<nettime> East Timor (several messages, with email addrs, phone/fax etc)
Wed, 08 Sep 1999 10:16:52 +1000
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Digest Commentary & Note: there appears to be two conflicting calls for
action here. One is the usual call for immediate armed UN intervention,
the other (also expressed in some other comments attached to duplicates of
these message which we have recieved), seems to say there are 'enough'
guns in E.Timor and that more won't help, and that calls on economic
boycotts and suspension of International loans.
I shall make two points here in regard to those. First and foremost that
the violent atrocities now occuring in East Timor are at the behest of the
Indonesian military! Calls for them to stop this seem futile, to me,
personally anyway, as all along the military and Government of Indonesia
has promised this won't occur; its plainly obvious they are devious liars
and can't be trusted. The imposition of martial law earlier this week has
merely meant that the Indonesian military have stepped up their brutality,
not reigned in the militias, which is a matter of will not available legal
methods. Clearly, the Indonesians are creating this situation, calls for
them to stop it are obviously futile.
Second, that economic aid is _already_ in temporary suspension for other
reasons eg corruption and failure to make economic reforms (according to
World Bank Official on 'AM' ABC radio programme this morning 8/9/99), and
that at any rate, this would take _months_ for its effects to be felt --
far too late for the people of East Timor, when really its a matter of
_hours_ before irreparable damage occurs. Futhermore, both Archbishop
Belo, who had to be evacuated to Darwin after his house, containing some
4000 refugees in its grounds was attacked by Indonesian military in
concert with the militia, and Jose Ramos Horta, among other E.Timor
leaders, have already requested the intervention.
An Australian troopship yesterday left Darwin for "International waters
north of Australia", presumably carrying the Rapid Ready Deployment Force,
and escorted by a guided missile frigate. The Australian military remains
on 24 hour alert, with RAAF units already carrying out evacuations from
E.Timor. Indonesian military units have refused passage for native
E.timorese workers of the UN on these flights -- these people have been
among the first targeted by militias. NZ, Thailand, and Malyasia have all
announced readiness to participate in an armed peacekeeping intervention,
with Britian also pitching in. Meanwhile the Americans appear to be
"kosovo'd out", and only promising logistical support, not real troop
deployments. One wonders the value of the 'ANZUS' treaty if the Americans
manage to squib out of a _humanitarian_ effort, what hope of help for
their allies in a real conflict?
(ps yes I am a new member of the nettime moderation team. sooner or
later there will be an official announcement, I'm sure ... )
Subject: International Petition for a creation of a UN force for E.Timor
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 19:47:55 +0000
From: virose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The East Timorese are being killed since the December 7, 1975 (the date of
the Indonesian invasion). Last week, in the referendum under the auspices
of the United Nations, the East Timorese voted on their future, and
decided for INDEPENDENCE!!! They voted believing in their FREEDOM, they
voted believing in their need for LIVING ... They voted because they
believed in the security that United Nations would give them against the
indonesian terror... But at this very moment they're beeing threatened by
the pro-Indonesia militias and the Indonesian police and army (that were
supposed to protect the Timorese).
International Petition for a creation of a UN force for East Timor at:
Please Fw the Message...
From: Friends of the Earth Sydney - Forestry <email@example.com>
Subject: global action to stop killings today in East Timor
Apologies for cross posting.
Australian Broadcast Corporation (independent taxpayer funded) news today
Monday 6th September re barbarous murders (heads on spikes next to the
collusion of Indonesian military as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald
(6th Sept) in the last 24 hours or so in Timor;
Friends of the Earth Sydney urge you to email your network of social and
professional networks locally and internationally and urge them to:
- support a boycott of Indonesian commerce and trade
- contact your local MP's calling for action for armed peacekeepers in
East Timor with or without the agreement of the Indonesian government -
now repudiated by the recent UN sponsored vote for independence after 24
years of oppression
- endorse other peaceful actions such as revocation of the $50 billion
IMF rescue package to Indonesia
A similar call has been made today by the secretary of the NSW Labour
Council Mr Michael Costa.
May God walk with all those in Timor still at severe risk of murder.
From: Jennifer Olaranna Viereck <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Urgent Message from East Timor
John's Message from East Timor
(Please redistribute widely)
There are the makings of a bloodbath here. Many have fled. Many have died.
I can see smoke of fires of homes set ablaze in the distance. I have heard
gunfire in the distance. The Indonesian military and its creation the
militias have refused to accept the democratically expressed wish of the
East Timorese to move towards independence.
I have seen East Timorese defy militia and military violence to go vote on
August 30 and I have seen their fearful faces. Several days ago, the women
hosting us in Becora (just outside Dili) received an early morning phone
call and woke us at 4:30 am to tell us we had to move out of where were
staying for our own safety. I have since heard reports of many houses
burned and people killed in that neighborhood. Another Dili neighborhood I
spent time in, Balide, next to the U.N.'s East Timor headquarters is
ablaze. Timor Aid, the organization which provided assistance to the
parliamentary delegation I worked with to monitor the ballot has been
looted of its rice and ransacked. There have also been many reports of
people being forced onto vehicles and taken to West Timor, perhaps to
bolster an argument for East Timor's partition or worse.
There have been many calls for U.N. or other peacekeepers. These may
arrive too late. More guns aren't necessarily what East Timor needs. What
is very clear is that the military could shut down the violence relatively
quickly. The military is in control. It is they that can stop the killing.
The U.S. and other governments still have tremendous leverage with
Indonesia. They must use it all. Statements of serious "consequences." I
saw President Clinton's mealy-mouthed statement and it doesn't go nearly
far enough. The global community - governments, others, you - must be
clear about what these consequences are to let the Indonesian military
know that continued violence in East Timor is unacceptable.
