|Declaration by Australian Religious Leaders for Freedom for Xanana Gusmao and
12 November 1998
The following Declaration was made across churches throughout Australia on the 7th anniversary of the Dili Massacre, 12 November 1998:
"Witnessing the events unfolding in Indonesia which illustrate the burning aspiration for peace and freedom arising in the hearts of all people, we remain particularly aware of the situation in East timor and the voices of the East Timorese people which have been raised again in recent days.
We share the escalating world-wide concern for a just and peaceful settlement of the East Timor question and we join with the ever-increasing number of nations and people who are calling on the government of Indonesia to pursue the following course of action:
1. Undertake an immediate, significant and validated reduction in the Indonesia military presence in East Timor.
2. Free Xanana Gusmao immediately and unconditionally.
3. Allow a referendum in East Timor, under the auspices of the United Nations, to ascertain the freely expressed aspirations of the East Timorese people.
Such actions comply with the international conventions which respect the inherent dignity of each person and promote the inalienable rights of all members of the human family to participate in the establishment of freedom, justice and peace.
We strongly urge the Australian Government to use its good offices withIndonesia and the international community to press for the speedy implementation of these measures. We believe these steps are essentail to peace, human rights and reconciliation in East Timor.
We remember with particular appreciation the allegiance given to Australian soldiers by the East Timorese during World War 2 for which thousands of their people died. We invite all Australians now to acknowledge our debt of gratitude to them by joining our voices to the growing call for peace and freedom in East Timor."
Kieran Dwyer for Matebian News