Indonesia and the current world crisis
On 19 September, President Megawati Sukarnoputri went to Washington to meet President Bush for a state visit that had been agreed before the horrendous events in New York and Washington on 11 September when more than six thousand people of many nations met their deaths as the result of a heinous, terrorist attack. TAPOL joins in mourning those who were killed, while continuing to mourn the one million or more Indonesians who met their deaths as Suharto took power in 1965/1966. On that occasion, Washington gave unstinting support to Suharto and the Indonesian army to continue with this massacre and made no calls on the world community to fight terrorism - state terrorism - which might well have halted the massacre in its tracks.
By deciding to go ahead with the meeting with the Indonesian president at a time when he is building an international coalition for his “war against terrorism’, Bush evidently expected Indonesia, with the world’s largest Muslim population, to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder’ with Washington as it whips up international support for his warmongering project. In the event, Megawati went no farther than to pledge ‘to cooperate with the international community in combating terrorism’.
Megawati’s measured response shows that
she knows full well that support for Washington in Indonesia is less than
enthusiastic. Many Indonesians will not forget that during the three decades
of the Suharto dictatorship, all administrations in Washington kept silent
about the massive, ongoing repression and grotesque human rights abuses
and did nothing to halt arms supplies until undeniable facts emerged about
the death and destruction in East Timor in 1999. Megawati also knows that
she could face a serious backlash from Indonesian Muslims should she sign
up for a war on countries with huge Muslim populations.
Cooperation on counter terrorism
The two presidents agreed to ‘strengthen
bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism’. Indonesia has been plagued
for more than a year by many bombings which have killed and maimed hundreds
and destroyed property. The Indonesian police have shown themselves to
be virtually incapable of tracking down and bringing to justice the perpetrators
of these terrible crimes. She would have done better to pledge reform of
the police and improve their ability to fight crime. Undoubtedly many of
those responsible for these crimes have links with groups in other countries,
but reports currently circulating in Indonesia that Osama bin Laden may
be behind the spate of bombings stretches credulity. Still worse, they
may be part of a strategy to enhance the role of Lt.General Hendropriyono
who Megawati appointed to head the new State Intelligence Agency (see page
7). No doubt, some of the $5billion now allocated to Bush’s ‘war on terrorism’
will find its way into this Agency’s coffers and Megawati’s intelligence
supremo will enjoy the new prominence bestowed on his network of spies
and ‘intel’ operatives. It should not be forgotten that the army connived
in inflaming the religious strife that has held Maluku in its grip since
early 1999. Laskar Jihad gangs were not prevented from going to Maluku
and funds from top army commands were used to support these gangs. The
credentials of the Indonesian armed forces in fighting these self-confessed
Muslim extremists is less than salubrious.
Accountability for human rights abuses
Megawati made a pledge, in her statement with Bush, ‘to resolve outstanding issues relating to past human rights violations, especially in conflict zones’. She asserted that ‘as a state based on the rule of law, respect for human rights and freedom of religion, Indonesia recognises the importance of accountability for human rights abuses’. TAPOL warmly welcomes this pledge. However, we know that, if she stands by this pledge, she will find herself on a collision course with numerous military officers, retired or still on active service, who must be held accountable for crimes against humanity in East Timor, in Aceh, in West Papua and in Indonesia during the Suharto regime of terror. The man she chose as Attorney General, A.M. Rahman, has a deplorable reputation for the job he now holds; he has stood in the way of accountability for the crimes in East Timor and is hardly likely to help her in standing by the pledge she made in Washington. While Bush agreed to lift the executive’s embargo on commercial sales of non-lethal defense articles for Indonesia, he gave no undertaking to end arms sales, knowing full well that this is a matter for the US Congress where support for the Leahy amendments is still strong (see page 12). If Megawati fails to deliver on her accountability pledge, the Leahy amendments will prove an impregnable barrier to the resumption of arms sales.
This statement is being published in TAPOL
Bulletin No 163, October 2001.
References to page numbers relate to other articles in the Bulletin.
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human
111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon CR7 8HW, UK.
tel +44 020 8771 2904 fax +44 020 8653 0322
email@example.com | http://www.gn.apc.org/tapol
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human
Rights Campaign Up-dated May 1
Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia and East Timor, 1973-2001
TAPOL - which means political prisoner in Indonesian - is a leading English language authority campaigning on the human rights situation in Indonesia and East Timor. Estab in 1973, TAPOL has depended on networking with organisations in Indonesia, with NGOs in the UK and with solidarity groups around the world.
