Open statement on Ethnic Violence Against Indonesian Chinese Minority
By Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia  

During the riots which erupted in Indonesia in May this year, systemic violence was committed against the Indonesian Chinese minority. Such ethnic violence includes looting and destroying Chinese properties, assaulting Chinese, raping Chinese women, and even committing murder. These atrocities violate human rights and are crimes against humanity. In view of such, Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA) issues the following statements:

1. The nature of such ethnic atrocities activities is comparable to the Nanking Massacre sixty years ago. They are crimes against ethnic dignity and human decency. ALPHA strongly condemns such actions.

2. During the May riots, the Indonesian government has been unable or unwilling to intervene to restore order and protect the safety of its citizens. In the course of the riots, women were gang raped and sexually assaulted. Some of them were even tortured to death. The Indonesian authorities failed to act as a responsible government to stop such violations of human rights and human dignity in time. One cannot but question the role of the Indonesian government in such systemic brutalities against the Chinese minority. For this, ALPHA condemns the Indonesian government in the strongest terms.

3. Canada has been a vanguard in fostering human rights and humanitarianism in international affairs. Thus, ALPHA calls on the Canadian government to intervene on behalf of the oppressed and tortured innocent Indonesian Chinese minority to demand the Indonesian government to:

(a) take immediate and effective measures to prevent any similar infringements of human rights from happening again;
(b) track down the instigators and perpetrators of these atrocities targeting the Chinese minority, and bring them to justice;
(c) apologize and compensate to the victims of these atrocities and to provide effective assistance so as to ease the pain of their recuperation;
(d) enact and enforce laws so as to protect the safety and rights of ethnic minorities in Indonesia.
To put into effect its commitment to human rights and humanitarianism, the Canadian government should initiate a proposal to set up an international fact-finding commission to inquire into the facts of the Indonesian ethnic violence. Not until Canada's demand for action is met by the Indonesian government, the Canadian government should apply pressure to Indonesia, including stopping all foreign aid except those directly related to humanitarian assistance. ALPHA is certain that Canadians do not agree to provide support to an Indonesian government that apparently condones atrocities against ethnic minorities.

4. ALPHA appeals to the general public to be concerned about the development of racist violence in Indonesia. They can petition their MPs to support that the above-stated 4 demands should be made by the Canadian government to the Indonesian government. By doing so, the public will be showing their concern for the oppressed Chinese minority in Indonesia, especially Chinese women.
July 20, 1998

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