- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2002

Indonesia's quagmire
The U.S. ambassador to Indonesia has criticized the country's corrupt legal system and complained that Indonesian companies are misusing the courts to settle routine business squabbles.
"Indonesia's legal system is still ineffective and corrupt," Ambassador Ralph Boyce said in a speech last week. "More troubling still, Indonesian companies are learning they can manipulate the courts to criminalize standard business disputes."
He noted that five American investors have been hauled into court recently on frivolous charges that "quite honestly would never hold up in a U.S. court."
"Each of these companies has shown a long-term commitment to Indonesia but still finds itself lost in a non-transparent legal maze," Mr. Boyce said.
"They want to see clear and principled leadership on legal reform from the highest levels of the government. They want the government to demonstrate that it understands the gravity of the problem in its courts and is committed to resolving them."
Indonesia could lose foreign investment unless the corruption is controlled, he said.
"Indonesia faces no more serious economic challenge today than fundamentally improving the environment for investment, both domestic and foreign," he added.

Remembering Headley
Caribbean diplomats are mourning the loss of Oliver Headley, a professor in Barbados and pioneer of renewable energy technology.
"Professor Headley made an outstanding contribution to the development of scientific knowledge in the English-speaking Caribbean in general and in Barbados in particular," Barbados Ambassador Michael King said. "Indeed his work has been recognized internationally and the legacy he has left behind will be appreciated by generations to come."
Mr. Headley, who died earlier this month, was remembered with a moment of silence at a recent D.C. conference on tourism.
"He was the personification of vision and action and leaves a strong legacy that will not be forgotten," said Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International, a humanitarian group that organized the conference.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who meets President Bush tomorrow.
Aleksey L. Kudrin, Russia's deputy prime minister and finance minister, who addresses the U.S.-Russia Business Council.
Xiang Huaicheng, China's finance minister, who addresses the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
Kemal Dervis, Turkey's minister for economic affairs, who addresses the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Ivan Miklos, Slovakia's deputy prime minister for economic affairs, who will address a forum sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for International Private Enterprise.
David Gamkrelidze, co-chairman of the New Rights party of the Republic of Georgia, and Pikria Chikhradze, the party's vice chairman. They meet officials at the White House, State Department and Treasury Department and members of Congress. They will also address the School of Advanced International Studies and the Commerce Department's Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States.
Roberto Madrazo Pintado, president of Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, who addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Petroleum Minister Ali Al-Naimi, who participate in a forum organized by the Council on Foreign Relations.
Andre Kaspi, a history professor at the University of Paris, who discusses anti-American sentiment in France at the School of Advanced International Studies.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha, who meets President Bush and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping, who meets Defense Department officials and participates in a forum on Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute.
Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh.

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