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The New York Times
February 8, 2000, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final

Justice for East Timor

To the Editor:

The willingness of Indonesia's civilian government to take on its powerful military is encouraging ("Indonesian General Denies Guilt in Timor Abuses," news article, Feb. 2), but Indonesia has yet to show that it can follow through with credible prosecutions. Even if it can, the international community also has a special responsibility because the human rights abuses in East Timor were directed at overturning an internationally sanctioned vote on East Timor's independence.

An inquiry authorized by the United Nations Human Rights Commission recently recommended a joint Indonesian, East Timorese and international tribunal under United Nations auspices. That would ensure that all of those seeking justice are represented.

JOHN M. MILLER Brooklyn, Feb. 3, 2000

The writer is the media coordinator for the East Timor Action Network.


The Christian Science Monitor 
February 8, 2000, Tuesday

OPINION; READER'S WRITE; Pg. 8

Trying Indonesia military for East Timor

In response to your article "Responsibility for rampages" (Feb. 2): Indonesian investigation of human rights violations must continue.

The prosecution of military officers and others responsible for the violence surrounding the UN-organized independence vote in East Timor would be healthy for Indonesia's fragile democracy. Nevertheless, justice for the East Timorese killed and displaced should not depend on Indonesian action against a still-powerful military.

The international community has its own responsibility to act. The scale of the crimes committed in East Timor certainly constituted crimes against humanity. These actions were part of a systematic attempt to undermine and then overturn a UN-organized vote in East Timor, whose inhabitants and most of the world's nations have never recognized the legitimacy of Indonesia's occupation.

An international tribunal is needed to deal with crimes committed against the international community, as well as against the East Timorese. A recent UN investigation recommended a joint Indonesian, East Timorese, and international tribunal under UN auspices. This would ensure that all of those seeking justice are represented.

John M. Miller Brooklyn, N.Y.


The Washington Post 
February 12, 2000, Saturday, Final Edition

OP-ED; Pg. A20; LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Reform in Indonesia

Indonesia's willingness to name and possibly prosecute some of its generals is, as The Post says [Editorial, Feb. 1], an "important step." It is wrong, however, for The Post to argue that "before a Bosnia-style tribunal is created, Indonesia should be given a chance to judge its own."

Indonesia has failed--despite repeated pledges by its civilian leadership--to rein in its armed forces and their militia allies who block East Timorese refugees from returning home. Incursions continue into East Timor's Oecussi enclave. The abuse of human rights over the last year was part of a systematic attempt to undermine the independence vote in East Timor conducted by the United Nations.

An international tribunal must deal with crimes committed against the international community and the East Timorese. A recent U.N. investigation recommended a joint Indonesian, East Timorese and international tribunal under U.N. auspices, ensuring that all parties seeking justice are represented.

JOHN M. MILLER Brooklyn, N.Y.

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