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East Timor : provisional government? - Peace Council
8 September 1999
From the Peace Council (Aotearoa - NZ) - an open letter to NZ parliamentarians calling for the establishment of a provisional government for East Timor ...
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE PARLIAMENT OF NEW ZEALAND ON THE EAST TIMOR CRISIS
Because International aid is being withheld from East Timor on the spurious grounds that the illicit occupation by Indonesia is de facto legal and no action can be taken without Indonesian approval, the solution appears to lie in the immediate constitution and recognition of a Provisional Government of East Timor.
This will immediately legitimise East Timorese self-determination, illegitimate Indonesian occupation and circumvent the continuing equivocation and vacillation of the international community in respect of the continuance of this crime against humanity which is still with impunity taking place. The constituted provisional Government of East Timor can then lawfully call for immediate support from world governments.
There is a lack of international will based firmly within the support given and fully documented for the initial Indonesian invasion, support which ought to be accorded status as a war crime. It should be remembered that the invasion took place the morning after the departure from Jakarta of President Ford and Henry Kissinger, and the support for the invasion is recounted fully in US ambassador to the UN Daniel Patrick Moynahan's autobiography, when it was his duty to emasculate any UN reaction. He writes:
" The United States wished things to turn out as they did, and worked to bring this about. The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success."
This appears to still be what is occurring.
New Zealand parliamentarians should be proud of the fact that the first East Timor Committee support for the people was formed in Parliament Buildings immediately following the invasion and the meeting was held in my office and appointed the late Peter Hopkins as its organiser. In view of the US attempts to stifle opposition as mentioned above, the government's attitude that US involvement in any solution is essential seems to disregard the facts of the invasion.
Equivocation is costing lives additional to the 200,000 genocidal initial losses. With the Suez invasion in 1956 action to wreck the currency and the economies of Britain and France was threatened by President Eisenhower who was well aware of the implications as well as fully cognisant of the "military-industrial complex" which was his term. If the will existed to support the East Timorese that action could be immediate as it was with Suez.
Parliamentarians, in facing these issues have now surely come face to face with the nakedness of ANZUS as anything like a useful tool in events within our region
Please act, please cease equivocation, please desist from vacillation in those cases where it is occurring. Speak for New Zealand, speak for humanity.
Signed: Gerald O' Brien, President of Honour