Search

 

Cablegate: Lifting the Travel Warning for Indonesia

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJA #0955/01 1350412
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140412Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8996
INFO RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 000955

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR CA/ACS/OCS/EAP, EAP/MTS, AND DS/DSS
DOJ FOR AAG SCHWARTZ

FROM CDA HEFFERN TO ACTING A/S JACOBS, A/S HILL, S/CT COORDINATOR
DAILEY AND ACTING A/S STARR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC AEMR ASEC PREL AMGT ID

SUBJECT: LIFTING THE TRAVEL WARNING FOR INDONESIA

1. (SBU) Summary. Ambassador Hume and the Embassy Country Team
unanimously believe the time has come to lift the travel warning for
Indonesia. Given the government of Indonesia's strong efforts to
combat terrorism - and the fact that there has not been a major
terrorist incident since October 2005 - we think that the language
in the Worldwide Caution adequately describes the security situation
in Indonesia. We recommend using the planned June 8-10 visit of
Attorney General Michael Mukasey to announce the lifting of the
travel warning. We believe there is no single action which would
have a more positive impact on our bilateral relations nor which
would better position us to seek increased counterterrorism
cooperation from Indonesia. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Since Ambassador Hume's arrival last July, we have been
carefully evaluating the security situation in Indonesia and
reflecting on whether our Embassy assessment of the security risk
matches the information we provide the public through our Country
Specific Information and travel warning. The Country Team no longer
believes that the security situation warrants a separate,
country-specific travel warning. According to the State website,
travel warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted
conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. Indonesia
today does not meet that standard.

3. (SBU) The State Department first issued a travel warning - at
this Embassy's recommendation - in November 2000, at a time when
Jakarta and Medan had been hit by a series of bombings, "sweeps" for
American tourists had taken place in Solo in Central Java, and the
Indonesian government had restricted official travel to Aceh, Papua
and the Moluccas. The decision to issue a travel warning made sense
then. And the maintenance of the warning in the wake of September
11 and the series of terrorist attacks in Bali and Jakarta between
2003 and 2005 was appropriate.

4. (SBU) But the security situation in Indonesia is far different
today. Given its size and population, there is always the potential
for political violence and civil unrest due to ethnic, sectarian,
religious and separatist reasons. But there has not been a major
terrorist incident since October 2005. The government's impressive
counterterrorism efforts have diminished the ability of radical
groups to carry out attacks. The police have scored several major
successes in breaking up terrorist cells linked to Jemaah Islamiya
and other extremist organizations, arresting approximately 400
terrorists and convicting over 250. The Indonesian legal system has
successfully prosecuted and punished terrorists. And the Ministry
of Law and Human Rights no longer allows automatic sentence
remissions for terrorists on major holidays. The security situation
is safe enough that the UN and Indonesia hosted the COP-13 Climate
Change Conference in Bali in 2007. Over 10,000 delegates took part
in the conference, which came off with no incidents.

5. (SBU) Of course security risks remain. We have to assume Jemaah
Islamiyah networks and cells exist and have the capacity to go
operational with little warning. Moreover, Malaysian operative
Noordin Mohammed Top remains at large, despite his engagement in
nearly every major terrorist attack in Indonesia since 2002.
Despite these continuing risks, we believe that the language of the
current Worldwide Caution, combined with more detailed information
in the Country Specific Information for Indonesia, adequately
describes the security situation. The Worldwide Caution states,
"The Department of State remains concerned about the continued
threat of terrorist attacks, demonstration and other violent actions
against U.S. citizens and interests overseas." The Embassy will
propose changes to our Country Specific Information and the Overseas
Security Advisory Council report by Monday, May 19, to ensure that
the security language in all our public documents is consistent and
congruent with the threat rating in the Security Environment Threat
List.

6. (SBU) Lifting the travel warning makes sense on the merits and
accurately reflects the reality here. There is no single action
which would have a more positive impact on our bilateral relations.
Ending the travel warning would give us the opportunity to recognize
Indonesia's improved efforts at countering terrorism and give us the
credibility to encourage further steps. It would also pave the way
for more U.S. trade, investment, cultural and education links; many
U.S. businesses and institutions do not allow their executives to
travel to countries with travel warnings. And it would allow
Indonesia to further develop its substantial tourism potential,
providing additional economic security to a country that relies too
heavily on commodities.

7. (SBU) Embassy Jakarta recommends that the Department agree to end
the travel warning for Indonesia before the planned June 8-10 visit
to Jakarta by Attorney General Michael Mukasey. We also recommend
that the Attorney General make the announcement during his visit,
pointing to Indonesia's success at combating terrorism and
highlighting our hope that this success will lead to greater U.S.
trade and investment and increased numbers of tourists and scholars
visiting Indonesia.


HEFFERN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC