Human rights abuses in Indonesia

26 October 2000

In a letter to Bank President, James Wolfensohn, the Japanese Network for Indonesian Democracy, called for the Indonesian Consultative Group meeting, scheduled for 17-18th October in Japan, to be postponed until the human rights situation improved. The letter demanded that the meeting be postponed until the Indonesian government fulfils the following conditions:

  • quickly disband, militia groups operating in West Timor to allow refugees to return to East Timor and take immediate legal action against those responsible for killing UNHCR staff in Atambua, West Timor;
  • immediately stop human rights violations in Aceh and respect the Humanitarian Pause agreed between itself and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) which started in June;
  • the Indonesian government should punish those soldiers involved in inciting conflicts in Maluku and Northern Maluku which started in January 1999, and accept international monitoring groups;
  • to disband militia in Irian Jaya or West Papua and instead promote dialogue.

Wolfensohn has written to Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid warning that continued financial support may be linked to the success of its efforts to quell militia groups in West Timor.

Indonesian NGOs are concerned that they are not being properly consulted in the Consultative Group for Indonesia CGI process. Revrisond Baswir, director of the Institute of Development and Economic Analysis (IDEA), commented in the Jakarta Post, that his organization had boycotted a meeting held on 6 October in preparation for the CGI meeting because it was scheduled without sufficient time and information to allow effective preparation. “We’re afraid that the forum is only held to seek legitimacy,” he commented.

He also questioned why the loans were necessary, and suggested that the government was being too pessimistic about budget projections and could cut unnecessary budget lines. He suggested that the government’s motivation for seeking the loan was to repay foreign debt without drawing down foreign exchange reserves. “That also means that we are burdening our next generations with debt. For whatever reasons, we are piling up debts, which must be repaid some day. We are just gambling our future away. he said.