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Subject: ASIET Statement on recent repression
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 21:05:53 +1100
From: Carla / Jon <>

Subject: LL:PR: ASIET Statement on recent repression Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 09:12:22 +1100 From: "Max Lane" <> To: "Left Link" <>


The following statement is issued by Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET), the main Australian based organisation supporting both the grassroots democracy movement in Indonesia and the popular resistance in East Timor.

1. ASIET joins the popular condemnation, in Indonesia and internationally, of the violent attacks by the Armed Forces of Indonesia against the student and mass protests that took place in Jakarta between November 10 and 14, 1998.

ASIET offers its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the students, high school pupils and journalists who were killed or injured by this military violence. ASIET is organising and/or supporting actions in Australian cities being held on November 16, 17 and 18 to protest the military violence against the students and masses. ASIET also protests the moves by the regime of President Habibie and General Wiranto to arrest opposition personalities and scapegoat them for the disturbances of November 10-13.

ASIET has organised public meetings on November 28 in Sydney and December 3 in Melbourne with guest speakers, East Timorese leader, Jose Ramos Horta and Indonesian democracy leader and former political prisoner, Wilson bin Nurtias where there will be discussion of the future of Indonesia and East Timor and what people outside of Indonesia must do to help the struggle for freedom in those two countries.

2. The huge mobilisations of students and masses in Jakarta and at least 16 other cities in Indonesia indicates above all that the Indonesian people are NOT satisfied with the change of regime from Suharto to his chosen successor combination, President B.J. Habibie and General Wiranto. The size, militancy and geographical spread of the demonstrations were bigger in November than they were in May when General Suharto was still president. The anger and discontent of the masses has not been lessened. It has become obvious that only a complete end to any role for the military in Indonesian political life, the resignation of Habibie and Wiranto, and the establishment of a provisional government untainted by ties with the old Suharto regime which can guarantee free elections will satisfy the immediate demands and needs of the people. ASIET states its support for all the efforts of all the democratic forces in Indonesia to achieve these ends.

3. It is also the position of ASIET that at this time, the forces of international solidarity around the world must again raise their voices loudly on behalf of those victims of the old Suharto regime who are still in prison or disappeared. The regime of President Habibie and General Wiranto has still not released Budiman Sujatmiko, Dita Sari, Anom Astika, Petrus Haryanto, Anom Astika and other members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD). There are still fourteen political activists from various groups who were kidnapped before May 1998 and have still not reappeared. ASIET urges all groups around the world to re-launch their campaigns to demand the freedom of these heroes of the democracy movement.

4. As an Australian based organisation, ASIET condemns and rejects the recent statements of support for the regime of President B.J., Habibie that have been made by Australian Prime Minister John Howard. On November 15, Howard stated in regards to the Habibie-Wiranto regime's efforts at political liberalisation and vis-a-vis East Timor: "Dr Habibie has gone further than many of his critics suggested." Prime Minister Howard has since invited President Habibie to visit Australia.

These statements are tantamount to saying that the shooting dead by military of at least 14 unarmed protesters and the injuring of hundreds more is evidence of reform. Howard is NOT unaware that there are still many political prisoners in Habibie's prisons. Howard is NOT unaware that those responsible for numerous massacres have not even been called for questioning. Howard is NOT unaware that many East Timorese, including Xanana Gusmao, are in gaol. Howard is NOT unaware that the East Timorese resistance is still excluded from all so-called negotiations on the East Timor question. Howard is NOT unaware that there has been no real reduction in Indonesian military presence in East Timor.

The Australian government's continuing military ties with the Indonesian military are tantamount to agreement to help the Habibie-Wiranto regime in its acts of repression. ASIET demands that the Australian government cut all military ties with Jakarta.

ASIET condemns the invitation for Habibie to visit Australia. ASIET states its intentions to combine with all other groups and individuals who oppose such a visit to organise demonstrations against Habibie should he come to Australia.

Telephone: 61-(0)2-96901230 Fax: 61-(0)2-96901381 Email: Webpage: Free all kidnap victims of the military! No more military in politics! Bring to justice all New Order violators of human rights! Free Xanana Gusmao! Free Budiman Sujatmiko! Free Dita Sari! Free all political prisoners in Indonesia and East Timor! Unban the books of Pramoedya Ananta Toer!

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