A Message from East Timor (urgent)

J Schaffner jschaffner at SPAMigc.org
Sun Sep 5 21:15:36 MDT 1999

I just received a forward of this message from a WRL (War Resisters
League) activist who has been working in East Timor, from David

Please help re-post and distribute this message. At the end of the
message are suggestions as to what people can do. For those on the list
in the United States, the demands are directed at our government.
Similar demands can be directed to your government, if you are outside
of the U.S.

Jay Schaffner
 From John Miller, a WRL key person, who is now in East Timor.

 Please take note of this post.

 David McReynolds

  Forwarded Message:
  Subj: A Message from East Timor
  Date: 9/5/99 9:37:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time
  From: JohnM85747

  John's Message from East Timor
  (Please redistribute widely)

  There are the makings of a bloodbath here. Many have fled. Many have
died. I can see smoke of fires of homes set ablaze in the distance. I
have heard gunfire in the distance. The Indonesian military and its
creation the militias have refused to accept the democratically
expressed wish of the East Timorese to move towards independence.

  I have seen East Timorese defy militia and military violence to go
vote on August 30 and I have seen their fearful faces. Several days ago,
the women hosting us in Becora (just outside Dili) received an early
morning phone call and woke us at 4:30 am to tell us we had to move out
of where were staying for our own safety. I have since heard reports of
many houses burned and people killed in that neighborhood. Another Dili
neighborhood I spent time in, Balide, next to the U.N.'s East Timor
headquarters is ablaze. Timor Aid, the organization which provided
assistance to the parliamentary delegation I worked with to monitor the
ballot has been looted of its rice and ransacked. There have also been
many reports of people being forced onto vehicles and taken to West
Timor, perhaps to bolster an argument for East Timor's partition or

  There have been many calls for U.N. or other peacekeepers. These may
arrive too late. More guns aren't necessarily what East Timor needs.
What is very clear is that the military could shut down the violence
relatively quickly. The military is in control. It is they that can stop
the killing.

  The U.S. and other governments still have tremendous leverage with
Indonesia. They must use it all. Statements of serious "consequences." I
saw President Clinton's mealy-mouthed statement and it doesn't go nearly
far enough. The global community - governments, others, you - must be
clear about what these consequences are to let the Indonesian military
know that continued violence in East Timor is unacceptable.

  Please contact President Clinton and members of Congress now. Urge
them to immediately
  a) suspend all military shipments to Indonesia, including spare parts
and ammunition
  b) suspend all non-humanitarian bi-lateral aid and loans to Indonesia
  c) work to suspend all multi-lateral loans and aid, including form the
IMF and World Bank.

  Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1414.  Urge President
Clinton to immediately suspend all further military and financial aid to
Indonesia until the military and paramilitary violence is stopped. The
U.S. must show strong support for East Timor's democratic decision to
break away from Indonesia.

  Sept. 5, 1999
  Dili, East Timor

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