[ETAN-key] US should freeze help for Indonesia military: activists
John M Miller
fbp at igc.org
Wed Feb 18 14:54:51 PST 2009
US should freeze help for Indonesia military: activists
JAKARTA, Feb 18 (AFP) -- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should
use her visit to Indonesia to call on the country's military to stop
human rights abuses or risk losing US military assistance, activists
said Wednesday. Clinton should abandon the "all-carrot, no stick
approach" of former president George W. Bush in engaging the
Indonesian armed forces (TNI) and make assistance conditional on
reform, US-based rights activists said in a letter.
"We urge Secretary of State Clinton to promote a forward-looking
agenda when she visits Indonesia. Any military assistance should be
contingent on human rights accountability and real reform," East
Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) coordinator John Miller
said in a statement.
"The TNI looks at US government actions. Statements promoting rights
and reforms will be dismissed by the TNI unless US assistance is
suspended until genuine progress has been made," said the letter,
signed by the heads of almost 40 rights and civil society groups,
mostly from the United States.
Senior officers allegedly behind gross human rights abuses during the
32-year regime of former dictator Suharto and the 24-year occupation
of East Timor have gone unpunished and continue to have successful
careers, it said.
The military also remains involved in illegal businesses such as
logging, prostitution rings and protection rackets for foreign and
local businesses, the letter said.
President Bush resumed military ties and arms sales to Indonesia in
2005 after a six-year embargo, arguing the Muslim-majority nation was
an essential partner in the "war on terror".
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John M. Miller fbp at igc.org
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: (718)596-7668 Mobile phone: (917)690-4391
Web site: http://www.etan.org
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