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August 2004

Dear friends of East Timor,

Five years ago this week, East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence, but its struggle for freedom is far from complete. The East Timorese people still crave justice and full control over their natural resources, and the Indonesian military still continues to murder, rape and torture with impunity. Military campaigns reign in Aceh and West Papua, and military-supported violence continues in Maluku and elsewhere in Indonesia.

ETAN has come a long way in our walk alongside the East Timorese people. For well over a decade, we have been a crucial force in support of human rights and justice for the people of East Timor and Indonesia. Last spring East Timor celebrated its second birthday, but independence is only a beginning, and much more needs to be done. We urge you to make a generous donation to the East Timor Action Network, so our important work can continue.

Those responsible for razing East Timor to the ground in 1999 have yet to be held to account. More than two-thirds of those indicted in Dili - including top generals - remain at large in Indonesia, which refuses to extradite them. Earlier this month, Indonesia’s appeals court overturned the few convictions of Indonesian military and police officials tried in Jakarta for crimes against humanity in East Timor. Only East Timorese are serving jail time in either country.

ETAN, along with groups in East Timor, Indonesia and elsewhere, is pressing for an international tribunal as the only viable path towards genuine justice and accountability for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during 24 years of Indonesian military occupation. In a recent letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, prominent members of East Timorese civil society called upon the international community to ensure justice is done. The East Timorese people are counting on ETAN to generate this essential international pressure.

Incredibly, the Bush administration has partnered with the Indonesian military, a brutal force that daily terrorizes its own citizens, in the “war on terror.” Working with affected peoples in the region, ETAN has effectively challenged administration and Pentagon initiatives that prop up the Indonesian military. With your help, ETAN will continue to lead the struggle to restrict U.S. assistance to this merciless military. Maintaining the U.S. ban on military aid to Indonesia remains key to the struggle against impunity in both East Timor and in Indonesia. It sends a clear message to human rights abusers within the ranks of Indonesia’s security forces and those who would protect them from prosecution. The ban is also essential to supporting the Indonesian people’s struggle for true democracy and the demilitarization of their government.

But the Pentagon continues to push hard for increased engagement with Indonesia’s military. We cannot continue to hold the line in this important struggle without your ongoing support!

Finally, East Timor’s sovereignty and economic security are under threat. East Timor is currently negotiating with an obstinate Australian government on a permanent maritime boundary between the two countries in the Timor Sea. The Timor Sea contains significant seabed deposits of oil and natural gas worth billions - which constitute East Timor’s principal exploitable natural resource. East Timor by itself has limited capability to persuade Australia to negotiate fairly and stop stealing the new country’s resources international pressure is necessary. And you are an essential part of generating that pressure.

Please help us continue the struggle for justice for East Timor and Indonesia by making a contribution to ETAN today. It just takes a minute to make a secure credit card contribution on our website:

You can also write a check to “ETAN/U.S.” in support of our political advocacy work, or make a tax-deductible donation of over $50 to “A.J. Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN,” which supports our educational efforts.

Thank you for your support at this pivotal time in East Timor’s history as a new nation!

A luta continua,

John M. Miller

Karen Orenstein
Staff, ETAN

Read ETAN's Statement on the 5th Anniversary of East Timor's Independence Vote

Read a message from Noam Chomsky

How to Donate to ETAN 

To support ETAN’s advocacy work, please make your check out to “ETAN” and send it to ETAN

Click here for a form you can print out and mail.

Donations of any size for ETAN's political and advocacy work should be made out to ETAN and are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible checks for over $50 can also be made out to "AJ Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN" and will be used to support our educational work.

Thank you for your support.