26/ Timor continues
While the Cambodian tragedy has reduced its scope to the ordinary traditional effects of rural banditry, the East Timor quasi genocidal situation has remained unabated since 1975, with an obvious massive Western political and military support. Everyone can convince itself everyday by accessing news oozing out of East Timor. This is one among many exemples of the necessity to act in situation where people like Stephen Morris never said a word because they approve of big stick policies when they are used by their ideological patrons.
From: Charles Scheiner <cscheiner>
Message-Id: <199510161527.IAA24195@igc2.igc.apc.org> To: cscheiner
Subject: House letter on East Timor
Dear East Timor supporter,
When it rains, it pours! For our third action alert this week, please call your Congressional Representatives to urge them to sign on to this letter to President Clinton before he meets with President-General Suharto next week. All Representatives can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Thanks for your quick response.
East Timor Action Network/US
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
October 13, 1995
We are writing to ask you to sign a letter to President Clinton urging him to raise the issue of human rights abuses in East Timor with Indonesian President Suharto when President Suharto visits Washington on October 24.
As you know, East Timor -- a former Portugese colony -- was invaded by Indonesia in 1975, and has been occupied by that country ever since. Over the course of two decades of occupation, the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Indonesian military against the East Timorese people has been atrocious and horrifying. Since 1975, over 200,000 East Timorese civilians -- nearly one-third of the entire population of East Timor -- have been killed in the conflict. Although the Indonesian government has claimed to have made improvements in the human rights situation in East Timor, the torture and killing has gone on.
President Suharto is traveling here for the 50th United Nations General Assembly, but this year also marks the 50th Anniversary of Indonesia's independence from the Netherlands. As actions by the United States Congress helped to bring about Indonesia's independence 50 years ago, so too can we help to improve the situation in East Timor today.
if you would like to join us in sending the attached letter to President Clinton, please contact Matthew Traub in Rep. Lowey's office (x5-6506) or Laura Glickson in Rep. Porter's office (x5-4835).
Nita M. Lowey, Member of Congress (D-NY) John Edward Porter, Member of Congress (R-IL)
October 13, 1995
President William J. Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing out of concern about the continuing pattern of severe human rights abuses in the former Portugese colony of East Timor, which has been occupied by Indonesia since 1975.
We have appreciated your statements on human rights in East Timor in the past, particularly at the meeting of Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) last November. We hope you will take the opportunity to raise these concerns and others when President Suharto arrives in Washington on October 24.
Tension and violence in East Timor has been on the rise in the past year, especially since the APEC Summit in Jakarta last November. As you know, during the Summit protestors were reportedly detained and tortured by Indonesian soldiers, and throughout the year there have been additional reports of protestors dying at the hands of Indonesian soldiers.
These recent developments underscore the need to accelerate the United Nations-sponsored dialogue on East Timor with genuine East Timorese participation. We believe that the U.S. should strongly support such diplomatic actions as a vehicle to advance previous United Nations resolutions on East Timor. The dialogue should be aimed at a demilitarization of the territory, and work toward a just solution that respects the rights of all parties to the conflict.
President Suharto comes to Washington for the 50th United Nations General Assembly, but this year also marks the 50th anniversary of Indonesia's declaration of independence from Dutch colonialism against which he and many others fought bravely. As actions taken by the United States Congress in the late 1940's hastened Indonesia's independence from the Netherlands, so too can we take a stand now against the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.
We recognize and appreciate the importance of a strong and positive U.S.-Indonesian relationship. Indeed it is in the spirit of this relationship that we urge you to raise these concerns in your meeting with President Suharto.