Subject: Japanese NGOs' Letter to World Bank

Also: Free East Timor! Japan Coalition calls for postponement of the Tokyo CGI meeting

Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan 
October 10, 2000

Japanese NGOs' Letter to World Bank

President James D. Wolfensohn 
World Bank 
1818 H Street, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20433, USA

Considering the recent dramatic deterioration of the human rights situation in Indonesia, we call on the World Bank, other international institutions and donor governments which constitute the Consultative Group on Indonesia to postpone the coming Tokyo meeting planned to be held on 17 and 18 October until the following conditions are met.

1. On 6 September three UNHCR staff were murdered in Atambua, West Timor. Responding to this incident, the UN Security Council adopted the resolution No. 1319. However, the disbandment of militia by the Indonesian government has not made significant progress. We call on the Indonesian government to quickly disband the militia, to allow the returning to East Timor of those refugees who wish to do so and to take legal action immediately against those responsible for the killings in Atambua.

2. Even under the Humanitarian Pause agreed between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) which started in June, human rights violations by the Indonesian security authorities against civilian population have not stopped. Human rights violations such as arrests, abductions and brutal killings of human rights defenders and volunteer humanitarian workers still continue to this day. We call on the Indonesian government to respect the Humanitarian Pause and to immediately stop human rights violations in Aceh.

3. Both the government and the military have acknowledged that elements of the Indonesian armed forces are involved in inciting the conflicts in Maluku and Northern Maluku which started in January 1999. People in Maluku are demanding anintervention by the international community, but the government refuses any international intervention saying that this is a domestic affair. We call on the Indonesian government to punish those soldiers who were involved in inciting the conflicts, and to accept international monitoring groups.

4. In Irian Jaya or West Papua militia are being created with support of the Indonesian military. We call on the Indonesian government to listen to the voices of people in Papua in order to prevent the deterioration of the situaiton such as one that occured in East and West Timor and Maluku. We also call on the Indonesian government to disband militia there and to promote dialogue with Papuans.

We, citizen's groups in Japan, feel responsible about the fact that Japan has long supported the authoritarian governments of Indonesia through CGI. We sincerely hope that there will be born a truly democratic government with respect for human rights in Indonesia. Therefore, we request that the opening of the CGI meeting at this moment be reconsidered. And if the meeting is to be held as scheduled, we request that aid be conditioned for achievements of the above-mentioned points.

Sincerely yours,

10 October 2000, Tokyo

AM-NET: APEC Monitor NGO Network Earth Tree FETJC: Free East Timor Japan Coalition Forum of Resistence for Military Violence against Women Friends of the Earth-Japan Hand of Peace JANNI: Japan NGO Network on Indonesia Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace Japan CHT Committee NINDJA: Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan ODA Reform Network PARC: Pacific-Asia Resource Center Womens Democratic Club


Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan <> Hills Saneicho 101, 12-6 Saneicho Shinjukuku Tokyo 160-0008 Japan tel/fax: +81-3-3356-8364


Below is a translation of the Free East Timor! Japan Coalition statement on CGI, which was handed to Loan Aid Division, Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Prime Minister's Office on 11th October.

Free East Timor! Japan Coalition calls for postponement of the Tokyo CGI meeting

The Free East Timor! Japan Coalition calls on the Japanese government to pressure the Indonesian government to disarm militia groups operating in West Timor and take concrete action against those in the Indonesian military who created and continue to support these militia groups. We also call on the Japanese government to request that the upcoming CGI meeting in Tokyo be postponed indefinitely until the above ends are achieved.

The Indonesian government has called on the militias to voluntarily disarm, but to no effect, and has now extended the final date for disarmament to October 16. It will therefore be impossible to confirm whether or not the militias have been properly disarmed before the CGI meeting begins on October 17. In this way Indonesia hopes to avoid linkage between aid and disarmament of the militias.

UN staff who observed the first day of voluntary weapon returns by the militias in Atambua on September 21 and the ensuing violence commented that the Indonesian military and police did nothing to stop the violence. If the international community accepts this farce as "disarmament" the process will amount to nothing and militia groups will retain their weapons.

Certain Indonesian officials have made emotional and inflammatory statements criticizing the international community's concern over the situation in West Timor. Defense Minister Mahfud has stated that the September murders of UN staff in Atambua were the result of intelligence operations by foreign government agents. Vice-President Megawati, at a ceremony marking the founding of Kopassus (the Indonesian special forces, the group most strongly implicated in supporting the militias), said that it was unjust to criticize Kopassus, and that it should have confidence in itself. The co-ordinating minister for political and security affairs, Susilio Bambang Yudhoyono, said at a meeting in West Timor attended by top militia leaders that the UN was also responsible for the refugee problem, and that non-aligned nations supported Indonesia.

Amien Rais, speaker of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), has stirred up xenophobic sentiments by stating that international pressure on Indonesia is a US plot. Along with public statements like these from political leaders, other acts of extreme xenophobia have taken place, such as the rioting students who broke into the grounds of the US Consulate-General in Surabaya and burnt the consulate's flag.

On September 13 the East Timorese Council for National Resistance (CNRT/NC) called on the international community to postpone the CGI meeting until Indonesia proved its goodwill by dismantling terrorist training camps on Indonesian territory, disarming and arresting all those responsible for the present violence in West Timor and incursions into East Timorese territory, and restarting the voluntary repatriation of East Timorese refugees held against their will in West Timor.

The Japanese government has taken great pains to support and justify the actions of the Indonesian goverment to date, a policy which resulted in the murders of the UN workers in Atambua. The government must now clearly express to the Indonesian government and military its support for democracy, justice and human rights in Indonesia.

We call for the CGI meeting to be postponed until Indonesia:

1) Disarms and disbands all the militia groups in West Timor, removes the militias from the refugee camps, and arrests and punishes militia leaders and those responsible for the various murders (including those of the UN workers) and other criminal offenses which have taken place in West Timor since September last year;

2) Secures unimpeded access by international relief agencies to the refugees; and

3) Ensures the safe repatriation of all East Timorese refugees who wish to return home. 

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