Indonesia rejects US curb on arms

(First Edition)

Dili - Indonesia yesterday rejected a US Senate decision to curb small-arms sales to the Jakarta government over the situation in East Timor, scene of two days of violent clashes. The government also said it would not accept any conditions for future arms sales from the United States.

The Senate, responding to calls to 'send a strong message' to Indonesia on human rights, unanimously voted late on Thursday to restrict small-arms sales to Jakarta and to also provide money to human rights groups there. The Foreign Ministry said the decision 'will only press us to look for other sources such as Britain for the procurement of small arms'.

East Timor's capital, Dili, was quiet yesterday after religiously motivated clashes between Indonesian forces and students left up to 20 demonstrators