Viewing cable 06JAKARTA2112
Title: INDONESIA-ET TRUTH/FRIENDSHIP COMMISSION FACES

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06JAKARTA21122006-02-16 11:51:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Jakarta
VZCZCXRO9489
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2112/01 0471151
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 161151Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9672
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 9022
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 9564
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0582
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DOD WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7267
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0408
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 002112 
 
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DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, DRL, AND S/WCI 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/16/2026 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL KJUS KAWC TT ID
SUBJECT: INDONESIA-ET TRUTH/FRIENDSHIP COMMISSION FACES 
HURDLES 
 
REF: JAKARTA 1078 - REACTION TO CAVR REPORT 
 
Classified By: POLITICAL OFFICER MARK D. CLARK, REASON 1.4 (B AND D). 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1. (C) Indonesia's senior bureaucrat responsible for human 
rights in a February 8 meeting described the Indonesia-East 
Timor Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF) as "stagnant," 
due to East Timor's presentation of its human rights report 
to the UN, the shooting of three Indonesians on the East 
Timor border, and internal East Timorese politics.  The 
official acknowledged the CTF suffered from lack of adequate 
staffing.  Despite these problems, Indonesia remained 
committed to the CTF and is optimistic it could produce 
results.  As new signs of movement, local media reported 
February 14 that President Yudhoyono and President Xanana 
Gusmao will meet February 17, and the CTF has scheduled its 
first field mission to East Timor.  The Chairman of 
Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission, Abdul Hakim 
Garuda Nusantara, on February 9 offered us a frank and 
pessimistic assessment, questioning the CTF's plans and 
abilities, and doubting the GOI's commitment to 
accountability for East Timor.  He described Indonesia's 
"persistent reluctance" to pursue military accountability and 
President Yudhoyono's cautious approach.  With senior GOI 
officials, we continue to stress the importance of the CTF 
for addressing accountability, as we also work to link the 
CTF with Carter Center expertise.  End Summary. 
 
CONVEYING U.S. ATTENTION TO CTF 
------------------------------- 
 
¶2.  (C) We called on Hafid Abbas, Director General for Human 
Rights Protection, under the Law/Human Rights Ministry, on 
February 8 to discuss the CTF.  Hafid is Indonesia's senior 
bureaucrat formally responsible for human rights policy and 
he acts as an advisor to the government on the CTF.  We 
stressed with Hafid the importance the U.S. and the 
international community attaches to the Commission and the 
body's performance in helping to achieve accountability for 
the 1999 crimes in East Timor.  We noted expectations that 
the CTF act in a transparent fashion, with public hearings 
and expert international involvement.  We suggested that the 
work of the CTF was important enough to Indonesia that the 
GOI should insulate the CTF mission from the buffeting of 
day-to-day politics.  We asked for Hafid's views on the CTF's 
current status, when the international community might begin 
to see signs of the CTF's progress, and the eventual outcome 
of the CTF process. 
 
CAVR CAUSES STIR 
---------------- 
 
¶3.  (C) Hafid described the CTF process as having been 
"stagnant" due to a number of developments in recent weeks. 
East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth and 
Reconciliation (CAVR) report and its presentation to the 
United Nations had strained relations between Jakarta and 
Dili, as reflected in the cancellation of President 
Yudhoyono's meeting with his counterpart Xanana Gusmao 
(reftel).  Allegations in the CAVR that Indonesia had 
employed chemical agents and poisoned water supplies in East 
Timor, and calls for blacklisting Indonesian citizens, 
attracted particular concern.  Indonesia needed to examine 
the consequences of the CAVR within the UN, and in the UNSC 
in particular, before Jakarta could proceed with the 
Commission's work.  Later, Hafid stated that it would be 
reasonable for the CAVR to stand as one reference point for 
the CTF.  (Comment:  The CAVR is noted in the CTF's terms of 
reference, and one Indonesian CTF member told us of the CAVR 
would constitute important input, reftel.  End Comment.) 
 
 
¶4.  (C) The shooting of three Indonesians on the East Timor 
border had contributed to "political resistance" within 
Indonesia toward the work of the CTF, while fractious 
internal politics on the East Timor side also interfered with 
progress.  While some intemperate GOI voices had discussed 
blocking fuel and other supplies headed to East Timor 
 
JAKARTA 00002112  002 OF 003 
 
 
following the border shootings and the CAVR, Hafid said he 
had contributed to a briefing memo sent to Yudhoyono that 
urged a continued focus on building good relations with Dili. 
 
¶5.  (C) In addition to political factors, Hafid added that 
the CTF faced a practical constraint with a lack of adequate 
staff.  The Indonesian CTF members had approached the 
Law/Human Rights Ministry for a loan of qualified staff, but 
those under Hafid's human rights office were already 
stretched thin by Aceh and other demands.  (Comment:  The 
Indonesian half of the CTF utilizes staff from the Indonesian 
Foreign Ministry.  End Comment.) 
 
