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East Timor ACTION Network ALERT

Take Action for Justice & Peace for East Timor & Indonesia

Call Your Representative Today to Sign the Letter on US Assistance to Indonesian Military

The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121; ask for your Representative’s offices. Then ask to speak with the foreign policy aide. If you don't know who your Representative is, go to to find out.

Urge your Representative to sign:

the Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Representatives Lane Evans (D-IL), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Tom Tancredo (R-CO) to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urging him to reconsider actions by the Pentagon towards resumption of normalized U.S.-Indonesia military to military relations. The Indonesian military continues to systematically violate human rights as it did in East Timor. To sign on, s/he should contact Kevin Gash (Rep. Evans). The deadline for the letter is July 27.

Here is a list of signatures on the letter, so far:

In addition to Reps. Evans (D-IL); Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Tancredo (R-CO), signers to date include: Reps. McGovern; Sanders; Baldwin; Watson; B Frank; Lowey; Grijalva; DeFazio; Markey; Maloney; Oberstar; Weiner; Hinchey;  Capuano; Payne; Lee; Norton; McCarthy, Carolyn; Brady, Bob; Thompson, Bennie; Schakowsky; Strickland; Clay; Holt; Filner; Olver; Kennedy; Udall, Mark; Lofgren; McCollum; Price; McDermott; Eshoo; Gerlach; Langevin; DeLauro; Farr; Hooley; Waxman; and Udall, Tom

For questions or to report responses, contact Karen Orenstein, 202-544-6911; For more information on the issues, visit ETAN’s website at

Evans Letter on Military Relations with Indonesia (excerpt, see for full text)

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld,

We were surprised and disappointed to learn that the Bilateral Defense Dialogue between the U.S. Pacific Command and the Indonesian military (TNI) is scheduled to reconvene. This additional step towards resumption of normalized military to military relations without setting benchmarks for a reform of the TNI is a cause for concern.

As you may know, a Bilateral Defense Dialogue (BDD) between Indonesia and the U.S. has not occurred since 1997, in part because of the tremendous TNI violence committed in East Timor in 1999. Since then, the TNI has successfully evaded accountability for its well-documented crimes against humanity and war crimes in East Timor, and there has been little progress in improving human rights practices in Indonesia. Additionally, the TNI continues it brutal tactics in Aceh, Papua, and elsewhere. There are reports that the TNI has extensive connections to the terror group Laskar Jihad, which has re-emerged in renewed violence in Maluku and is operating in Papua. The TNI is also implicated in the murder of U.S. citizens Rick Spier and Ted Burgon, in what the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta described as "an outrageous act of terrorism."

Given the fact that so many serious human rights issues relating to the Indonesian military remain unresolved, we respectfully ask you to reconsider resuming the Bilateral Defense Dialogue. We believe a resumption of the dialogue at this time would go against the strong posture Congress and Executive Branch took in the late 1990's to severely limit military assistance, joint exercises, and exchanges with the TNI until human rights issues were addressed….

We request that the Department of Defense voice its concern with all levels of leadership in the TNI about the brutal human rights record of the Indonesian military…

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