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PBI Action Alert on East Timor
10 September 1999
Peace Brigades International
East Timor Project
Stop the Killings in East Timor
On September 5 the United Nations released the result of the referendum in East Timor. Of the 98% of eligible voters who participated, 78% supported independence. Since then pro-Indonesian militia, supported by the Indonesian military, have terrorised the population leaving hundreds dead and thousands fleeing for their lives or forcibly removed. Most international media and election observers have been evacuated, although those remaining report continuing violence by the military and militia. Among those evacuated were three Peace Brigades International East Timor Project Committee members serving with the International Federation for East Timor. PBI is monitoring the situation to determine when it will be possible to send an advance team to East Timor.
In the meantime, PBI is calling for a halt to the killings and intimidation by the military and militia. Reports by media and election observers indicate that the Indonesian military maintain considerable control and influence over the militia and could stop the violence if they chose to. The Indonesian government said that it could control the violence when it rejected a proposal in May for a UN peacekeeping force. However, it has shown no willingness to do so. Instead it has chosen to declare martial law in the territory, giving the military greater liberties to continue its campaign of violence.
At the United Nations on September 6, Nobel laureate and East Timorese resistance leader Jose Ramos Horta called for financial restrictions to be applied to Indonesia until it complies with its obligations to protect East Timorese people. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are currently releasing hundreds of millions of dollars to Indonesia as part of an economic bailout program. Horta said "I wonder when the World Bank and the IMF will realise that they are becoming direct accomplices in this tragedy in East Timor"
Contact the IMF and World Bank and urge them to halt the transfer of funds to Indonesia until the Indonesian government takes positive steps to stop the violence in East Timor.
Call or send faxes to:
- James Wolfensohn, President World Bank. Phone (1) 202 458 2907. Fax (1) 202 522 0355
- Michel Camdesus, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund. Phone (1) 202 623 7000. Fax (1) 202 623 4661
US President Clinton will be meeting Indonesian President Jusuf Habibie and Foreign Minister Ali Alatas in Auckland, New Zealand at the APEC meeting this week. Correspondent Allan Nairn released information in Dili this morning indicating some of the continued links between the Indonesian military and the US. New Zealand foreign minister Don McKinnon noted yesterday that the diplomatic muscle of the United States is instrumental in pressuring Indonesia to halt the bloodshed in East Timor.
Contact US President Clinton urging him to cut military ties and cooperation with Indonesia and place increased diplomatic pressure on Indonesian President Habibie to halt the violence in East Timor.
Call, email or send faxes to:
President Clinton, Phone (1) 202-456-9481, Fax (1) 202-456-2883. Comment line (1) 202-456-1414.
And c/o US APEC Office in Auckland - tel (64) 9 307 9371, fax (64) 9 307 9372 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact PRESIDENT YUSUF HABIBIE, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Istana Negara, Gedung Binagraha, Jl. Veteran, Jakarta Pusat, INDONESIA. Fax: 00-62-21-345-7782; Telegram: President Habibie, Jakarta, Indonesia email@example.com. Send a copy of the letter to your national Indonesian embassy and Indonesian press.
For further information contact:
Peace Brigades International East Timor Project Phone (64) 6 345 0634 (New Zealand), or (1) 607-566-3453 (USA) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Wromeril@aol.com (USA)