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Mica Barreto Soares

September 2011

Dear ETAN supporters and friends of Timor-Leste,

 
The years fly by, and soon we’ll observe the 20th anniversary of the founding of East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). ETAN started a month after the Santa Cruz massacre in November 1991, when hundreds of peaceful East Timorese protesters were shot down by Indonesian troops. When a few dozen peace and human rights activists held a vigil in front of the Indonesian Mission to the United Nations on International Human Rights Day – December 10, 1991 – they didn’t plan to make a two-decade commitment. And none of them imagined that within eight years, Timor-Leste would be free of Indonesian troops, on the way to becoming a sovereign member of the international community.

ETAN’s work is still essential. The organization has lived for 20 years based on the dedicated activism and the generous support of people like you, who steadfastly believed and worked to support the right to self-determination, to justice and accountability, to human rights, and to social and economic justice for the people of Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
 
As a Timorese woman and a human rights activist, I know that ETAN’s work was crucial to freedom of my homeland.
 
I am writing you now to ask you to support ETAN with as generous a contribution as possible.

I first learned about ETAN in 1998 when I attended the third summit of the Asia Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET). Together with four other members of the underground student group RENETIL, I traveled to Thailand. It was my first trip abroad (apart from Indonesia), and it was my first opportunity to meet one of ETAN's founders, Charlie Scheiner. I heard first hand about ETAN’s impressive work.
 
Since that first encounter, I have had tremendous admiration and respect for ETAN and its members’ unshakable commitment to continue shining a light on justice and human rights in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. It is the only solidarity group which carries the mantle of upholding the rights of the people of Timor-Leste and Indonesia, working persistently and fearlessly to hold the world’s governments, especially the United States, to account for complicity in rights violations.

 
Mica Barreto Soares (2nd from left) speaking at APCET conference in Bangkok,
1998. Photo by Jude Conway.

My brothers and sisters in Timor-Leste and Indonesia who continue to cry for justice still need ETAN’s clear and firm voice. ETAN is their mouthpiece from a distance! ETAN’s long track record speaks for itself as it has built relationships and made change at the United Nations, through four U.S. presidencies and in the halls of Congress. As Timor-Leste evolves, we are learning that building a new nation from the ashes of occupation, war and colonialism is as challenging as ending a foreign military occupation, and we continue to learn from and lean on ETAN, which looks ahead as it presses for accountability for past crimes.
 
Recently, as it has for years, ETAN opposed U.S. resumption of training for the Indonesian military’s notorious Kopassus special forces , that tortured and killed so many in my country and continues to oppress the people of West Papua. ETAN supported a Congressional letter calling for the freedom of West Papuan political prisoner, Filep Karma.
 
During the last few weeks, ETAN coordinated with Timor-Leste’s Movement against Debt, a statement against currently debt-free Timor taking out of loans.

If ETAN can raise enough resources, ETAN will coordinate an observer mission for the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, as they did in 1999, 2001 and 2007. This is a critical time for Timor-Leste, and experienced, nonpartisan international observers will help solidify democracy in my young country be ensuring free and fair elections.

I recently completed two years in graduate school at Ohio University, and I relied on ETAN’s east-timor@riseup.net email list to keep up with events back home and with solidarity around the globe. Many of my Timorese friends also rely on this long-running and vital service, which has more than 2,500 readers in Timor-Leste and around the world.
 
For 20 years, ETAN has operated on a shoestring budget. Please join me in helping ETAN have a happy anniversary, so that it can continue its essential work. We need to keep ETAN strong. You can help by making a generous contribution to ETAN today.

Thank you!

Mica Barreto Soares

P.S. You can contribute safely through ETAN's website below. You can also mail your donation. To support ETAN’s advocacy work, write a check made out to “East Timor Action Network”. Tax-deductible donations of over $50, to support ETAN’s educational efforts only, can be made out to “A.J. Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN.” Please mail your donations to: ETAN, PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873. Thank you for your support.

 

How to Donate to ETAN 

To support ETAN’s advocacy work, please make your check out to East Timor Action Network” and mail it to
ETAN, PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873

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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 more than $50 can also be made out to "AJ Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN" and  will only be used to support our educational work.

Please mail your donation to:

ETAN
PO Box 21873
Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA

Thank you for your support.

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