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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Facing culpability for aiding Indonesia's war crimes

A collection of recent reports, articles and news regarding the need to face up to complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity

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Up-Dated: Feb 1, 2002

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

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

NEW Jan 30/31 Free East Timor Japan Coalition letter to UNSG  Letter added Feb 1
"As East Timorese NGOs wrote in a letter to the Japanese government on December 8, 2001, “If there is no justice, there can be no betterment of life.” We would like to remind you that the international community, especially powerful nations, owes the East Timorese people a heavy moral debt after repeatedly abandoning them and supporting the Indonesian invasion and illegal occupation of East Timor. It must make every effort to fulfill its responsibility to ensure that justice is served, not only for the future of East Timor but also for the future of the world." Free East Timor! Japan Coalition

Jan 25 JP: End game in East Timor  Editorial added Jan 26
"The heaviest cost that the East Timor debacle is exacting on Indonesia, though, is on its international reputation and image. This incident hurt the entire nation, and not just the military. ... It is no wonder that more and more people around the world see Indonesia as a pariah state. If this image continues, more and more investors and tourists will shun Indonesia. ... Clearly, it is in the best interest of this nation to accelerate the entire legal process. These delays should come to an end, for our own good. We need to put the East Timor nightmare behind us, once and for all, and quickly, and restore our reputation and credibility among the international community. Most of all, we need to get on with our lives." Jakarta Post Editorial

Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu:
Jan 22 Shige: Jepang dan TL: Luka Kekerasan Sulit Dilupakan
Artikel ditambahkan tanggal 22 Januari 2002
"Seandainya pemerintah Jepang sungguh mau membangun hubungan bilateral yang baik dengan Timor Lorosae, langkah awal adalah pengakuan kesalahan atas perbuatan dan kebijakannya pada masa lalu yang kejam, baik pada masa Perang Dunia II maupun masa pendudukan militer Indonesia di mana pemerintah Jepang selalu mendukungnya, dan meminta maaf kepada rakyat Timor Lorosae." Takahashi Shigehito, Perwakilan East Timor Desk, Konferensi Uskup Katolik Jepang

Jan 10 Shige: Japan & ET: Wounds of Violence are Hard to Forget  Article added Jan 22
"If the Government of Japan really wanted to build a good bilateral relationship with Timor Lorosae, the first step it should take is to acknowledge the mistakes of its brutal policies and actions toward the people in the past, both during WWII, and during the Indonesian military occupation - which Japan’s government consistently supported it - and ask the pardon of the people of Timor Lorosae." Takahashi Shigehito, Resident Representative of East Timor Desk, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan

Dec 8 ETNGOs: Commemoration Day of the Commencement of the Pacific War  Letter added Jan 24
"History is very important in order to build a better future. For that reason, mistakes of the past have to be straighten out before steps can be made forward. If not, human history has already proven similar mistakes will be repeated. We are aware that Japan is the largest donor nation for the East Timor Trust Fund and has given major attention to the reconstruction of East Timor. And we too would like to express our gratitude for this assistance. However, this assistance may not simply cover up the wounds that have been inflicted by the Japanese military on this land of East Timor. If there is no justice, there can be no betterment of life. One needs to remember that the government of Japan is not only responsible for the Second World War, but also for its support of the invasion by the Indonesian military in East Timor over the time period of 24 years." Representatives of 20 East Timorese Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)

October 2001 LHB: Commission for Reception, Truth & Reconciliation  Overview added Nov 9
"[The Commission] will establish the truth regarding human rights violations that took place between 1974 and 1999, ... the Commission will investigate not only individual cases of rights violations, but also the extent to which the violations were part of a systematic pattern of abuse. ... The CRTR will also examine the role of international actors - such as foreign governments - in its attempt to provide a full picture of why gross human rights abuses occurred. But the CRTR will have limited resources for investigations. And it will not have the power to bring charges against those who refuse to cooperate, nor to compel testimony or evidence from Indonesia or other national governments." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

October 2001 LHB: Solidarity and International Justice  Article added Nov 9
"Many international activist groups believe that the tribunal should have jurisdiction over all war crimes and Crimes Against Humanity committed in East Timor since the Indonesian invasion in 1975, including complicity and command responsibility. Although the specific jurisdiction and mandate of any international court will inevitably be a product of political compromise, most advocates still believe that all those who are guilty should be held accountable." Paul Barber, TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Jul 24 IHT: Gareth Evans: Indonesia's Military Culture Has to Be Reformed  Article added July 25
“I am one of those who has to acknowledge, as Australia’s foreign minister at the time, that many of our earlier training efforts helped only to produce more professional human rights abusers.” Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister from 1988 to 1996, President of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group

Mar 14 Japan: NGO Joint Petition on UNCHR 57th session  Petition
"The Japanese government should also call for clarification, as part of any investigation into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in East Timor, of the responsibility borne by countries which provided financial assistance, weapons and diplomatic support to the Indonesian government and military, and were therefore indirectly involved in the massive human rights abuses perpetrated in East Timor." NGO Joint Petition on UNCHR 57th session

Mar 10 ETAN: Memo to UN Commission on H. Rights  Memo
"UN Member States’ Culpability—Member states should examine their own culpability in the 24-year Indonesian military occupation of East Timor, including their role, if any, in actively arming and training Indonesia’s military and failure to work for implementation of relevant Security Council, General Assembly and UNCHR resolutions. The UNCHR should encourage nations with information relevant to war crimes and crimes against humanity in East Timor to make it available to East Timorese and international investigations." East Timor Action Network/U.S.

Jul 17 2000 BLH: Ajuda Internasional ba Timor Lorosa’e: Misericordia?  Editorial from ETimor
"La’o Hamutuk husu ba nain ulun UNTAET tahan atu fo osan ba Timor Lorosa’e nudar “misericordia”, ita tenke hare sira nudar modesto hanesan compesacao husi governo nebe fahe sira nian responsabilidade ba povo Timor Lorosa’e nia terus no destrucao nacao-la’os deit iha Septembro 1999, maibe durante 24 anos nia laran." La’o Hamutuk, Instituto Timor Lorosa’e ba Analiza no Monitoring Reconstrucao

July 17 2000 LHB: International Funding for East Timor: Charity?  Editorial from ETimor
"La'o Hamutuk calls upon UNTAET officials to refrain from referring to funds donated to East Timor as "charity" -- especially when the vast majority of these funds come from national governments which provided significant economic, military, and diplomatic support to Jakarta and its illegal occupation of East Timor. Rather than seeing these funds as "charity", we should see them largely as a modest beginning at amends from governments who share in the responsibility for the suffering of the East Timorese and the destruction of the country -- not only in September 1999, but in the almost-24-year period that preceded it." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

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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