Rep. Nancy Pelosi today was joined by 37 Members of Congress who signed her letter to President Clinton on the urgent need to restore the confidence and security of the ethnic Chinese community in Indonesia. In the letter (see attached copy), Pelosi and her colleagues urged President Clinton to make the treatment of ethnic Chinese central to the Administration's policy toward Indonesia. There are credible reports that at least 168 ethnic Chinese women and girls were raped during the mid-May riots in Jakarta. "These acts of brutality against ethnic Chinese women and their families are well-documented and cannot be condoned," Pelosi said. "The confidence and security of the ethnic Chinese community in Indonesia must be part of any credible reform program by President Habibie."
The Indonesian military has come under criticism for failing to protect the Chinese minority during the rioting and unrest that has been linked to the country's ongoing political and economic crisis. The letter also urged the Administration to impress upon the Indonesian government that it must end all official discrimination against ethnic Chinese, prevent any further attacks, identify and prosecute those responsible for the May abuses, and issue an apology and provide compensation to the victims.
The President and the Secretary of State are also urged to raise concerns about these issues, particularly the rapes of ethnic Chinese women, in possible upcoming meetings with Indonesian President Habibie and Foreign Minister Alatas. The letter was signed by the following Members of Congress:
Pelosi Gephardt Bonior Abercrombie Berman Campbell Engel Frank, Barney Franks, Bob Gilman Hall, Tony Kennedy, P. Kilpatrick Lantos Lee Lewis, John Lofgren Lowey Meehan Mink Morella Nadler Norton Olver Pitts Porter Rohrabacher Roybal-Allard Sabo Sanders Sherman Slaughter Smith, Chris Snowbarger Towns Underwood Wolf Yates
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