CTF'S FUTURE ACTIVITIES 
----------------------- 
 
¶6.  (C) Despite the lull, Hafid said he was nevertheless 
"optimistic" that the CTF eventually could carry out its 
tasks.  He noted that the CTF should conduct "intensive 
investigations," which would involve site visits and take 
time.  It should examine issues such as compensation for 
victims and memorials to the dead on both sides of the 
conflict, such as a monument in East Timor to fallen 
Indonesian soldiers.  Hafid expected the CTF to examine and 
propose "amnesty" mechanisms for those found culpable of 
abuses.  The CTF's "orientation is the future," and focused 
on building friendship between the countries. 
 
SBY-Xanana to Meet Feb. 17, CTF Mission Back On 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
¶7.  (SBU) As new signs of movement for the CTF, local media 
reported February 14 that President Yudhoyono and President 
Xanana Gusmao will meet February 17, with Foreign Minister 
Wirajuda describing this as a chance for Indonesia to listen 
to the information that East Timor has conveyed to the UNSC. 
In addition, CTF member Wisber Loeis reports that the CTF 
will go ahead with its first field mission to East Timor from 
February 19-26. 
 
KOMNAS HAM CHAIRMAN CRITICAL 
---------------------------- 
 
¶8.  (C) On February 9, we spoke in confidence with Abdul 
Hakim Garuda Nusantara (protect), chairman of Indonesia's 
National Human Rights Commission (Komnas Ham - a 
legally-mandated, government-funded body, with a largely 
independent viewpoint).  Komnas Ham's own extensive work on 
East Timor issues did not successfully translate into 
achieving within Indonesia effective accountability for the 
atrocities committed there.  Not surprisingly, Abdul Hakim 
conveyed deep skepticism regarding the CTF's plans and 
abilities, and the GOI's commitment to achieving 
accountability through this mechanism.  The Chairman 
explained that given Komnas Ham's report on East Timor, the 
work of the Special Crimes Unit (SCU), and the CAVR, there 
was no need for the CTF to conduct investigations or to 
"verify" these reports.  In this light, he questioned why the 
CTF would invite retired General Wiranto to testify: 
"Wiranto's version is not the truth."  He stated that, as 
reflected in the CTF terms of reference, the Commission's 
approach to accountability should be based on the legal 
frameworks of both Indonesia (represented by the Law on Truth 
and Reconciliation) and East Timor, which focused on 
individual rather than institutional responsibility for human 
rights violations.  Abdul Hakim added that, usefully, the CTF 
could meet directly with victims to add to the Commission's 
credibility. 
 
CTF MEMBERS LACK EXPERTISE 
-------------------------- 
 
¶9.  (C) While the CTF was co-chaired by a former Komnas Ham 
member (Benjamin Mangkoedilaga), and included a still active 
Komnas Ham commissioner (Achmad Ali), Indonesia's CTF members 
did not have the expertise to carry out human rights 
investigations or a firm understanding of the workings of 
truth and reconciliation efforts, nor did they have qualified 
support staff.  Abdul Hakim commented that only one 
Indonesian CTF member, Ambassador Wisber Loeis, appeared to 
take his responsibilities seriously. 
 
JAKARTA 00002112  003 OF 003 
 
 
 
FOREIGN MINISTRY INDIFFERENT 
---------------------------- 
 
¶10.  (C) The Foreign Ministry acted as the CTF's GOI 
counterpart and controlled the CTF's budget (as well as 
seconded personnel), the Komhas Ham Chairman explained. 
"Speaking frankly," he said Foreign Minister Wirajuda lacked 
interest in the substance of the CTF's work or in 
accountability, and only viewed the CTF as a political 
defense before the international community.  Following 
international acceptance of the CTF, the Foreign Ministry saw 
that it had completed its task.  There was no particular GOI 
commitment to a substantive end product.  It remained 
uncertain if the CTF's work would result in a detailed 
report, or one that would be released publicly. 
 
SBY REMAINS CAUTIOUS ON MILITARY ACCOUNTABILITY 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
¶11.  (C) Speaking more broadly, Abdul Hakim commented that 
Indonesia's "persistent reluctance" to pursue accountability 
for past abuses by security forces remained a weakness in the 
country's otherwise advancing democracy.  Based on his own 
discussions with President Yudhoyono, Abdul Hakim concluded 
that Yudhoyono was "moving cautiously" on military 
accountability, gauging opposition from the armed forces.  At 
the same time, the President had a political interest in not 
disposing of human rights issues, and sought to use the 
latent threat of legal proceedings as a weapon against 
political opponents. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶12.  (C) The comments by Indonesia's human rights official 
and the Komnasham chairman reflect a CTF that after six 
months has not yet demonstrated much progress in 
"establishing the conclusive truth," in the words of the 
CTF's terms of reference, in regard to the 1999 crimes in 
East Timor.  The CTF also remains very much subject to the 
political vagaries of the Indonesia-East Timor relationship. 
In meetings with senior officials, we continue to raise the 
importance of the CTF for addressing accountability, and we 
are engaged in linking the CTF with Carter Center expertise. 
 
PASCOE