Posted to TimLang <Timlang@topica.com> on Wed 23/05/01 5:14 by Kevin Costa <email@example.com>
Monday, June 4 at 7:00 pm
at the International Institute of Rhode Island
645 Elmwood Avenue, Providence
Nearly two years after being forced from their homes by the Indonesian military and its militias, 80,000 to 100,000 East Timorese continue to languish in militia-controlled refugee camps in West Timor, Indonesia. Militia intimidation, violence, and disinformation make it impossible for refugees to freely and safely choose between repatriation to East Timor and resettlement in Indonesia. Indonesian plans for refugee registration on June 6 by military and militia-associated groups will put the refugees in grave danger. Recent reports from aid organizations in the West Timor camps warn of critical food shortages and epidemics, with as many as five children dying every day. Join Winston Rondo, who has worked with the refugees since their expulsion from East Timor in September 1999, as he discusses conditions in the camps and how the United States can help end the growing crisis.
the East Timor Action Network,
International Socialist Organization,
More on the speaker:
Winston Neil Rondo is the General Secretary of the Centre for Internally Displaced People's Services (CIS) in Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia. CIS has worked with the refugees in the West Timor camps since their expulsion from East Timor in September 1999. In conjunction with Catholic Relief Services, Church World Service, UNICEF, the Eastern Indonesian Women's Health Network
(JKPIT) and others, CIS has provided humanitarian support to thousands of families and children, investigated human rights abuses, counseled women victims of violence and reported on violence against women in the camps, and disseminated accurate information on repatriation to refugees to combat militia intimidation.
Winston Neil Rondo was raised and educated
in Kupang. In 1999, Mr. Rondo joined FORSOLIDARESTE, a West Timorese nongovernmental
organization formed in response to militia violence in East Timor to promote
peace, reconciliation, and human rights. Mr. Rondo spent seven months in
East Timor as an observer of the August 1999 referendum on independence,
human rights conditions. When the Indonesian military began its post-ballot scorched earth campaign, forcing some 260,000 East Timorese into West Timor, Mr. Rondo helped found CIS and distributed shelter materials, clothing, and other essential aid to refugee families. In November 1999, he began investigating human rights abuses in three of the largest refugee camps near Kupang. Mr. Rondo worked closely with JKPIT and other organizations to provide counseling to women victims of violence in the refugee camps in the Kupang and Belu regions. He also coordinated and monitored the establishment of three tent schools for refugee children in Belu.
Mr. Rondo and CIS are currently working to ensure the refugee registration process scheduled for June 2001 allows refugees to choose between repatriation to East Timor and resettlement within Indonesian freely and without intimidation. Concerns include the prominent role of the Indonesian military and militia in the process.
East Timor Action Network field organizer
ETAN field office
Social Justice Center
1202 Williamson St
Madison, WI 53703
Check out these internet sites!
the East Timor Action Network/US
Madison, WI - East Timor projects http://www.aideasttimor.org
Speaking Tour By Winston Neil Rondo, West Timor refugee
(LA, Boston, Providence, New York, and Washington, DC)
May 28 - June 12 2001
10 ABC: Rondo: Children dying in refugee camps in West Timor
Interview added Apr 11
"The greater proportion of the refugees in West Timor live in a crisis situation. No freedom, no hope and also no future. ... Thereís just one way to come in or get out from the camp and the militia have full power. They can control all civilians and all the aid that you give to the refugees. ... a lot of violence goes on in the camps and people from outside donít know about it. Rape, looting, sexual harassment. ... the militia manipulate the information about the real situation in East Timor. They have newsletters, they have many ways to manipulate the information." Winston Rondo, General Secretary of the Centre for Internally Displaced Peoples Service in West Timor
BD: 'Refugees' & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news