Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi and 37 Colleagues Condemn Attacks on Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia

August 7, 1998

Letter sent to President calling for policy that protects ethnic Chinese

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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