[Fwd: Indonesian Unionists back East Timor freedom struggle]

Green Left Parramatta glparramatta at SPAMgreenleft.org.au
Wed Sep 15 13:45:18 MDT 1999


Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 11:51:26 +1000 (GMT+1000)
From: owner-asietnews-l at peg.apc.org
Subject: Indonesian Unionists back East Timor freedom struggle

(The following statement was sent to ACTION IN SOLIDARITY WITH INDONESIA AND

FNPBI statement on East Timor

The ballot, offered as a way to resolve the 24-year old crisis in East Timor
has been completed.  The results show that the Timorese people reject the
special autonomy offered by the Indonesian government and have chosen to be
a free nation.

The Timorese struggle to be a free nation have gone on for many centuries
against Portuguese colonialism and then against the militaristic Indonesian
government.  They have paid a high price, both physically and materially to
wage that struggle.  The Indonesian military invasion since 1975 has cost
more than 200,000 lives and led to many human rights abuses including
beatings and rapes.  The international community's response to the military
acts of Indonesia depended on the Cold War interests of each country at the

After the ballot was completed and  a series massacres of pro-independence
forces, UN staff and journalists by pro-integration militia members
(supported by Indonesian military and police) commenced, the international
community has again taken a position on the issue of East Timor.  In this
case, the international community has condemned the Indonesian government
who are thought of as no longer able to provide security  in the territory.
Condemnation and international pressure has come from Australia from its
government and through the call for bans on Indonesian products by
Australian trade unions.  In one instance, there was even the incident of
flag burning at a demonstration outside an Indonesian consulate.  The
response to this by several forces was to retaliate and burn the Australian
flag and to invade the Australian Embassy in Indonesia.
These actions show the low level of understanding of the history of the
struggle in East Timor and the shifting of the conflict from the massacres
carried out in East Timor to a conflict between two countries.
In responding to the situation that has arisen since the ballot in East
Timor, the National Front for Indonesian Labour Struggle (FNBPI) hereby

* Our full support for the results of the ballot in East Timor, as a
reflection of the aspirations of the East Timorese to determine their own

* Our condemnation of the anti democratic acts committed by the pro-autonomy
forces of TNI and POLRI (Indonesian police)

* Our condemnation of all acts of murder and destruction by TNI and POLRI
committed against the innocent civilians of East Timor

* Our condemnation of all acts of violence by TNI and POLRI which have
driven out the Timorese from their own country

The FNPBI therefore demand:

* Immediate withdrawal of TNI and POLRI from East Timor

* Disbanding of militias which are supported and armed by TNI and POLRI

* Formation and entry of international peacekeeping forces into East Timor

* That all forces to respect the results of the ballot which is a reflection
of the aspirations of the Timorese

* End to all support given by the Indonesian government to the militias

* End to the sending of Indonesian security forces to East Timor

We declare our full support for all the solidarity actions and strikes
conducted by trade unions worldwide.

We call on the international community, especially the workers to maintain
pressure on the Indonesian government through strikes/industrial action,
economic sanctions and other forms of pressure.

Jakarta 11 September 1999

National Front for Indonesian Labour Struggle

Dita Indah Sari

Ilham Syah
General Secretary


Tel: 02-96901230  Fax: 02-96901381  Email: asiet at peg.apc.org  Homepage:


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