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US Congressman proposes cut in aid to Indonesia

Lusa - March 20, 1997

Washington – The US Democrat Congressman, Patrick Kennedy, has proposed to the US Congress the cut of military aid to Indonesia included in the 1997 budget.

The proposal presented on Wednesday would cut an estimated US$26 million-military aid to Indonesia provided annually by Washington, unless Jakarta improves its human rights records.

Besides Kennedy, the president of the International Affairs Committee of the US Congress, Republican Benjamin Gilman, Democrats Tom Lantos, Howard Berman, Lane Evans, Joseph Kennedy, Barney Frank, and Republicans Christopher Smith and John Edward Porter subscribed the proposal Several international human rights organisations have accused Indonesia of committing continuing human rights violations, especially in East Timor.

Kennedy has been an active defensor of the East Timor cause.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it one year later but the United Nations still regards Portugal as the territory's administering power.

Lisbon demands East Timor to be given the right to self-determination.