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Open Letter from ETAN to the People of East Timor on Independence

The East Timor Action Network/U.S. congratulates the courageous people of East Timor on their independence. This is a great day. We applaud your achievement, won after great hardship and against overwhelming odds. Your victory against occupation by the fourth largest country backed by the world's most powerful nation gives hope and inspiration to all who work for genuine democracy, human rights and self-determination.

We are proud to have supported your struggle over the last ten years. Your triumph in what many once considered a lost cause is a testament to your valor and your strength, your resiliency and your resistance.

We pledge to continue to support you in your independence. We will work with you to achieve justice for past crimes and sustainable development for the future.

We will work to make sure that all East Timorese refugees who wish to return home are able to do so.

We will advocate for adequate levels of aid which suit your priorities and needs and ensure a healthy tomorrow for your children. We will oppose any imposition of onerous conditions on assistance and loans that will mortgage your future.

We will oppose all U.S. support for the Indonesian military so as to support your security and so that others will not experience abuses at the hands of the military from which you are now free.

We will continue to seek an accurate accounting of our own government's role in supporting Indonesia's invasion and occupation. We do this out of a sense of responsibility for our country's complicity and out of concern that no other people should suffer as you have because of the policies of our government.

A luta continua!

Viva Timor Lorosa'e!

May 20, 2002




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