Thu, 06 Jan 2000

Indonesia ought to reciprocate

Gen. Wiranto seems concerned that the Indonesian government allows citizens of other countries to visit Indonesia for up to 60 days without the need to apply for a visa in advance. He is right to think that other countries ought to reciprocate and allow Indonesian citizens to do the same. It's only fair.

While we are on the subject of fairness, other countries allow Indonesian citizens who are married to their citizens to reside permanently, attend school and work in their countries without restriction. Indonesians can even become citizens of their spouses' countries. All this is just because of marriage. The Indonesia government ought to reciprocate and allow foreigners married to Indonesian citizens the same right. It's only fair.

Other countries automatically grant citizenship to children of marriages between Indonesian citizens and their citizens regardless of where the children were born. The Indonesian government ought to reciprocate. It's only fair.

Under the current Indonesian immigration law, Indonesian women are not even considered good enough to pass Indonesian citizenship on to their own children. This results in the children of Indonesian women and foreign men being treated no differently than any other alien. Just imagine the feeling of having your own child ripped from your arms and deported. This violates the human rights of women and children and must be stopped. Children of these marriages should be given Indonesian citizenship automatically. It's only fair.

Gen. Wiranto is right in thinking that other countries should reciprocate in terms of immigration policy. The Indonesian government should be willing to do the same. It's only fair.