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East Timor/ EU : McKinnon - what are you waiting for?

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

Issued 20 April 1999

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Kia ora,

Two messages combined in this one today, new media release from East Timor Independence Committee (Auckland); and the declaration from the President of the European Union on the situation in East Timor.

We are getting much more material on East Timor than we feel we should send out on our lists, if you would like us to forward info to you as it comes in, please ask for it by emailing

20 April, 1999
Media Release:
What are we waiting for, Mr. McKinnon?

New Zealand continues to hold back from taking action on the rapidly deteriorating situation in East Timor.

"Our leaders are being worse than hopeless at this extremely critical time,." said Maire Leadbeater speaking for the East Timor Independence Committee. " How many unnecessary deaths will it take before they recognise that there is a crisis and intervention is needed now?" "Mrs Shipley and Mr McKinnon are little more than hand-wringing, and seem to be waiting for Indonesia to send a polite invitation before getting organised to send in peace keepers. East Timor is not part of the "sovereign state" of Indonesia as Mr McKinnon suggested this morning ~ it was brutally and illegally invaded by Indonesia 23 years ago and still the genocide continues."

"There is selective morality at play here - when conflicts are far away as Kuwait we are willing to show some outrage and get involved - UN or no UN. When the situation is close to home it seems that the East Timorese people are somehow expendable."

"It is time to move now - other countries are willing to get involved in an international peace force - they include Brazil, Portugal and Ireland. Australia is signalling that it is beginning its preparations. Why are we dragging the chain?"

"Make no mistake, a distinctive sizeable United Nations or other international presence is essential to restrain both the paramilitary thugs and the trigger-happy elements of the Indonesian military."

"The East Timorese have been promised a democratic vote on their future, and given a brief respite from repression in which to speak out openly. Now those who took that opportunity are all on a "hit list" and in fear of their lives."

"New Zealand should drop trying to stay on side with Indonesia and do the right thing by the East Timorese at last."

for further information: Maire Leadbeater -09-849-3890 (Answerphone messages cleared regularly if not immediately available) Maire Leadbeater, East Timor Independence Committee, P.O. Box 68-419, Auckland.

Subject: European Union Declaration on East Timor

CFSP Presidency Statement: Brussels (12-04-1999) - Nr. 7213/99 (Presse 99) - CFSP : 36/99

Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on East Timor

The European Union deeply deplores the rise of violence in East Timor during recent months and has taken note with dismay of the reported killing of unarmed civilians on 6 and 7 April in Liquiça, East Timor, by para-military militias, apparently with Indonesian regular forces present yet not intervening.

The EU strongly condemns these reported acts of violence and urges the Indonesian authorities to immediately intervene and stop such actions by militias by disarming them.

The EU also strongly urges the Indonesian authorities to hold accountable those who are responsible for such killings. It calls on all parties to show the utmost restraint in order to avoid further violent incidents.

The EU reiterates its position that it remains the obligation of the Indonesian Government to maintain and preserve security, stability and public order in the East Timorese territory.

The EU further believes that the occurrence of such incidents demonstrates the urgent need for a United Nations presence in the territory.

The EU also considers the establishment of a peace and reconciliation commission to be an important instrument to help to calm the situation in East Timor.

The EU reiterates its support for the ongoing negotiations on East Timor, as the only way to reach a just, comprehensive and internationally acceptable solution to the East Timor issue.

The EU welcomes the agreement of the parties concerned to a consultation of the East Timorese people by direct ballot, but is deeply worried that the deterioration of the security situation could seriously jeopardise this process.

The EU therefore urges the Indonesian Government to do its utmost in order to preserve peace in East Timor and to pave the way for a non violent transition process.

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