Letter: Our tanks in Jakarta

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was interested to see (18 May) a photograph of "armoured personnel carriers" in Jakarta. They are in fact Scorpion light tanks, made in Britain; according to The Military Balance, Indonesia has 50 of them and they were supplied while the Conservative Party was in power.

We were told on many occasions by various Conservative ministers that the arms being sold to Indonesia would not be used for "internal security" and yet on the TV news over the past few days we have seen many shots of these tanks in action against rioters.

No wonder Michael Howard is making as much fuss as he can about possible sales of arms to Sierra Leone - he and the government of which he was a member have very dirty hands and presumably wish at this moment to direct attention from what they did.