TAPOL produces the bi-monthly TAPOL Bulletin; occasional reports and briefing papers and other publications. Australian subscribers to TAPOL Bulletin may pay in A$ to: TAPOL (Australia) PO Box 121, Clifton Hill, Vic 3068 Rates for Individuals A$45, Unwaged A$22, Institutions A$80
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Homepage: http://www.gn.apc.org/tapol ET Webpage: http://www.gn.apc.org/tapol/easttimorlatest.htm
September 19, 2001
U.S. and Indonesia Pledge Cooperation
Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia
As leaders of the world’s second and third largest democracies, President George W. Bush and President Megawati Soekarnoputri today vowed to open a new era of bilateral cooperation based on shared democratic values and a common interest in promoting regional stability and prosperity. They agreed that a strong bilateral partnership between the two countries will benefit both nations, the region, and the international community. President Bush and President Megawati emphasized the importance of a strong and prosperous ASEAN and pledged to cooperate to promote those objectives.
President Megawati condemned the barbaric and indiscriminate acts carried out against innocent civilians and pledged to cooperate with the international community in combatting terrorism. She underscored that terrorism also increasingly threatens Indonesia’s democracy and national security. The two Presidents agreed that their respective officials would soon discuss concrete ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism, in particular on capacity and institution building. They further affirmed their intention to expand cooperation to combat other transnational crimes, including piracy, organized crime, trafficking in persons, narcotics, and smuggling of small arms.
President Bush expressed his conviction that Indonesia’s transition to democracy is one of the most significant developments of this era. Noting the great importance the United States attaches to Indonesia’s success, he pledged his support for President Megawati’s efforts to build a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Indonesia. In that context, President Bush pledged to work with Congress to secure the Administration’s request for at least $130 million in bilateral assistance for Indonesia in fiscal year 2002, with a special focus on assisting Indonesia’s efforts with legal and judicial reform. Recognizing the priority President Megawati places on rebuilding communities in conflict zones, President Bush pledged an additional $10 million to assist internally displaced persons, with a focus on the Moluccas.
He further pledged $5 million for Aceh, to support reconciliation, help rebuild schools and other infrastructure destroyed in the ongoing violence, and assist with economic development projects, including environmental improvements and transportation. To strengthen Indonesia’s law enforcement capability, President Bush also committed, subject to Congressional approval, to provide $10 million in police training.
The two Presidents discussed the situation in the provinces of Aceh and Irian Jaya and agreed on the urgent need for peaceful resolution of separatist pressures. President Megawati affirmed her determination to pursue a multidimensional approach to these regions, including implementation of special autonomy, resource sharing, respect for cultural identity and human rights, restoration of peace, order and the rule of law, and continued efforts at dialogue and reconciliation. President Bush reiterated the firm support of the United States for Indonesia’s territorial integrity and emphasized that the U.S. does not support secessionist aspirations in these areas or elsewhere.
President Bush and President Megawati agreed to work together to support a stable and prosperous independent East Timor. The Presidents further agreed on the urgent need to find a comprehensive solution to the remaining problems of East Timorese in West Timor, East Nusa Tenggara province, notwithstanding the significant assistance already provided by the United States to alleviate Indonesia’s burden. Recognizing that the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) still in West Timor is both an Indonesian and an international problem, the two leaders agreed to cooperate in developing a comprehensive plan that supports and implements the choice of remaining IDPs to resettle or return to East Timor. In their discussions, President Bush committed to provide both technical assistance and seed money in the amount of $2 million dollars to help Indonesia develop and implement a credible plan, and to assist with the resettlement of those who choose to stay in Indonesia. The United States and Indonesia further pledged to work together to seek additional international support, upon completion of the plan.
The two Presidents agreed that economic reform and restructuring are pressing challenges now facing Indonesia. President Bush expressed strong support for President Megawati’s commitment to press ahead with structural economic reforms, including privatization of banks and the disposal of assets within the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency. President Megawati underscored her determination to improve Indonesia’s investment climate, in particular by strengthening the rule of law, resolving outstanding investment disputes, and protecting investors’ assets and property.
As an expression of confidence in both President Megawati’s leadership and the enormous potential of the Indonesian economy, President Bush announced that the three U.S. trade finance agencies—the Export Import Bank (ExIm), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA)-- have developed a joint trade and finance initiative to help promote economic development in Indonesia. The three agencies will undertake to provide up to a combined $400 million to promote trade and investment within Indonesia, especially in the Indonesian oil and gas sector.
The two Presidents resolved to work closely to expand trade bilaterally, regionally and globally. President Bush agreed to provide Indonesia $100 million in additional benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). To explore prospects for the further expansion of trade and commercial ties, the two Presidents directed their Trade Ministers to re-establish and convene the U.S.-Indonesia Trade and Investment Council at a mutually convenient date, based on the preparatory work already undertaken by senior officials in Jakarta on September 10. Both leaders noted the importance of open markets and expanded trade for economic growth and agreed on the importance of launching a new round of WTO negotiations at Doha, taking into account the need for a balanced agenda that reflects the interests of all WTO members.
