|Subject: East Timor, Indonesia's Bosnia And Kosovo,
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:20:42 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
EAST TIMOR, INDONESIA'S BOSNIA AND KOSOVO, EUROPEAN HYPOCRISY by Jose Ramos-Horta, Vice President, CNRT
Writing in the Newsweek (A New Generation Draws the Line, April 19 1999, page. 40), the British PM Tony Blair begins: "We have learnt by bitter experience not to appease dictators..." and concludes:
" We need to enter a new millennium where dictators know that they cannot get away with ethnic cleansing or repress their peoples with impunity. In this conflict we are fighting...for values. For a new internationalism where the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups will no longer be tolerated. For a world where those responsible for such crimes have nowhere to hide".
He is referring of course to Kosovo and Serbia. Not to East Timor and Indonesia. Lofty proclamation and believable if it had not come from the leader of a government that having being elected on a platform of a "moral and ethical foreign policy" has in fact granted more weapons export licences to the Indonesian military than the previous conservative government.
On Kosovo, the NATO alliance demand Serbian complete troop withdrawal and an international military presence. On East Timor, an extension of an European power but inhabited by people of darker skin, illegally occupied, the Tony Blair government refuses to demand Indonesian troop withdrawal. On Kosovo, there are no UN Security Council resolutions supporting self-determination for the Kosovars. The right of the people of East Timor to self-determination has been recognized by the world community. The UN Security Council and General Assembly have condemned the invasion of East Timor and demanded Indonesia's withdrawal. The Europeans have accepted Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo. They have never recognised Indonesia's annexation of East Timor.
Serbia is bombed to stone age for its ethnic cleansing of Kosovars. Indonesia receives mild rebukes for its 23 year ethnic cleansing of East Timorese and is granted hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and billions in loans, development assistance and grants.
In Australia, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer continues an old Australian tradition of apologising for, and appeasing the Indonesian military and of covering up Indonesian crimes lest the Australian public, incensed by the truth, rocks the cozy relationship between the white elites of the two countries.
A report on the latest Indonesian army massacre of East Timorese civilians in Liquica sits on Downer's desk.
In November 1991, more than 200 and maybe as many as 500 innocent East Timorese were murdered in cold-blood. The Australian government reaction was to do damage control for its friends in Jakarta through cover-up, half-truth, distortion lies. Should we be surprised by this cynical attitude when they behave with equal cowardice when their own people, Australian journalists, were murdered? Most people would say, this is a country that has no principles and guts.
The Howard government was quick in offering to accept refugees from far away Kosovo. Yet, hundreds of East Timorese asylum seekers have been for years waiting to be granted a permanent residence so that they can resume a normal life.
In the case of East Timor the NATO countries and others like Australia need only to pursue a much simpler "military" option...cancel all military deliveries, training, joint exercises and expel all Indonesian military attaches.
Advisory to peace loving friends around the world:
a. Picket Indonesian Embassies, identify the military attaches, check their addresses. Picket their "private" addresses. Their "private" addresses are usually espionage hideouts from where they harass East Timorese exiles and spy on supporters. Politely but persuasively invite them to leave your country.
b. Send messages to travel agents around the world advising them not to take bookings for Bali. Boycott Garuda, Boycott Bali.
c. Urge the World Bank, IMF, European Commission, US Congress to freeze all financial transfers to Jakarta.
We do not have NATO smart bombs that too often hit the wrong target. We do not have sophisticated stealth planes. But we have the power of the world citizenry; we are humanity's conscience. We owe it to the East Timorese who have lost their lives, to our relatives and friends murdered in cold blood. We owe it humanity so that despots are warned that justice will catch with them. So appeal to all to help in this fight for justice.
19 APRIL 1999 JOSE RAMOS-HORTA 1996 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE