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"Howard says he feels responsible and frustrated about perpetrators of murder and terror in Bali not able to be charged with terrorism offences, and will do all he can to press on this matter - Downer much the same. Downer and Howard, in fact all Australian governments, stood by whilst the Indonesian military invaded and occupied our closest neighbour East Timor, and did nothing, in fact supported the Indonesians, whilst 300,000 or 40% of that country died." Rob Wesley-Smith, Spokesperson, Australians For a Free East Timor - Darwin


Selective Human Rights by Howard/Downer




Author:

Rob Wesley-Smith,
Spokesperson,
Australians For a Free East Timor
Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)
Phone: (08) 8983 2113
Mobile: 0419  807 175
Email: rwesley@ozemail.com.au



Press Release  Wed 25th August 2004

Australians for a Free East Timor

"Selective Human Rights by Howard/Downer"

A statement re Oz govt leaders selective advocacy.

 
Howard says he feels responsible and frustrated about perpetrators of murder and terror in Bali not able to be charged with terrorism offences, and will do all he can to press on this matter - Downer much the same.
 
Australians for a Free East Timor spokesperson Rob Wesley-Smith says:  "Downer and Howard, in fact all Australian governments, stood by whilst the Indonesian military invaded and occupied our closest neighbour East Timor, and did nothing, in fact supported the Indonesians, whilst 300,000 or 40% of that country died.
 
"Further, in 1998/9 it was Downer and Howard who were the main advocates supporting Indonesian occupying troops to provide security leading up to and for the historic UN ballot on 30th August 1999, despite them forming and arming their surrogates the Militia.  Whenever the Militia and TNI killed East Timorese the Downer/Howard partnership denied or minimised the atrocity". 
 

Background:

Their approach was so bad it breached the agreement for intelligence sharing with the USA, leading to pressure resulting in the suicide of Merv Jenkins, and the USA having to upgrade its own intelligence gathering and assessment.
 
We all know that in the absence of UN peacekeepers or any specific prevention plans, The Indonesian Military and their Militia killed 1-2,000 East Timorese, kidnapped approx 250,000, and destroyed 80[%] of the buildings and farms and infrastructure in a few weeks of early September 1999.
 
The UN Human Rights Commission, and Human Rights groups around the world, have called for the perpetrators of this attempted genocide to be tried in a UN Tribunal, or in an effective manner, which has not happened to date.  NO Indonesian military have been convicted in Indonesia or sent to prison, only 2  East Timorese.  Indonesia refuses to extradite any of its citizens.
 
We do not hear Howard and Downer claiming a feeling of responsibility for this, nor making advocay for this abuse of human rights in our neighbourhood to be corrected.  We don't even hear them caution Indonesia re repeating the same sorts of military abuses in Acheh and West Papua where they continue.  And we see them denying East Timor its own finances from the Timor Sea to at least allow rebuilding of its infrastructure and to provide jobs for its people.
 
"We call on Howard and Downer to put the same effort into justice for East Timor for the 1999 abuses by Indonesian as it makes over the much more restricted and isolated Bali Bombing incident", Mr Wesley-Smith concluded.
 
 
Rob Wesley-Smith
Spokesperson,
Australians For a Free East Timor
- Darwin (Northern Territory, Australia)

Phone: (08) 8983 2113
Mobile: 0419  807 175
Email: rwesley@ozemail.com.au


 
PS 
Clinton Fernandes of the Australian army has written a book  RELUCTANT SAVIOUR about the 1999 period and Australia's role.
The first review copies are expected about now. The official date is 1 October.  All his royalties go to the Timorese.
 
I believe its a very accurate history. It finally demonstrates (in a short book) exactly what occurred, and how the public imposed its foreign policy on the government.  It shows how us activists were the little wheel inside the big wheel of public opinion, helping to make it turn in the correct direction. Contact details for publicity, library orders, etc are below.
 
Publisher:
Scribe Publications Pty Ltd
313 Rathdowne Street
Carlton VIC 3053
Australia

Tel: (03) 9349 5955
Fax: (03) 9348 2752
Email: shornbeck@scribepub.com.au



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