have consequences, our inactions do as well. More die in East Timor as America's silence paves the way for continuing brutality on this tiny, far-away island.

Mr. Ambassador, I mean no disrespect, but more are dying every day and it is so needless. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress


Embassy of the United States of America
Jakarta, Indonesia

December 2, 1998

Dear Mr. Wolf:

Thank you for your November 24 letter regarding the situation in East Timor. We share your concern about the recent violence in East Timor, and we have intensively investigated the accounts of mass killings in the Alas area. Local and international human rights monitors here, including the International committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), have concluded that while several violent incidents occurred which resulted in several military and five to seven civilian deaths, the accounts of "massacres" or 'mass killings" cannot be substantiated.

On December 1, I met with Bishop Belo who provided me with his assessment of the situation. He expressed serious concern about military operations in the Alas area, and said he had reports front church sources that 11 civilians had been killed. He was also worried, however, about a growing number of revenge killings being carried out by the anti-Indonesian forces. We agreed to continue to consult on ways to encourage real dialogue between the Indonesian government and the people or East Timor.

We are very disturbed about this recent resurgence of violence in East Timor, especially since it follows a period of relative peace in which both sides had exercised restraint while un-sponsored political talks were underway. On November 24, the Department spokesman called on all sides to refrain from violence and assure that civilians are not mistreated. In his meetings on November 19-20 with Indonesian officials, Assistant secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Harold Kob expressed our concern about the recant violence in East Timor and urged that the Indonesian military presence be reduced.

We continue to believe that an overall political settlement acceptable to all parties is the only solution which can end the violence in East Timor. We therefore continue to support the ongoing UN-sponsored talks involving Indonesia and Portugal.

Thank you for your continuing interest in East Timor.


Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-4610
December 29, 1998

The Honorable J, Stapleton Roy
Ambassador American
Embassy, Jakarta PSC 461
P0. Box 50
FPO AP 96521-0002

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

I received your letter of December 2,1998, and while I appreciate having your current assessment of conditions in East Timor, I continue to be concerned with the nearly complete lack of progress. In fact, conditions grow worse, not only in East Timor, but throughout the country, while this administration's policy seems to be to defer to or even hide behind UN-sponsored talks.

Meanwhile, widespread attacks on churches and on people of faith, including but not limited to Christians are taking place throughout Indonesia. How much longer will we wait before we speak out? With U S. leadership, the problems in East Timor, at least, could be determined, and the brutality, terror and hatred could wane.

Why not call for some self-determination in East Timor? Why not call for a large-scale reduction in Indonesian military presence there? Why not insist on the end of brutality? How could that make things worse? Why is this administration so paralyzed by the idea of speaking out on behalf of needlessly oppressed people?

There must be a reason because, despite the urging of many more learned and wise than I, this administration remains mute on behalf of human rights, personal dignity and even the right to exist. Do something, I beseech you.

Sincerely

Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress

FRW:cw

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