Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today joined Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and other House colleagues in sponsoring legislation that would terminate military and economic aid to Indonesia until the results of the August 30 vote on independence for East Timor have been put into effect.
"It is absolutely imperative that East Timorese refugees feel safe to return to their homes and communities and that Indonesian military and paramilitary units are effectively subdued," said Pelosi. "Recent reports continue to bring news about the detaining of suspected members of the Kopassus, Indonesia's feared paramilitary force, in the East Timorese hinterland. This a circumstance that subverts all efforts to move toward stability and independence."
On September 14, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously (419-0) in favor of a Pelosi motion to limit U.S. training for the Indonesian military to an expanded human rights curriculum. The San Francisco Representative is a co-sponsor of other legislation that would require the United States to oppose International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans to Indonesia until the violence has ended.
Congresswoman Pelosi commended Jose Gusmao, Jose Ramos-Horta, and Bishop Carlos Belo for their unrelenting persistence in keeping the spotlight on the cruelties committed by the Indonesian military. The Kennedy bill is identical to legislation introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI).
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