Greetings from Indonesia

From Jill Townsend (Ex Hollywood Artist and Model) – She wrote and sent this letter herself to KBRI in America and others important address in Europe and US.


I is a great distress for me to write this letter. I struggle to do so. All of Indonesia became a hero to me in the 1960’s when a series of meetings took place over a six month period that resulted in brilliant The Manila Accord and ASEAN.

Since then I, and many others, have held Indonesia and the others that signed this Accord with great esteem. The process used to reach this agreement was creative and, in many diplomatic circles, put forward as an example for other conflicts in the Middle East, Southern Africa, the South Atlantic and beyond. The process allowed for each country’s representative to express their fears and aspirations without interruption; from there they progressed to exploring possibilities while still not negotiating. Negotiation was held off until a vision of what the future could look like was seen by all. Then began a gentle search through Socratic dialogue for agreement. And only then did the negotiations begin, ensuring success since at this point every country knew where a great future lay. Your future lay in respect for your differences and every country’s agreement was to protect this diversity when threatened. For years I have spoken of this Accord as an example of how we should ALL work towards peace: with respect for each other and the determination to support the differences between us. I have held this country as the world’s guiding light for peace. Please tell us this is not lost now. Please write me that this ‘shining light’ that I have held up for so many years has NOT descended into hatred and violence.

I have read of the violence from 200 extremists/radicals on June 1st on your peace loving citizens – people who gathered to celebrate the peace and diversity you are so famous for honoring. This aggression against innocent people has shocked and saddened me. Now I understand that out of 50 held by police, only 7 remain in custody, and due to political pressure from 2 of your ministers, the case is moving at a very slow pace. Does this represent an unwillingness to defend peace and diversity? It is your country that taught me that the greatest teaching, written or spoken, of any prophet or holy person is the way of peace. Peace is truly a way of being that is allowed by all and not made by a few.

I await a reply and am hopeful that our beloved Indonesia will come back to being the country that leads the world in respecting the peace and diversity of all.

Yours truly,

K. Jill Townsend
The Council of Grandmothers, Ojai, California
Deputy Director (RET.), The Foundation for International Conciliation, Geneva, Switzerland