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Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country spread out over thousands of islands between the Indian Ocean on the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east. Though the government is secular, Indonesia has the largest Islamic population of any country and overall it is the fourth most populous country in the world. In 1949, Indonesia gained its freedom from centuries of colonial rule by the Netherlands. [1] [2]

Environmental record

Indonesia is the world's third largest greenhouse gas polluter[3] with an emissions total of just over 3 billion tons of CO2. Emissions resulting from deforestation and forest fires are five times those from non-forestry emissions. One of Inonesia's largest companies is Sinar Mas which clears forest to supply palm oil and is thesubject of a sustained campaign by Greenpeace, both within the country itself and in the west. Indonesia has also been named in the 2008 Guiness Book of Records as the country with the fastest rate of deforestation[4]. Because it is a developing country Indonesia is not a signatory to the Kyoto climate treaty [5]

Lobbying for the Military

Alston & Bird

From 2003 to 2004, the firm Alston & Bird had a $200,000 per month contract with Indonesia. The contract stipulated that former U.S. Senator Bob Dole would "actively participate in and supervise" lobbying for "12 lobbying objectives," which included "increasing trade between America and Indonesia; seeking a resumption of the military assistance; and providing counsel to the Indonesian government regarding business, legal and financial issues." [4]

"The Alston & Bird contract had been negotiated by a powerful group of [then-Indonesian President] Megawati [Sukarnoputri] supporters after she became president, and it was signed by one of them, Yohannes Hardian Widjonarko, then the treasurer of the Kawula Alit Nusantara Foundation, an organization led by Megawati's husband Taufik Kiemas," reported Andreas Harsono. [5]

Collins & Co.

"Indonesia's national intelligence agency used a former Indonesian president's charitable foundation to hire a Washington lobbying firm ... to press the U.S. government for a full resumption of controversial military training programs," reports the Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reported in September 2006. [6] The firm, Collins & Co. was retained by the Gus Dur Foundation in May 2005, for $30,000 a month, to "remove legislative and policy restrictions on security cooperation with Indonesia."

From June to October 2005, "Collins & Co. lobbyists, sometimes accompanied by [Indonesian intelligence] officials, met with several key members of Congress and their staffs," including Senators Leahy, Hagel and Murkowski, an aide to Senator Obama, and Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. In late 2005, the State Department "fully reinstated military cooperation and aid to Indonesia." The Gus Dur Foundation's mission is to build orphanages, libraries and schools. The man who signed the lobbying contract on the foundation's behalf said former Indonesian president Wahid "didn't know" about it.

In November 2005, the U.S. lifted human rights restrictions on Foreign Military Financing for Indonesia -- "and Indonesia's contract with Collins & Co came to an end." [7]


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Indonesia, National Geographic, accessed November 2007.
  2. Country profile: Indonesia BBC, accessed November 2007.
  3. "[1]"
  4. "[2]"
  5. "[3]"

External articles

External resources