President Bush recognized the important role of the Indonesian military (TNI) as a national institution and both leaders observed the importance of military reforms in Indonesia’s democratic transition. In that regard, the two Presidents agreed to expand modest contacts and resume regular meetings between their militaries to support Indonesia’s efforts at military reform and professionalization. Upcoming activities will include Indonesian participation in a variety of conferences, multilateral exercises, subject matter exchanges on issues such as military reform, military law, investigations, budgeting and budget transparency, as well as humanitarian assistance and joint relief operations.
President Bush and President Megawati agreed that military-to-military relations, while important, should constitute only one aspect of the bilateral security relationship and that the two countries should cooperate to increase civilian participation in Indonesian defense and security issues.
To promote this objective, the two leaders agreed to establish a bilateral Security Dialogue under the supervision of their respective civilian ministers of defense, which would provide an opportunity for an exchange of views on a broad range of security and defense issues. To further support President Megawati’s efforts to foster proper civil-military relations in Indonesia’s new democratic setting, President Bush also expressed his commitment to work with Congress to allocate $400,000 to educate Indonesian civilians on defense matters through the Expanded International Military Education and Training.
President Megawati expressed her full appreciation that Indonesia must resolve outstanding issues relating to past human rights violations, especially in conflict zones. She asserted that as a state based on the rule of law, respect for human rights, and freedom of religion, Indonesia recognizes the importance of accountability for human rights abuses. In that context, and in the spirit of their shared commitment to promote reform and professionalization of the military in a democratic Indonesia, President Bush announced that the United States would lift its embargo on commercial sales of non-lethal defense articles for Indonesia, with individual applications to be reviewed on a case by case basis, as is standard practice in the United States.
The two Presidents noted that both the United States and Indonesia were founded on the belief that a nation’s diversity is a source of strength, not weakness—a concept embodied in their respective national mottos. They pledged to build on this shared belief as a basis for strengthening the bonds between their two peoples and for forging a new era of cooperation to advance their common interests.
September 19, 2001
U.S. and Indonesia on Terror and Tolerance
Joint Statement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia on Terrorism and Religious Tolerance
President George W. Bush and President Megawati Soekarnoputri today condemned the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and pledged to strengthen existing cooperation in the global effort to combat international terrorism. On behalf of the 210 million people of Indonesia, President Megawati expressed her deepest sympathies to the American people and pledged solidarity with the United States in this hour of grief. Noting that the victims included innocent civilians of many nationalities, including an Indonesian citizen, the two leaders agreed that these indiscriminate attacks have no place in a civilized world.
The two Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of religious freedom and tolerance in relations within and among nations. As leader of the world’s largest Muslim population and third largest democracy, President Megawati joined President Bush in underlining the importance of differentiating between the religion of Islam and the acts of violent extremists. Emphasizing that Islam is a religion of peace that neither teaches hatred nor condones violence, President Megawati encouraged President Bush in his stated purpose of building a broad coalition across religious lines and cultures to deal with these new and dangerous threats. She further emphasized the importance of taking into account the views of the Muslim world as the United States leads an appropriate response to the events of September 11. Noting that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States, President Bush assured President Megawati that the American people respect Islam as one of the world’s great religions and that the United States would join hands with freedom-loving people of all religions to combat transnational terror.
September 19, 2001
U.S. - Indonesia Fact Sheet
U.S.-Indonesia Trade & Finance Initiative
The three U.S. trade finance agencies: the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), have developed a joint trade and finance initiative for projects in Indonesia. The three agencies will undertake to provide up to a combined $400 million to promote trade and investment within Indonesia, especially in the Indonesian oil and gas sector.
- The Governments of the United States and Indonesia share the common goal of promoting economic growth and increasing trade between the two nations.
- The Government of Indonesia welcomes Foreign Direct Investment in the energy sector, including the oil and gas industry.
- The United States supports an international energy policy that enhances exploration, production and refining, as well as the development of new technology.
U.S.-Indonesia Trade & Finance Initiative:
- The three agencies will undertake to provide a combined total of up to $400 million under their respective programs:
- TDA funds will be used primarily to identify and develop projects for EXIM and OPIC loans and guarantees in the oil and gas sector, but will also be available to support other industry sectors.
- EXIM will undertake to support U.S. exports of goods and services identified as components of oil and gas sector projects.
- OPIC will undertake to provide support to projects in the oil and gas sector with loans, guarantees and insurance of up to $200 million.
- Support from each agency would be subject to the normal terms and conditions as established by each agency under their respective programs. Repayment of U.S. support from EXIM and OPIC would be derived from and secured by the hard currency earnings generated from the supported projects. Support provided by TDA would be on grant basis.
BD: The Current World Crisis - A collection of statements on the recent terrorist attacks in the US and the subsequent 'war on terrorism'