Please contact President Clinton and members of Congress now. Urge them to
a) suspend all military shipments to Indonesia, including spare parts
b) suspend all non-humanitarian bi-lateral aid and loans to Indonesia
c) work to suspend all multi-lateral loans and aid, including form the
IMF and World Bank.
Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1414. Urge President Clinton
to immediately suspend all further military and financial aid to Indonesia
until the military and paramilitary violence is stopped. The U.S. must
show strong support for East Timor's democratic decision to break away
Sept. 5, 1999
Dili, East Timor
From: "Gordon Burns" <email@example.com>
Subject: [active-sydney] Email Downer about East Timor Crisis
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 14:26:44 +1000
*EAST TIMOR CRISIS*
East Timorese are dying as the international community stands by.
Email Downer and express your wish to see Australia take leadership on
this issue and ensure immediate deployment of peacekeeping /
[email] firstname.lastname@example.org [foe sydney says also fax 02-6273
4112, and telephone 02-6277 7500 in Canberra]
Please write sensibly and rationally if you want our government to pay
attention. Crashing their email server will just stop them listening.
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 15:33:00 -0400
From: FAIR <FAIR-L@usa.net>
Subject: [FAIR-L] ALERT: U.S. Role Missing From East Timor Coverage
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and news reports
ACTION ALERT: U.S. ROLE MISSING FROM EAST TIMOR COVERAGE
September 1, 1999
The ongoing story of East Timor's referendum on independence has
received a moderate amount of coverage in the mainstream media. But news
outlets have frequently failed to put the Timor story in a full and
For example, in reports from East Timor's capital, the Associated Press
and some other news outlets continue to use the dateline "Dili,
Indonesia," implying that Indonesia has a legitimate claim over East
Timor. This formulation is comparable to a dateline of "Kuwait City, Iraq"
in the months following Iraq's illegal annexation of Kuwait. The
Washington Post (8/31/99) reported that Timorese were voting on "whether
to remain a part of Indonesia."
More importantly, many stories fail to note two crucial facts about East
Timor's nearly 25-year struggle against Indonesian occupation. First, the
Indonesian occupation has been extraordinarily bloody, resulting in the
deaths of more than 200,000 Timorese, out of a pre-invasion population of
approximately 600,000. A recent AP story noted that an "estimated 2,000
Indonesian troops have died fighting separatist guerrillas since Indonesia
invaded East Timor in 1975," but failed to note the massive numbers of
Timorese who have perished.
Others seemed to confuse the deaths caused by the occupation with those
caused by the resistance movement. ABC News' Charles Gibson said that
"It's been an extraordinary violent independence movement there with
hundreds of thousands of people killed" (Good Morning America, 8/31/99).
Secondly, news consumers are not informed that the U.S. backed Indonesia's
invasion of East Timor. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry
Kissinger visited the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in December 1975, just
before the invasion was launched, where they were told of Suharto's plans
to attack the island (Washington Post, 11/9/79).
The following month, a State Department official told a major Australian
newspaper (The Australian, 1/22/76) that "in terms of the bilateral
relations between the U.S. and Indonesia, we are more or less condoning
the incursion into East Timor... The United States wants to keep its
relations with Indonesia close and friendly. We regard Indonesia as a
friendly, non-aligned nation--a nation we do a lot of business with."
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was then the U.S. Ambassador to the United
Nations wrote in his memoirs (A Dangerous Place) that "the Department of
State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in
whatever measures it undertook" to reverse the invasion. "This task was
given to me and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success,"
Finally, according to the State Department, 90 percent of the weapons used
in the invasion came from the United States. Two years later, as the
atrocities in East Timor were reaching a peak, President Jimmy Carter
authorized an addition $112 million in weapons sales to Indonesia.
ACTION: Please call on local and national news outlets to stop treating
East Timor as a legitimate part of Indonesia. And ask them to include the
facts about the consequences of the Indonesian invasion, as well as the
role the U.S. has played in supporting the illegal occupation.
To contact the Associated Press, write to:
Thomas Kent-- International Editor
Also, read FAIR's previous coverage of East Timor and Indonesia at:
The following statement was distributed in the Federal Parliamentary Press
gallery today, September 7, 1999
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA
September 7, 1999
Once again the United Nations organisation will be made the scapegoat for
abandoning the people of East Timor when, in fact, the blame should be
sheeted home to the UN's member-states. Once again, governments which
should have taken action against a UN member, Indonesia, will blame
inaction on the organisation they control.
The men and women who were sent to East Timor in the name of the United
Nations, many of them Australians - UN employees, electoral officials,
unarmed police and military liaison officers - have fulfilled their roles
in every particular.
They, and the people of East Timor, have been let down by the timidity of
political leaders of UN member-states.
The latest moves include a UN political delegation to Jakarta; the
implausible prospect of Indonesia martial law being imposed on a
prospective independent state that has just voted to be rid of Indonesian
military rule; and a well-armed, uncontrolled militia supported by
Indonesian troops on the ground.
UN member-states — that is, governments of every member country, including
Australia — have it within their power to stop the killing. Just as
Indonesia, whose prime responsibility it is, has failed, so has every
other UN member failed so far in their duty to the East Timorese.
It is to the credit and dedication of UN employees, all those attached to
UNAMET, and to the many members of non-government organisations that the
East Timorese have a glimmer of hope. It is up to UN member-states,
especially Australia, not to betray that hope.
For more information:
Harold Wilkinson (02) 6212 9090 or (02) 6251 5084 or
Ian Mathews, Editor UNity, (02) 62814025 Fax (02) 6285 2529
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