IFCO/Pastors for Peace ACTION ALERT on East Timor
On the 30th of August 1999, the East Timorese people voted by an overwhelming majority for independence. This occurred despite a general climate of intimidation and coercion created by Indonesian military backed militias. Since the election, these militias, backed and assisted by Indonesian military, have engaged in a policy of ethnic cleansing on the people of East Timor. Indonesia is a long term "friend" of the United States, and a major recipient of military and economic assistance, including training of military personnel. It is important that our government know that the tacit US goverment's support for Indonesia's human rights abuses, which have been part of US foreign policy for many years, is no longer politically acceptable! Call and demand:
1. President Clinton give FULL and immediate support for and US participation in an United Nations led, international, armed, peace keeping team. Ethnic cleansing of East Timorese by the (US trained) Indonesia military and their proxy militias must be ended as soon as possible.
2. Halt ALL economic and military aid (bi-lateral and multi-lateral) to Indonesia until the Indonesian government ends the endemic abuse of human rights, in Timor and within Indonesia.
3. US should insist that International Relief Agencies and observers be allowed immediate access to East Timor and to Indonesia wherever East Timorese refugees are located; in order to provide for their ongoing safety and humanitarian needs.
Ask Senators and Representatives to co-sponsor and support HR 97 in the House and S. 1568 in the Senate, and other resolutions introduced by Reps Capuano (D-MA), Hastings (D-FL), Weygand (D-RI) and Senator Harkin (D-IA).
Senate 1568 was introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and others. It calls for: the immediate suspension of all U.S. military assistance to Indonesia, including licensing of military exports; and U.S. support for an international mission in East Timor.
HR 97 was introduced by Reps Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Nita Lowey (D-NY), suspends all U.S. military and economic assistance to Indonesia until the results of the August 30 ballot in East Timor have been implemented.
Also, urge support of HR 1063, a binding bill with over 80 co-sponsors, that would ban all U.S. combat training (under law) to any country currently banned from receiving any single training program due to human rights violations.
The congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121 or check www.congress.gov for additional contact information.
UPDATES AND BACKGROUND
There are daily updates on situation from the International Federation for East Timor Observer project, which you can access through the ETAN website.
More info at IFCO/Pastors for Peace website.
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