Wednesday, January 27, 2010

U.S. State Dept. Fails to Correct Distortions in Indonesia Backgrounder

The U.S. Department of State missed a chance to correct omissions and distortions in its "Background Notes" on Indonesia. State has just issued an update, but the only changes seem to involve noting new official in the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and in Indonesian government.

In Flawed History: What Goes Un-Noted in the State Department's "Background Notes" on Indonesia, ETAN and the West Papua Advocacy Team analyzed the October 2009 (and still largely unchanged) version. We found that:
...the latest report at several points misrepresents key historical developments. In general, the presentation reflects an historical narrative developed by the Indonesian government of the dictator Suharto and subsequently maintained by successor Indonesian administrations. The "Background Notes" generally fail to address accurately the problematic role of the Indonesian military (TNI) either historically or currently. The "Notes" fail to describe the central role of the military in the killing of hundreds of thousands in the period immediately following the seizure of power by Suharto and the mass killings in East Timor and West Papua. The "Background Notes" contend that civilian control of the military is "strengthening," notwithstanding the continued powerful role in Indonesian politics and the economy. The document also fails to note that the military continues to enjoy impunity for past and ongoing human rights violations, corruption and other criminal activity.

No comments:

Post a Comment