“We welcome his decision to send home two Indonesian officers training with the Navy in Auckland,” said Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke.
“But he is leaving in place three military officers (and one Indonesian police officer) studying in Palmerston North.
“In his press statement Mr Bradford puts the most innocent spin on their studies here, saying that they are Master of Philosophy students. He neglects to mention that they are studying at the Military Studies Institute, which is sponsored by the NZ Defence Force, and that they are funded here by the New Zealand government under the military Mutual Assistance Programme with Indonesia.
“They must be sent home immediately. We should not continue to spend a single dollar of New Zealand taxpayers money funding the military studies of these officers.
“Mr Bradford is refusing to completely suspend activities under the Mutual Assistance programme, saying some of the activities will be ‘reviewed’.
“We are sickened that Mr Bradford should try to placate the murderous Indonesian military by expressing ‘his regret that New Zealand’s long-standing relationship with an important regional partner was coming under strain’.
Today’s events in East Timor are the culmination of 23 years of repression by Indonesia resulting in the deaths of 200,000 people. Our military links have been immoral, and any future defence ties should be conditional on Indonesia becoming truly democratic state, with a good human rights record, and the military being under civilian control.
“Mr Bradford’s partial suspension of military ties is a ‘bob each way’ decision. It’s designed to reassure both the Indonesian military and those New Zealanders revolted at the genocide orchestrated by the Indonesian armed forces in East Timor.
“The Green Party calls for the government to end its Military Assistance programme in Indonesia completely and send home the Indonesian officers studying at the Military Studies Institute,” said Mr Locke.