|Letters from F. Wolf to Stanley Roth & Adm. Blair
Frank Wolf (R-VA), a longtime supporter of East Timor, visited the territory in January
1997 and has been active in lobbying the Clinton administration to toughen its policy.
Below are 2 letters he recently sent to administration officials.
Congress of the United States
June 23, 1999
The Honorable Stanley Roth
Dear Ambassador Roth:
I received a briefing from my staff about the meeting in Representative Frank's office. I appreciate your taking time to come up to the Hill to discuss issues related to East Timor and apologize for not being there. I was in an Appropriations Committee markup. My staff informed me that meeting was very useful and that the administration seems to be more pro-active in protesting the violence and pushing for an international presence in East Timor. I commend you for your leadership.
We really cannot do too much to encourage a free and fair referendum in East Timor. People are dying, as you know well, and we must not let up the pressure before the vote. I think it may be beneficial for you to visit East Timor before the referendum and to take with you a high-ranking military flag officer such as Admiral Dennis Blair, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Lieutenant General Edward P. Smith, commanding general of the U.S. Army-Pacific region or another comparably ranked official.
I am pleased that U.S. military officials and high-ranking administration officials have been talking to General Wiranto and others about Indonesian military abuses in East Timor. I think a visit by you and a military officer at this time would help reinforce that message and let them know, again, how important a free and fair referendum, without violence and intimidation, is to the United States government.
Thank you again for taking time to meet with us. Best wishes.
Congress of the United States
June 17, 1999
Admiral Dennis C. Blair
Dear Admiral Blair:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding your efforts on behalf of Ancieto Guterres Lopes in East Timor. I appreciate what you did for him and am pleased to know he is no longer receiving threats
Unfortunately, many other resistance, church and human rights leaders are still being threatened, an atmosphere of intimidation persists and hundreds, if not thousands, of people are displaced from their homes because of continued threats by para-military thugs. They have no choice but to live in refugee-type camps for their own protection.
The situation on the island has not improved and the para-militaries, which all observers believe are controlled by the Indonesian military, are still creating an atmosphere of terror and violence that seriously jeopardizes the chances for a free and fair referendum later this summer.
We cannot, must not, let up the pressure at this critical time. I think it would be very valuable for you to visit East Timor, perhaps with Assistant Secretary Roth, sometime in the next few months. Your visit would help enhance the status of the U.N. Mission for East Timor (UNAMET) and provide visible support for its goals. It would also give you the opportunity to continue raising issues of concern with Indonesian military officials.
I hope you will consider this. It could make a difference. People are dying in East Timor and it would be impossible for the U.S. to do too much to help them at this critical time.
Thank you and best wishes.
Frank. R. Wolf Member of Congress