|Subject: ETAN letter on IMET
Green Bay Press Gazette
Posted Mar. 21, 2005
Government plan stuns this writer
GREEN BAY — I was stunned by the recent announcement that the State Department plans to renew ties with the Indonesian military, TNI, despite its noncooperation with FBI investigations into the murder of two Americans and an Indonesian in West Papua.
According to the State Department’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices released just two days after it reinstated full IMET for Indonesia, “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.”
The TNI continues to resist reform and those responsible for atrocities in East Timor still dodge justice. We should not reward behavior that has killed some 2,000 civilians in recent years, and around 10,000 the 10 before that in Aceh under Suharto. Yes, that Aceh, where the recent tsunami has only complicated an already human-made tragedy that only gets worse the more repressive the government gets.
While largely symbolic, the message is: We don’t care about your crimes against humanity; keep it up.
Congressman Mark Green should protest this move and vote to strengthen restrictions to the TNI in this year’s FY2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill and upcoming State Department authorization legislation.