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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Ending all military, economic and diplomatic aid to the Indonesian regime
Finaliza hotu-hotu apoiu militar, politika no diplomata ba Indonesia:

Petitions and lobbying to end all military, economic and diplomatic support for Indonesian war crimes and crimes against humanity


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Up-Dated: Jan 26, 2002

NEW = Added to BACK DOOR Website since last Monday's Emailout


Main Contents: BD: Military, economic and political aid to Indonesia
Contents of this page:

Petitions & Lobbying  Updated Sep 1
Calls to ban military aid  Updated Dec 31

Petitions & Lobbying

ETAN/U.S.: Current Action Alerts: http://www.etan.org/action/urgntMnu.htm  [often includes actions to: Maintain The Suspension On U.S.-Indonesia Military Ties.]  Link updated Sep 1

Jul 17 ETAN/US: Scheiner: "Guns Know No Borders" rally NY  Speech added July 22
"Let me close by mentioning another lesson of East Timor’s experience. In 1994, as a result of public outrage over continuing massacres, the United States government banned the sale of small and light arms to Indonesia. Although Indonesia then bought these weapons elsewhere, this was a key point in the growing campaign that eventually enabled East Timor to achieve its freedom. ... Its experience teaches us two important lessons. First: The legality of weapons has no relevance to their victims. Second: Curtailing the international supply of weapons, even in a symbolic way, can be instrumental in saving lives and ending crimes against humanity. East Timor’s suffering can never be undone. But if we can push the world to act on these two lessons, it may be partially redeemed." Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator, East Timor Action Network


Calls to ban military aid

Dec 20 ETAN/IHRN: Rights groups condemn end run on military training restrictions  Release added Dec 31
"Counter-terrorism must not be used as an excuse to resume training for a military [Indonesian military (TNI)] which terrorizes its own people and continues to enjoy impunity for its scorched-earth campaign in East Timor ... The bill does not specify what will be taught in the program. There is no requirement preventing these funds from being used to train the Indonesian military, and we don’t think they should.” Kurt Biddle, Washington Coordinator, Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN)
“Until the Indonesian military and government comply with the very reasonable conditions in the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, the US government should not be training Indonesian military personnel. These restrictions were put in place for a reason,” John M. Miller, spokesperson for East Timor Action Network (ETAN)

Oct 16 FAETTA: Weapons, Political Instability and Poverty  Release added Oct 19
“Weapons producing countries must refrain from flooding poor countries with conventional weapons, exacerbating local and regional conflicts, thus contributing to political instability and impoverishment of already poor countries.” Dr Ramos-Horta told the Forum 2000 Conference in Prague

Sep 6 CONG: Anniversary of Suai massacre & Atambua murders  Statements added Sep 7
"If we in the United States and the international community are not to fail the people of East Timor once again -
* We must support an International Criminal Tribunal  ...
* We must take immediate steps to protect and return home safely the East Timorese refugees ...
* We must continue to provide humanitarian, economic and development aid to East Timor ...
* We must continue to suspend all U.S. military aid and training to the Indonesian military ...
* We must strongly and unambiguously support the independence process in East Timor, ... " Rep. James P. McGovern

Sep 6 CONG: Anniversary of Suai massacre & Atambua murders Statements added Sep 7
"I support Senator Harkin’s Resolution calling for the establishment of an international war crimes tribunal to prosecute crimes against humanity in East Timor. I have also worked with Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont to restrict funding to Indonesia unless the Indonesian government allows refugees to return to East Timor and is actively committed to peace with East Timor." U.S. Senator Jack Reed

Aug 15 GLW: Howard ignores the lessons of Timor  Article added Aug 15
"One of the important ways we can assist the peoples of Aceh, West Papua and those fighting for democracy in all parts of Indonesia is to force Canberra to end all military ties with Indonesia. As former [Australian] Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans now admits, Australian military aid to Indonesia only “helped produce more professional human rights abusers”. It must end." Pip Hinman, national secretary, Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor

Jun 8 UMNS: Refugees in West Timor face critical conditions  News added June 11
"Rondo [Centre for Internally Displaced People’s Services in West Timor] believes churches can make a difference in the crisis by advocating for action. He and the East Timor Action Network, which sponsored his U.S. speaking tour, are calling for:
· Pressure from the U.S. and international community on the Indonesian government to disarm and disband the militias.
· Support for an international tribunal on crimes against humanity committed in East Timor.
· Creation of a credible refugee registration process with significant international participation and oversight.
· Adoption of a complete ban on weapons sales, training and support for the Indonesian military by the United States until these issues have been resolved." United Methodist News Service

May 16 IHRN & ETAN: Rights Groups Oppose Military Cooperation with Indonesia  Release added May 20
"The East Timor Action Network (ETAN) and the Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN) today condemned Indonesia’s participation in joint military exercises with the U.S. The groups warned that any military cooperation sends the wrong message to the Indonesian military (TNI), which has yet to be held accountable for past human rights abuses in both East Timor and Indonesia and continues to engage in systematic violations across the archipelago."

Mar 29 Tempo: US President urged not to support Indonesian military  News
"About 30 [Indonesian] women activists held rally at the US Embassy on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan here today. They asked President Bush not to support the Indonesian military (TNI) in any form, including supporting education program for TNI officers in the US. The demonstrators also asked the US government not to lift military embargo imposed since the East Timor referendum, until TNI is no longer involved in the power play." Tempo

Mar 28 GLW: Indonesian troops out of Aceh!  Article
"US Congress is currently debating whether to restore full military ties with Indonesia. The Indonesian government has not met most of the US Congress’ requirements—in particular bringing to justice the TNI and militia members accused of human rights abuses, and allowing displaced East Timorese to return home from West Timor—before US weapons shipments and military training of Indonesian soldiers can resume. However, Washington has already carried out joint exercises with the TNI and its special forces and it is training Indonesian police. ... Canberra—as signalled by last year’s defence White Paper— will no doubt attempt to follow suit and increase military ties with Jakarta. We must not let that happen. We must make the “East Timor syndrome” live on. We need to step up the pressure to end all Australian military ties with Indonesia." Pip Hinman, national secretary, Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET)

Feb 26 IHRN: Indonesia Human Rights Network Urges Continued Ban on U.S. Aid to Indonesian Military  Release
"Before there can be any resumption of military ties between Washington and Jakarta, the Indonesian armed forces must undergo significant reform. The U.S. government should accept nothing short of civilian control of the military as well as human rights trials conducted under international standards of justice as preconditions for any re-engagement with the Indonesian military," Agatha Schmaedick, Indonesia Human Rights Network co-chair

Jan 27 ETAN/IHRN: Rights groups urge continued suspension of military ties with Indonesia  Release
"Shipping hardware to the Indonesian military will severely set back efforts to achieve democracy and respect for human rights in Indonesia ... Anyone familiar with the ongoing conflicts in West Papua, Aceh and Maluku/the Moluccas knows that the TNI is at best impeding resolution; more often it is an exceedingly brutal central cause of the problem." Lynn Fredriksson, acting coordinator for Indonesia Human Rights Network.

Jan 11 FPIF: U.S. - East Timor Foreign Policy in Focus Brief  Release
"However the U.S. can still help bring peace and security to East Timor if it:
* withholds all military assistance until justice is done;
* promotes Indonesian judicial reform and the creation of an international tribunal; and
* channels sufficient aid to East Timor." Lynn Fredriksson, Foreign Policy in Focus

Nov 1999 NI: We Will not be crushed  Plea added May 24
"I urge each of you to call upon your respective governments to stop sending weapons to Indonesia and all dictatorships around the world." José Ramos Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Winner


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