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Date Posted: 00:30:10 08/27/04 Fri
Author: John M Miller
Subject: A Message from the East Timor Action Network (ETAN)
August 25, 2004
Dear friends of East Timor,
Five years ago this week, East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence,
but its struggle for freedom is far from complete. The East Timorese people
still crave justice and full control over their natural resources, and the
Indonesian military still continues to murder, rape and torture with
impunity. Military campaigns reign in Aceh and West Papua, and
military-supported violence continues in Maluku and elsewhere in Indonesia.
ETAN has come a long way in our walk alongside the East Timorese people.
For well over a decade, we have been a crucial force in support of human
rights and justice for the people of East Timor and Indonesia. Last spring
East Timor celebrated its second birthday, but independence is only a
beginning, and much more needs to be done. We urge you to make a generous
donation to the East Timor Action Network, so our important work can continue.
Those responsible for razing East Timor to the ground in 1999 have yet to
be held to account. More than two-thirds of those indicted in Dili -
including top generals - remain at large in Indonesia, which refuses to
extradite them. Earlier this month, Indonesia's appeals court overturned
the few convictions of Indonesian military and police officials tried in
Jakarta for crimes against humanity in East Timor. Only East Timorese are
serving jail time in either country.
ETAN, along with groups in East Timor, Indonesia and elsewhere, is pressing
for an international tribunal as the only viable path towards genuine
justice and accountability for the crimes against humanity and war crimes
committed during 24 years of Indonesian military occupation. In a recent
letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, prominent members of East
Timorese civil society called upon the international community to ensure
justice is done. The East Timorese people are counting on ETAN to generate
this essential international pressure.
Incredibly, the Bush administration has partnered with the Indonesian
military, a brutal force that daily terrorizes its own citizens, in the
"war on terror." Working with affected peoples in the region, ETAN has
effectively challenged administration and Pentagon initiatives that prop up
the Indonesian military. With your help, ETAN will continue to lead the
struggle to restrict U.S. assistance to this merciless military.
Maintaining the U.S. ban on military aid to Indonesia remains key to the
struggle against impunity in both East Timor and in Indonesia. It sends a
clear message to human rights abusers within the ranks of Indonesia's
security forces and those who would protect them from prosecution. The ban
is also essential to supporting the Indonesian people's struggle for true
democracy and the demilitarization of their government.
But the Pentagon continues to push hard for increased engagement with
Indonesia's military. We cannot continue to hold the line in this important
struggle without your ongoing support!
Finally, East Timor's sovereignty and economic security are under threat.
East Timor is currently negotiating with an obstinate Australian government
on a permanent maritime boundary between the two countries in the Timor
Sea. The Timor Sea contains significant seabed deposits of oil and natural
gas worth billions - which constitute East Timor's principal exploitable
natural resource. East Timor by itself has limited capability to persuade
Australia to negotiate fairly and stop stealing the new country's
resources international pressure is necessary. And you are an essential
part of generating that pressure.
Please help us continue the struggle for justice for East Timor and
Indonesia by making a contribution to ETAN today. It just takes a minute to
make a secure credit card contribution on our website:
You can also write a check to "ETAN/U.S." in support of our political
advocacy work, or make a tax-deductible donation of over $50 to "A.J. Muste
Memorial Institute/ETAN," which supports our educational efforts. Please
mail donations to: ETAN/U.S., PO Box 15774, Washington, DC 20003-0774.
Thank you for your support at this pivotal time in East Timor's history as
a new nation!
A luta continua,
John M. Miller
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