Thursday, March 11, 2010

ETAN in the news on Kopassus training

The Christian Science Monitor: US Plan To Train Indonesia's Special Forces Sets Off Alarm (March 5, 2010)
“Now if we simply circumvent this law, it will be like saying, ‘You haven’t held past abusers accountable, so we’re going to go ahead and reward you,’ ” he says.

Radio Australia, Connect Asia: US Plans To Resume Training Of Indonesia's Kopassus  Forces (March 9, 2010) Listen: Windows Media
LAM: And John Miller the East Timor and Indonesia Action network, your organisation ETAN, speaks of criminal activity within Kopassus. What is this alleged criminal activity?

MILLER: Well as Australians would be well familiar with the killing of the journalists at Balibo in 1975, that was done by soldiers within Kopassus, to the exit of Indonesia from East Timor in 1999, Kopassus officers were heavily involved and orchestrated destruction and training of militia, to last summer Human Rights Watch released a report about Kopassus units in West Papua illegally arresting and harassing residents in the highlands of West Papua. So it's a very long history and most of those rights abuses are unresolved and in the few that have actually gone to court, such as the kidnapping of students in 1997 and 98, even where soldiers were actually convicted in court, many of them are still serving today in Kopassus.
Inter Press Service: U.S. Seeks to Resume Training of Controversial Military Unit
(March 4)
"The best way to prevent future violations is to hold accountable those responsible for the multitude of human rights crimes committed by the Indonesian military in East Timor, West Papua, and elsewhere. Many of these crimes occurred while the U.S. was most deeply engaged with the Indonesian military providing the bulk of its weapons and training," he added.

Asia Times: US, Indonesia in a tentative embrace (March 12)
"Kopassus training is the last frontier for re-engagement and a US seal of approval for the Indonesian military," John Miller, national coordinator for the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, said by e-mail.

Jakarta Post: Indonesia welcomes US plan to boost military cooperation (March 2)
"Clinton's remarks imply that Indonesian military human rights violations are in the past," the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) said. "But they aren't."

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