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Take Action on Indonesian Genocide

Paul Kingsnorth | 23.11.2004 13:47 | Repression | Oxford

British company Rolls-Royce is selling its weapons technology to Indonesia this week. Tell them what you thik about it.

Tomorrow, in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, a three-day ‘military expo’ begins. It’s an opportunity for 250 international arms companies to try and flog their wares to the notorious Indonesian military. One of the companies that will be there is Britain’s own Rolls-Royce, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of engines for military aircraft.

Here is what Rolls Royce says about itself:

‘We aim to meet society’s expectations by setting a high standard of business conduct and personal behaviour … Rolls-Royce has come 10th in the top 100 companies in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index for 2003.’

Here is what the Indonesia Human Rights Network says about how Indonesia uses its military hardware to commit an ongoing genocide on the people of West Papua, which it illegally invaded in the 1960s and still controls:

‘Violent military campaigns and extrajudicial killings have claimed the lives of thousands of West Papuans. Thousands more have been subjected to torture, disappearance, arbitrary detention, rape, or other forms of serious mental and bodily harm … the historical and contemporary evidence … strongly suggests that the Indonesian government has committed proscribed acts with the intent to destroy the West Papuans as such, in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.’

Here is what the Indonesian military, armed by companies like Rolls Royce, are doing in West Papua right now, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper:

‘Eight people, including a church minister and a police officer, were killed in a series of attacks by unidentified gunmen between Aug. 17 and Nov. 12, 2004. Some 15 others, mostly children, died when more than 5,000 residents of 27 villages had to flee and take refuge in remote areas after they felt their lives were in danger due to the continued presence of the gunmen … reliable sources in the province told The Jakarta Post that the local unit of the Army’s Special Forces was involved in the incidents.’

Perhaps, like me, you can see some curious contradiction between Rolls-Royce’s claims of ‘social responsibility’ and the fact that its weapons are being sold, openly, to this regime. If so, you might like to take it up with the company.

You can phone Rolls Royce on 020 7222 9020. Ask to speak to the CEO, Sir John Rose. Perhaps he can explain how his company squares this ethical circle? Or you could email him on

If you get a response, please pass it on to the Free West Papua Campaign. Email:

Read more about the West Papuan Genocide at

Paul Kingsnorth
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