US House votes again to bar $600,000 to Indonesia military

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Jul 27 17:34:58 MDT 2003


East Timor Action Network
http://www.etan.org

U.S. House of Representatives Reiterates "No IMET for Indonesia"

July 24 - For the second time in a week, the U.S.
House of Representatives voted to bar Indonesia from
receiving military training via the prestigious IMET
program.

Late last night, the House voted to strip a $600,000
appropriation for International Military Education and
Training (IMET) for fiscal year (FY) 2004. The
amendment to the Foreign Operations Appropriations
bill comes as the Bush administration has indicated its
intention to use a controversial FY03 $400,000
appropriation for IMET for Indonesia. Bush
administration has indicated its intention to use a
controversial FY03 $400,000 appropriation for IMET for
Indonesia.

"The administration should not defy Congressional
intent to bar the Indonesian military from IMET," said
Kurt Biddle of the Indonesia Human Rights Network
(IHRN).

"Instead of considering assistance for the Indonesian
military, the administration should take concrete
action against the Indonesian military for its massive
human rights violations in Aceh ­ including the use of
U.S.-supplied weapons, its widespread impunity for
crimes against humanity in East Timor, and its general
trampling on the rights of Indonesian, East Timorese,
and U.S. citizens," said Karen Orenstein of the East
Timor Action Network (ETAN).

On July 16, the House passed an amendment to the
Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY04-05 (H.R.
1950) barring Indonesia from receiving IMET until the
President certifies that Indonesia is "taking effective
measures" to fully investigate and criminally prosecute
those responsible for the August 31, 2002 attack on in
Timika, Papua near the mining operations area of the
Louisiana-headquartered Freeport-McMoRan. The ambush
killed three school teachers -- Rick Spier from
Colorado, Tom Burgon of Oregon and an Indonesian,
Bambang Riwanto -- and injured 11 others, including a
six-year child. Indonesian police and NGO
investigations have strongly implicated the Indonesian
military (TNI) in the attack.

Representative Joel Hefley (R-CO) sponsored both
amendments. Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Dennis
Kucinich (D-OH), and Greg Walden (R-OR) spoke in favor
of yesterday’s amendment.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed its own
ban on IMET for Indonesia for FY04 last May. Senate
Foreign Relations Committee passed its own ban

Legislative rules limited last night’s amendment to a
$600,000 reduction of the entire FY04 IMET
appropriation. However, the legislative history
established during debate makes clear the provision’s
intent to cut all funding for IMET for Indonesia for
FY04..

The appropriations bill also continues a ban on U.S.
government financed sales of military equipment to
Indonesia under the Foreign Military Financing
Program.

ETAN advocates for democracy, sustainable development,
justice and human rights, including women's rights,
for the people of East Timor. ETAN calls for an
international tribunal to prosecute crimes against
humanity that took place in East Timor since 1975.
(www.etan.org)

IHRN is a U.S.-based grassroots organization working to
educate and activate the American public and influence
U.S. foreign policy and international economic
interests to support democracy, demilitarization, and
justice through accountability and rule of law in
Indonesia. IHRN works with and advocates on behalf of
people throughout the Indonesian archipelago to
strengthen civil society. (www.indonesianetwork.org)






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