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Dear Friend and ETAN Supporter,
While East Timor and Indonesia are mostly ignored by the mainstream media, the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) has continued to campaign for the rights of the East Timorese and Indonesian people. To continue this important work, ETAN needs your support.
In 2007, ETAN spearheaded an election observer mission to monitor East Timorís presidential election and run-off and its first-ever parliamentary election. ETAN undertook this ambitious project in response to concerns from friends in East Timor that the elections might inflame simmering political and social tensions in the young country, with violence again threatening the Timorese people.
Working on a shoestring budget, ETAN initiated the Solidarity Observer Mission for East Timor (SOMET), making it possible for 34 international election observers to work side-by-side with a similar number of observers from East Timorese civil society. You can read SOMETís three thorough, well-received reports on ETAN's website (http://etan.org/etan/obproject/default.htm).
SOMET -- the only international non-governmental observer group present in East Timor for all three elections -- included longtime East Timor solidarity activists with well-established links to East Timorese groups, local government, and the international agencies focused on the elections. ETAN was thus able to truly support a free, fair and peaceful process, while maintaining its independence.
Through SOMET, ETAN helped dozens of activists experience the reality of East Timor, many for the first time. ETANís electoral monitors returned home with renewed and deepened commitment to East Timor solidarity work. ETAN will support and amplify these continued efforts. You generous contribution will help ETAN to build on this new energy.
The still nascent nation of Timor-Leste needs our strong support. Its newly-elected government is struggling to fulfill promises and meet expectations. Fledgling justice, education and health systems need attention. Those most responsible for the many human rights crimes perpetrated during the brutal Indonesian occupation have yet to be held accountable.
Democracy and human rights activists in Indonesia also benefit from ETANís work. They know that anti-militarist pressure on Washington is key if there is to be any hope for military reform in their homeland. The Bush administration and a compliant Congress undercut concrete steps forward for reform and human rights accountability by lifting all restrictions on military assistance to Indonesia. ETAN is doggedly working to reverse this decision and to monitor the impact of such assistance on a military which continues to commit atrocities in West Papua and elsewhere.
With your support, ETAN will organize future solidarity delegations, while continuing to advocate for justice and restrictions on military support for Indonesia. ETAN plans to hold a conference in 2008 to bring activists, academics, religious and governmental leaders together to deepen our understanding of the current situation and strengthen solidarity with the Timorese people.
Iíve long admired ETANís ability to do so much with so few resources. While its budget is small, it is tenacious in its pursuit of justice and accountability. This persistence has accomplished much over the last decade and a half. But ETANís budget is tight, and it relies on donors like yourself to continue its important work. By giving generously, you can help strengthen ETAN to meet the challenges of the coming year.Thank you for joining me in supporting ETANís invaluable work.
P.S. You can contribute
safely through ETAN's website: http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm. Or you
can mail your donation. To support ETANís political advocacy work, write
a check made out to ďETAN.Ē For ETANís educational efforts,
tax-deductible donations of over $50 can be made out to ďA.J. Muste