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ETAN Denounces Plans to Sell Lethal Equipment to Indonesian Military

Expresses Alarm at Expanding Engagement

For Immediate Release

Contact: John M. Miller (718) 596-7668; (917) 690-4391 (cell)
Karen Orenstein (202) 544-6911

March 29 - The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) denounced today's formal notice that the Department of State will consider provision of lethal military equipment to Indonesia. ETAN called it a major step undermining military reform and justice for the people of Indonesia and East Timor.

The notice appeared in today's Federal Register stating "that requests for the export or retransfer of lethal defense articles to Indonesia (and defense services related to such lethal defense articles) pursuant to section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act will be considered on a case-by-case basis."

“The Bush administration’s imprudent rush to expand assistance to the Indonesian military (TNI) is alarming and short-sighted,” said Karen Orenstein, National Coordinator of ETAN.

“As the cycle of impunity continues unabated in Indonesia, the State Department is set to resume lethal defense exports. The floodgates of assistance seem to be open,” said Orenstein. “Where is the ‘carefully calibrated’ approach toward aiding the TNI that the State Department promised last November after it waived congressional restrictions? Was the State Department’s professed commitment to human rights and justice reform in Indonesia when it justified the waiver simply hollow rhetoric?”

In February, the Bush administration proposed a six and a half fold increase in Foreign Military Financing for Indonesia. Testifying in the Senate in early March, Admiral William F. Fallon, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, urged a “rapid, concerted infusion of assistance” to the Indonesian military.

"The U.S. needs a forward-looking policy toward Indonesia that promotes genuine accountability for human rights crimes and real reform of its corrupt military. Providing military assistance will undermine both," said Orenstein.

Last November, the Department of State issued a waiver removing all remaining congressional restrictions on U.S. military assistance to Indonesia. Congress had imposed various restrictions since 1992.

East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation has called on countries to make military assistance to Indonesia "totally conditional on progress towards full democratization, the subordination of the military to the rule of law and civilian government, and strict adherence with international human rights..."

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. For additional background, see


see also

Human Rights First: Secretary Rice Should Raise Human Rights in Talks with Indonesian President

U.S.-Indonesia Military Assistance page

[Federal Register: March 29, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 60)]
[Page 15797]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



[Public Notice 5354]

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs: Export of Lethal Defense 
Articles/Defense Services to Indonesia

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that requests for the export or 
retransfer of lethal defense articles to Indonesia (and defense 
services related to such lethal defense articles) pursuant to section 
38 of the Arms Export Control Act will be considered on a case-by-case 

DATES: Effective Date: March 29, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James Juraska, Office of Defense 
Trade Controls Policy, Department of State, Telephone (202) 663-22860 
or Fax (202) 261-8199.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It is the policy of the U.S. Government, 
effective as of March 17, 2006, to consider on a case-by-case basis 
applications for the export of lethal defense articles and related 
defense services to Indonesia. Section 599F(b) of the FY 2006 Foreign 
Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act 
allows for the issuance of licenses for the export of lethal defense 
articles for the Indonesian Armed Forces should the Secretary of State 
waive, as being in the national security interest of the United States, 
legislative requirements for certification of certain conditions 
pertaining to Indonesia. Such a waiver was signed on November 16, 2005. 
The Department has also determined that it shall be U.S. Government 
policy to consider on a case-by-case basis applications for the export 
of lethal defense articles and related defense services to Indonesia.

    Previously, Federal Register Notices were published on October 14, 
1999 (64 FR 55805), January 25, 2001 (66 FR 7836), and March 22, 2001 
(66 FR 16085), that set forth a policy of denial for new export 
requests for Indonesia and suspended all licenses and approvals to 
export or otherwise transfer defense articles and defense services to 
Indonesia, except for certain exports related to commercial 
communication satellites and Y2K compliance activities that were not 
for the Indonesian military; permitted review, on a case-by-case basis, 
of requests for the export of C-130 spare parts to Indonesia, including 
for the Government of Indonesia; and, expanded the review, on a case-
by-case basis, to defense articles/defense services exported to 
Indonesia for ultimate end-use by a third-country, respectively.

    Further changes to the export policy toward Indonesia were 
reflected in a Federal Register Notice published on December 18, 2001 
(66 FR 65235) that expanded the categories of defense articles/defense 
services eligible for consideration for export/transfer to Indonesia, 
on a case-by-case basis, to include: (a) Non-lethal defense articles 
and spare parts; and (b) non-lethal, safety-of-use spare parts for 
lethal end-items. For purposes of that Notice, ``non-lethal defense 
articles'' meant an item not a weapon, ammunition, or other equipment 
or material designed to inflict serious bodily harm or death (see, 
e.g., 10 U.S.C. 2557). Examples of safety-of-use items were cartridge 
actuated devices, propellant actuated devices, and technical manuals 
for military aircraft for purposes of enhancing the safety of the 
aircraft crew. No distinction was made between Indonesia's existing and 
new inventory.

    This Notice expands what may be authorized for export to Indonesia 
to include lethal defense articles controlled on the U.S. Munitions 
List, as well as defense services related to the export of such lethal 
defense articles. Applications for such exports will be considered on a 
case-by-case basis in accordance with standard practice.

    This action is taken pursuant to Sections 38 and 42 of the Arms 
Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778, 2791) and Sec.  126.7 of the ITAR 
in furtherance of the foreign policy of the United States.

        Dated: March 22, 2006.
Gregory M. Suchan,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. E6-4555 Filed 3-28-06; 8:45 am]






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