Tom Introduces Resolution on Reconciliation in Indonesia

Madam President our nation and Indonesia enjoy a strong relationship reflected in the u.s. Indonesia comprehensive partnership of 2010 this partnership is robust and growing it serves both of our countries for bilateral regional and global cooperation the election of president Widodo in july is a step forward part of a great Democratic tradition over the past two decades in Indonesia we are working together for economic growth for the environment and for our security this is progress and to be encouraged Indonesia has a major role to play as a regional and global leader but in that role it must be an inclusive democracy key to this is to addressed past human rights abuses specifically the mass murders committed in 1965 and 66 next year is the 50th anniversary of these killings I rise today international human rights day to introduce a resolution concerning these events which Indonesia's own Human Rights Commission has labeled a crime against humanity but let me be clear this is not a censure of the people of Indonesia or Indonesia's new government it is an opportunity for justice and for reconciliation the events took place decades ago the reasons behind them are complex but that cannot justify the past or forgetting those who suffered under it nor can we ignore our own government's role during that time my resolution proposes two things first I urge Indonesia's new government to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address these crimes second I urge our own government to establish an interagency working group and to release relevant classified documents we should make clear what was known to us and we should make this information available it is a painful history to recall on October 1st 1965 six Indonesian army generals were killed according to scholars these generals were killed by military personnel but their deaths were blamed on Indonesia's Communist Party which was used to justify mass murders the next few months were horrific for the Indonesian people the CIA has called it one of the worst periods of mass murder in the 20th century hundreds of thousands were killed many others were imprisoned tortured raped starved and disappeared across the country these individuals were targeted for their alleged association with communism but they came from all walks of life including women's groups teachers intellectuals and others most were unarmed and none had due process of law the u.s. provided financial and military assistance during this time and later according to documents released by the State Department and General Suharto consolidated his power ruling from 1967 to 1998 so some may ask why is this resolution needed why now here's why the survivors and descendants of victims continue to be marginalized many of the killers continue to live with impunity and very few Americans are aware of these historical events or our governments actions during this time these events demand our attention and resolution as we work together to build a strong Asia Pacific Partnership I'm proud to serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee an important goal is the development of peaceful stable democracies democracies that provide security and hope to their own people and Economic Opportunity with businesses in my state and across the United States Indonesia is the world's third largest democracy it's population is diverse it has the largest muslim-majority population in the world it has faced many challenges and continues to move forward a strong us Indonesia relationship benefits both of our countries I offer this resolution in support of that relationship and Indonesia's continued progress as a growing democracy and a vital US ally

2 thoughts on “Tom Introduces Resolution on Reconciliation in Indonesia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *