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dove picturePMA newsletter - September 1999

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington.

Tel (04) 382 8129,
fax (04) 382 8173,


This newsletter is sponsored by Peace Council Aotearoa (NZ)

Link to earlier PMA newsletters.


News from the office
East Timor : the horror and the hypocrisy
Election special Book reviews PMA Working Group and Office Group
What's on where

News from the office

Another hectic few months since the last newsletter have alas resulted in a delay in bringing you this one. There have been so many issues requiring our attention, we can only provide a brief summary here. The carnage in East Timor, publicised by the mass media these past few weeks as though it were something new, has been a long term focus of our Action Alerts and Updates.

There has been loads of activity around APEC - criticism of the immediate and ongoing costs; and a feast of local and overseas speakers as part of the ongoing discussion about alternatives to (and protest against) the APEC circus and free trade ideology - Crispin Beltran, Jane Kelsey, Saul Landau, Annette Sykes, Antonio Tujan, Mereana Pitman, Moses Havini, Radha D'Souza to name but a few ...

In June the National Peace Workshops were hosted by the Riverside Community, cold weather but a warm welcome, lots of good food, workshops and information sharing. The government announced Te Kaha would be deployed to the Gulf as part of the economic blockade of Iraq - a decision immediately challenged on moral and legal grounds.

In July the latest plutonium shipments through the Pacific seemed a useful opportunity to campaign for extending the provisions of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty to create a genuine nuclear-free zone. Our suggestions on this were taken up by a number of groups - the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Wellington) have written to every South Pacific Forum government about it !

August began with our 'F16s, Frigates and other follies' update after the government confirmed its decision to lease-to-buy US F16 warplanes. On Aug 6, Hiroshima Day was commemorated in Nelson, Christchurch and Wellington - reminding us of the cost of nuclear weapons and the devastation their use, production and testing has wrought.

The PMA Annual General Meeting was held in Wellington in August, a valuable time for reflecting on our work since the last AGM, and for looking to the future. We have a new enthusiastic Working Group, new members and two new pledgers as a result of the AGM ! A Special General Meeting to discuss options for PMA's future will be held in November, details for members are enclosed with this mailing. Copies of the PMA Annual Report are available from the office, please send an SAE.

Our work in September has been dominated by requests for information and updates on East Timor; the beginning of the month saw the release of the Defence Beyond 2000 Inquiry report; the month ends with the International Week of Action to Stop the War against Iraq, and the worldwide vigils calling for the release of Mordechai Vanunu.

Aside from our ongoing networking and information work, we are now focussed on the Schools Information Project; and work is progressing on the Internet Peace Gateway, the provision of free web pages for peace groups, and the Peace Directory - if your group is interested in these, and didn't receive our mailing about them, please let us know.

Thanks as always to our volunteers: Saori and Catherine; to Lilian, Christine G, Bhamini and Viktor (now departed to paid work and other pursuits); welcome to Cecilia, Htwe and Gayle; a welcome and farewell to Joanna who worked on our accounts for three weeks while here on holiday !

East Timor : the horror and the hypocrisy

Horror is nothing new for the people of East Timor -colonised by Portugal more than 450 years ago, invaded by Japanese armed forces in World War II, then occupied by Indonesia in 1975. The death toll from the Japanese invasion is estimated at more that 40,000 lives, many because of reprisal attacks against the East Timorese who supported Australian troops. As the Australians pulled out, the now infamous "Your friends will never forget you" leaflet was airdropped over the island.

Despite their size, the WWII atrocities fade almost into insignificance when compared with those which have taken place since 1975. An estimated one third of the population killed - murdered, 'disappeared', executed or dead from starvation and diseases of malnutrition. Countless others raped, beaten, tortured - the list of atrocities is endless. Forced resettlement removed an estimated eighty percent of the population from their homes and lands. This was part of a deliberate policy of destroying East Timorese social structures and cultural practices.

From time to time the occasional report appeared in the mass media - in 1975 when five television journalists (including New Zealander Gary Cunningham) were killed by Indonesian soldiers; the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre.
Peace, justice and human rights groups around the world, and the occasional MP or journalist with a conscience, tried to bring the plight of the East Timorese to public attention, people campaigned against arms sales and other support to the Indonesian government - all with very little effect.

In 1998 alone, the East Timor Human Rights Centre (Australia) documented 2,350 instances of serious violations of civil and political rights in East Timor - including rape and torture, extrajudicial execution, disappearances, intimidation and persecution.

In February 1999 President Habibie announced that the East Timorese would be given a choice as to their future. The Indonesian armed forces immediately set about arming, providing transport, and training the thugs who would become known as 'the militias' - allegedly under no control, but with their murderous work directed by the Indonesian military.

The violence escalated - in February and March the East Timor Action Network reported dozens of East Timorese had been murdered, and more than 10,000 had fled from their homes.

In April, Christian World Service reported a wave of terror in Dili when truckloads of militia went to a pro-integration rally at the governor's office and later rampaged through the city attacking and killing people. Indonesian soldiers and police stood by cheering at the violence. Seventy-five NZ MPs signed a petition in April demanding that the Indonesian government act to end the killings in East Timor. Reports in the mass media during May said hundreds of people had fled parts of Dili after two days of militia violence.

UNAMET poster "Come together so we can walk forward"
(UNAMET poster)

On 5 May, the UN Secretary General and the foreign ministers of Portugal and Indonesia signed an agreement for a popular consultation of the people of East Timor to be held to decide the future of the proposed constitutional framework for autonomy - a 'yes' vote would mean East Timor would become part of Indonesia but have a degree of autonomy, a 'no' vote would mean independence.

The agreement stated that the Indonesian government and its security forces were obliged to uphold peace and guarantee security for everyone in East Timor. It was estimated at the time that there were around 18,000 Indonesian troops in East Timor and up to 8,000 police. If they had had the will to do so, surely they were there in sufficient numbers to 'keep the peace'?

However, it seems certain that there was absolutely no intention whatsoever to 'keep the peace'. In May the UN spokesman in East Timor said he had observed militias being trained on an Indonesian army base by men wearing Indonesian army uniforms (Dominion , 21-05-99). Leaked papers from Indonesian government sources predicted total chaos after the ballot, and recommended that "vital facilities be destroyed as Indonesians quit East Timor" (Dominion , 20-07-99).

In June, UNAMET (UN Mission in East Timor) was set up to run voter education campaigns, register voters and supervise the ballot. Other leaked documents showed a deliberate targeting of UNAMET staff, including advice to the militias to stone and beat the UN people and destroy their vehicles (Dominion , 16-07-99). Attacks were reported from around East Timor.

In July, Father Gerry Burns returned to Wellington from East Timor with grave concerns as to the well-being of the people - he was part of an aid convoy attacked by militias, the third attack on UN convoys that week. He reported on a range of atrocities perpetrated by the pro-integration forces aimed at intimidating those in favour of independence - homes burned out, people tortured and killed, bodies mutilated. Food production was dropping all over East Timor as people were afraid to leave their homes and work the fields in case they were kidnapped or attacked.

The militias had a deliberate policy of targeting aid convoys to the displaced persons; and of mayhem and destruction to terrorise the people to prevent them registering to vote. Father Gerry described an atmosphere of total terror.

The level of violence was sufficient to delay the close of voter registration, and then twice delay the ballot day. In the run-up to the ballot, various estimates put the number of persons displaced as a result of militia violence and threats at ten per cent or more of the population.

Yet despite this, the determination and courage of the East Timorese resulted in almost 450,000 people registering to vote, around ninety five percent of those eligible. The three week period between the end of voter registration and the ballot on 30 August was again marred by extreme violence, although the voting itself went comparatively peacefully.

On 4 September the result was announced - more than seventy-eight percent of the votes were in favour of independence. Amidst the joy and celebration of people seeing the hope of independence at last, all hell broke loose.
Despite the presence of UNAMET, a variety of foreign observers including NZ MPs there to observe the voting, and hundreds of journalists, the militias (directed in some cases by Indonesian police and soldiers) lost all control. They rampaged though Dili and towns and villages all over East Timor - raping, torturing, burning, slaughtering on a huge scale. Bishop Belo's residence and UN headquarters, formerly sacrosanct, now crammed to the brim with refugees seeking sanctuary, were attacked. The Red Cross compound was destroyed.

As the foreign observers and media fled the country, the East Timorese fled to the hills or were forcibly removed. Within two weeks, it was estimated around 600,000 East Timorese were internally displaced; a further 200,000 were refugees in West Timor and neighbouring islands. Despite UNAMET's repeated assurances that they would NOT leave after the consultation, fears for their safety meant all foreigners were eventually evacuated. Including some who did not want to go ...

Irene Slegt (one of three remaining journalists) reported that as herself and Minka Nijhais were about to leave the UN compound to investigate the level of starvation amongst those who had fled to the hills, the UN asked the Indonesian military to surround the compound to prevent any more refugees en tering. This also prevented the journalists from leaving, the evacuation time was brought forward secretly and they had no choice other than to go (The Guardian , 20-09-99).

Amidst outrage here and overseas, an outpouring of anger and protest, pressure was put on governments to act and prevent any further slaughter. The co-incidence of the APEC leaders' meeting in Auckland added to the pressure on the NZ and Australian governments in particular - as well as on the representatives of other 'economies' present.

The NZ government's response was considered by many to be totally inadequate, they refused to put East Timor on the official APEC agenda for discussion - nothing, not even front page newspaper photos with 'Dili burns' headlines; nor protest in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin would get in the way of promoting free trade. A petition launched by Caritas calling for international intervention and assistance to East Timor attracted 15,343 signatures in just five days.

There were calls for economic ties to Indonesia to be cut; for IMF loans to be suspended; arms sales, military training and assistance to be stopped immediately - to put pressure on the Indonesian government to accept armed UN peacekeepers and withdraw the Indonesian military from East Timor. There were calls for aid to be sent to assist the increasing numbers of fleeing Timorese, feared to be facing starvation. Australian unions stopped ships and aeroplanes bound for Indonesia, postal services and more.

For several farcical days, various governments said UN peacekeeping troops could not be sent without the Indonesian government's permission (as though Indonesia were the legitimate government of East Timor), there was a noticeable lack of willingness to deal quickly with the situation to protect the East Timorese from further harm.

Jose Ramos Horta flew into Auckland to campaign and the top level Indonesian delegation to the APEC meeting (including Habibie) stayed at home. The Indonesian government announced it would impose martial law to bring 'peace' to East Timor, the likelihood of that making any difference was disputed by many, including Mary Robinson (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) who reported "numerous reports of collusion between the TNI [Indonesian military] and the militias" (UNHCHR report on her visit to Darwin and Jakarta, 10 to 13 September 99).

Eventually public pressure prevailed and resulted in an agreement to deploy a multinational UN peacekeeping force, INTERFET, involving Australia, NZ, Ireland, Britain and Thailand - the first troops landed on 20 September.

As we go to press, INTERFET are trying to regain control of Dili and gradually moving out to other towns and villages across East Timor, food and other essential aid is starting to reach the people, the Indonesian armed forces are leaving, foreign journalists have returned, efforts to rebuild are beginning. Some East Timorese are returning to Dili and other towns, but hundreds of thousands remain displaced. Around 250,000 remain in camps in West Timor - there are grave fears for their safety, the UNHCHR report states women are repeatedly raped and militia violence in endemic in the camps. The camps are overcrowded, lacking basic sanitation, drinkable water and food.

East Timor - blood on many hands

Who supplied the weapons which have killed more than 200,000 people in East Timor since 1975?

Britain, United States, Australia, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Who trained the Indonesian armed forces to use those weapons?

New Zealand, Australia, United States, Britain, Netherlands, Germany, France ...

...stop the arms trade - stop the killing...

PMA leaflet, September 1999

So how did this happen? Who is responsible for this atrocious situation? Why was it allowed to deteriorate to the stage where even some peace people were calling for armed intervention because the violence was by then totally out of control?

Obviously the blame lies in the first instance with those who themselves took part in the atrocities and who gave the orders or direct assistance which made them possible. There is talk of the establishment of an International Criminal Tribunal to deal with those people.

But what of those who are just as culpable - those who armed, supported, and encouraged the Indonesian government these past twenty four years as the frightful genocide took place? Highlights of their complicity are outlined below, these refer to successive governments in the countries and regions, not to the individuals and groups who have protested against their governments involvement.

United States

  • President Ford and Henry Kissinger visited Jakarta just two days before the invasion in 1975, and apparently approved of it
  • US multinationals have benefited from the repressive control by the Indonesian armed forces in their exploitation of the people and land of East Timor
  • trained the Indonesian armed forces, including training in terror tactics and destabilisation such as those used by US 'elite' units in Vietnam
  • armed Indonesia
  • had the economic clout to put pressure on the Indonesian government to control the armed forces and militias BEFORE the voter registration and the ballot, both in terms of US investment and IMF/World Bank funds, but did not
  • since the post-ballot massacres, has suspended financial aid and announced the termination of military ties with Indonesia, but has not banned all arms sales.

  • armed Indonesia, supplied instruments of torture and crowd control; more weapons have been supplied by the current Labour government under its 'ethical' arms sales policy than ever before
  • since the post-ballot massacres, has announced a four month arms sale ban - but allowed the delivery of Hawk fighter-bombers to go ahead last week; and refused to withdraw the invitation for the Indonesian delegation to attend the massive government sponsored DSEi arms fair in England in mid-September.

European Union
  • many European governments have armed Indonesia and provided military assistance and training
  • since the post-ballot massacres, the EU has suspended military ties with Indonesia and at the insistence of David Andrews, Irish Foreign Minister, has agreed a ban on arms sales to Indonesia - for four months, not indefinitely as he asked.

  • officially recognised Indonesia's annexation of East Timor
  • signed the Timor Gap Treaty with Indonesia just two weeks after the Santa Cruz massacre, so Australia and Indonesia could jointly exploit offshore oil and natural gas reserves worth an estimated $(US) 11 billion
  • has armed Indonesia, and provided extensive training to Indonesian armed forces.
New Zealand
  • consistently failed to support UN resolutions in favour of the East Timorese
  • has trained Indonesian armed forces personnel and permitted joint military exercises with them
  • has not discouraged arms related exports from NZ companies such as Oscmar International who are thought to have supplied the Indonesian military with Infantry Weapons Effects Simulators (used to train soldiers)
  • has not had any moral difficulties with Suharto family wealth being used to purchase large tracts of land here
  • has consistently refused to withdraw the export licenses for Indonesian Skyhawk fighter-bombers being refurbished by Safe Air and the RNZAF (including two here now)
  • since the post-ballot massacres has suspended military ties with Indonesia, although four out of six Indonesian officers studying here at the time of the ballot remain.

What can you do now ?

bullet point Keep informed - monitor the mass media and read alternative sources of information. We have many many articles on East Timor which we are receiving in a never ending flow from around the world. Check out the East Timor section on our website which is updated every few days. If you do not have internet access, send an SAE to the PMA office and we will send you the list of articles posted on our website so you can order those which interest you.

bullet point Keep the pressure on - when you see something you disapprove of, or where you think something more could be done, send letters to newspapers and the Listener; write to the NZ and other governments; write to the UN agencies and the UN Secretary General. Contact addresses are available from PMA.

bullet point Give support - to those groups who are assisting the people of East Timor. These include :

  • Corso - send your donation to Corso Appeal for East Timor, PO Box 1905, Christchurch or telephone (03) 366 2803, fax (03) 366 8035 for more information. You can send a cheque made out to Corso, or details of your credit card.
  • Caritas - send your donation to Caritas Appeal for East Timor, PO Box 12 193, Wellington 6038 or telephone (04) 496 1742, fax (04) 499 2519 for more information. You can send a cheque or details of your credit card; for $20 auto-donation tel 0900 411 11.
  • Peace Brigades International (Aotearoa) - are planning an East Timor Project (at the request of East Timorese Human Rights groups) which will ensure a permanent presence of international volunteers in East Timor. For more information write to PBI, PO Box 7268, Wanganui, or tel Peter Watson, (06) 345 0634.
For further information, see PMA's main page on East Timor.

Election special

The election date has been confirmed but election fever doesn't appear to have smitten the populace at large as yet. There are many peace and social justice issues on which you could question your local candidates, here are some ...

Peace - in Aotearoa

Peace education - why aren't our schools educating for peace and teaching alternatives to violence and war? Should the armed forces be allowed to continue to recruit in schools, and to bribe tertiary students with promises of a student loan free degree or trade training? Why should the armed forces have these educational privileges that are extended to no other group in society?

Family violence - the Family Violence Network has a list of questions for candidates and parties around the issue of family violence, they hope people will use them to put family violence firmly on the political agenda so ways of ending this national tragedy can be implemented. For more information contact Claire Benson, PO Box 6181, Te Aro, Wellington, tel (04) 384 7028, fax (04) 384 7202.

Campaigning in the election - is the candidate / party conducting their campaign in a positive peaceful way, or negatively creating conflict - eg, attacking 'others'; making racist or homophobic statements; are they focussing on the issues or making personal attacks?

Peace overseas - foreign policy

Military alliances - do we want to be part of any military alliances? Are we always going to leap to attention and into action to support attacks on people overseas, with whom we have no quarrel, simply because the US / Britain has asked us to? The recently announced joint US-Australian task force to review ANZUS is worrying in this regard, as is the increasing number of US military persons (and indeed Clinton) visiting here to talk about renewed military ties, and possible re-integration into ANZUS. See also Military alliances & spending (Aotearoa / NZ)

Are we going to continue to have military exercises with the armed forces of countries with appalling human rights records and to train their military personnel? Are we to continue to exercise with the nuclear weapons states?

Are we going to continue to make ridiculously expensive purchases of military equipment that we don't need because the US / Australia expects us to? Interesting that the US Dept. of Defence has just announced its 'most aggressive attempt yet' to get allied defence forces inter-operable, presumably the new F16s fit right into that policy.

The case of Iraq - should NZ continue to support the economic sanctions which have caused the deaths of more than a million Iraqis since 1991? - See PMA's leaflet on Te Kaha, 'help make this an election issue'. Should NZ armed forces take part in future blockades of Iraq? Should NZ armed forces be offered to take part in any coalition attack on Iraq beyond the constant bombing raids by US and British warplanes? Should our government and armed forces be a party to genocide? For more information on this, see our comprehensive index of articles, updates and alerts on Iraq and East Timor.

UN peacekeeping missions - are we going to continue to send armed troops (amidst a chorus of complaints about lack of equipment and weapons) to areas of conflict overseas; or are we going to think about doing something new and different, well within our capabilities, and arguably more useful?

Perhaps we could set up a professionally trained and administered conflict resolution / practical assistance organisation to send to troubled areas BEFORE the point of armed conflict is reached. Or to assist reconstruction after natural or man-made disasters. The bulk of this organisation could be made up of volunteers, perhaps paid living expenses and given tax relief - this is an exercise in the imagination for doing something positive in the world ! And at considerably less expense than maintaining armed forces which this year will cost us $1,600,000,000.


Disarmament policy - an excellent summary of the disarmament policies of the various political parties, and a very handy template of policies they might agree to, was put together by the National Consultative Committee on Disarmament. The summary is a result of six months research by the NCCD.One thing which has changed since this was written relates to the F16s and Frigates - the Labour party has said it will support neither the lease-to-buy of the F16 warplanes, nor further frigate purchases. You can check out the NCCD Disarmament Template from here.

Arms exports (aka defence technology exports) - not so much of an issue in the past, but now more worrying. Tradenz is pushing 'defence technologies' as a valuable export earner, there has been a 30% increase in such sales over the past three years to a total of $96 million last year. In 1998 Tradenz spent $25,000 upping the profile of NZ defence companies, and the inaugural Defence Industry Committee Awards of Excellence were held in Wellington to recognise 'leaders in NZ's defence industry'.

As well, buyers are currently being sought for surplus weapons systems, most notably the Skyhawks which will be sold if and when the F16s arrive. According to a recent release from CAFCA, the Philippines are seen as a likely purchaser, and as they further point out ... "the Philippines military is the same huge and brutal monster as its Indonesian counterpart ... it also uses the same sort of militias as have wreaked such havoc in East Timor".


Referendum question on number of MPs - to reduce the number of MPs from 120 to 99. We guess your view on this depends on how you view democracy - if you believe it should be as representative as possible, then we need more (not fewer) MPs.

Powers of the SIS - the SIS Amendment Acts 1 and 2 have extended the powers of the SIS and done nothing to address the issue of lack of oversight of the activities of SIS agents. For more information on this, see previous PMA newsletters and updates, or check out the human rights section on our website, or our section on Spies and the SIS.

People vs big business - should NZ governments make international commitments at forums like the WTO, APEC etc without any genuine parliamentary, let alone public, debate? Should the NZ armed forces be used to 'police' conferences which push a particular economic and political ideology (they were allocated $1,431,000 for their efforts at APEC ... plus $165,000 for new night-sight binoculars)? For more information on APEC, the costs and other undesirable aspects, get hold of the six APEC fact sheets from the APEC Monitoring Group, PO Box 1905, Christchurch, ph (03) 366 2803, fax (03) 366 8035, Please also see the APEC and Globalisation section on our website.

Social justice

Treaty issues - Network Waitangi Wellington have recently published their thought provoking resource kit on Constitutional Change; the Wellington Tauiwi Women's Treaty Discussion Group has come up with a list of questions for candidates. You can get both from Network Waitangi Wellington, c/o Anne Wells, 63 Wade St, Wellington, tel/fax (04) 472 6425, the resource kit is $5.

WiN on Poverty election kit - has facts and figures on income, housing, health, education, employment, childcare, and retirement, as well as questions on each issue. An easy to read comprehensive guide, available from WiN, PO Box 9315, Wellington, tel (04) 384 8117, fax (04) 384 3301. Suggested donation of $10 for the kit.

Reducing foodbanks and the gap between rich and poor - the September issue of Signpost will focus on these and other questions related to poverty and inequality. Get yours from PO Box 11-132, Wellington, tel/fax (04) 385 3358. A small donation or SAE would be appreciated.

The five planks of the Hikoi of Hope - health, income, housing, employment and education are covered in this succinct compilation of statistics, stories and questions for candidates. From the Anglican Social Justice Commission, PO Box 7492, Wellington South, tel (04) 384 6240.

'Reclaiming the conversation' - a detailed discussion document on social justice issues from the Joint Methodist Presbyterian Public Questions Committee who also produced the very useful 'Myths about Poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand' (see flyer enclosed). Get both from JMPPQC, PO Box 9049, Wellington, tel (04) 801 6000. A large SAE or small donation would be appreciated.

Referendum question on reform of the justice system - this is the rather confusing question which calls for greater emphasis on the needs of victims, minimum sentences and hard labour for 'serious violent offences'. While no-one would argue with the needs of victims being met more adequately than they are now, this aspect of the referendum appears to be somewhat lost amongst enthusiasm for the second bit. We wonder if the 'serious violent offences' are linked in the public mind to the recent 'home invasion' bill, a type of offence which occurs comparatively infrequently compared with, for example, serious family violence. National Rape Crisis have a two page critique of this question, with suggestions of things to ask candidates - PO Box 6181, Te Aro, Wellington, tel (04) 384 7028, fax (04) 384 7202.

Social inequality breeds conflict, an unjust society cannot be a peaceful society. - PMA leaflet

From our book backlog

A jolly good read with a serious message best describes these two new books ...

The Moruroa Blues: a tale of spontaneous protest sailing adventure in the South Pacific - Full review and order form.

The Power of People: how Nelson province became nuclear free - the latest publication by the prolific, and much enjoyed, writer Will J. Foote was launched on Hiroshima Day.

This really is a great book - written in Will's inimitable style, combining humour with fact and belief, highly recommended for anyone with an interest in peace or the development of a local and regional campaign. Will says this is his last book, he ends it with a call to action ... "Nuclear weapons, conventional weapons, war itself must be consigned to the dustbin of History. There's only one thing that will do it - The Power of the People"

From Page & Blackmore, 254 Trafalgar Street, Nelson, fax (03) 546 6799," $9-95 plus $1 p&p.

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Building Peace in Bougainville
Geoff Harris, Naihuwo Ahai, Rebecca Spence (eds)

Review and Order form

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Kirisimasi: Fijian troops at Britain's Christmas Island nuclear tests
- (eds) Losena Tubanavau-Salabula, Josua Namoce, Nic Maclellan

Nearly 300 Fijian soldiers and sailors were involved in the British atmospheric nuclear bomb tests at Malden Island and Kiritimati during 1957-58. This book is based on interviews and material provided by more than 150 of those who witnessed the tests. This is their story in their words - a story of total disregard for their well-being at the time, and for their subsequent serious health problems.

As well as its unique contribution to the tragic story of Pacific peoples poisoned by nuclear bomb tests, the book provides a useful summary of the British government's Pacific tests, and a bibliography for further reading. There are photos, and the book is written in both English and Fijian. Sad but compelling reading - the absolute horror of nuclear colonialism never loses its impact, the sheer uncaring arrogance of colonial governments is monstrous.

Published by and available from Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC), Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji, fax 00 679 304 755, $US10, send as cheque or bank draft in equivalent Fijian dollars; or get an order form from the PMA office for credit card payments.

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PMA Working Group and Office Group

  • Joan Macdonald has been a PMA member since 1982; her peace work includes over twenty five years involvement in WILPF, anti-nuclear and Springbok tour protests, support of the Pacific Peoples Anti-Nuclear Committee (PPANAC) and PCRC when their office was in Auckland, People Opposed to Waitangi (POW) and anti-racism  work.

    Joan has worked with Network Waitangi since its inception; has been on the Council of the Peace Foundation for some years. She is currently WILPF Aotearoa section President, represents WILPF at the Auckland Branch of NCW, and is a Corso National Officer.

  • Alexander Ritchie became a PMA member in 1998 at the Activism in Aotearoa camp. He has been a regular supporter of the candlelight vigils opposing the sanctions on Iraq and the bombing of Yugoslavia. He has been involved in student protest at Victoria University in the last couple of years and is one of the students in the court case defending the right to protest in parliament grounds.

    Alexander is a member of Radical Society and has also had some involvement with Campaign for a Better City's anti-motorway actions and with Students for Free Tibet NZ, mostly in the capacity of web designer.

  • Catherine Amey has been a PMA volunteer since 1997 working primarily on our website, and helping out with fundraising and general work too. She was on the PMA Office Group during 1998. She has been involved with Food Not Bombs (Wellington) over the past couple of years; and was co-organiser of the weekly Iraq (then Yugoslavia) protest vigils. Catherine is a trained librarian, and worked for ECO from 1996 to 1998.

  • Lorraine Offord has a peace background which goes back many years; her uncle was 19 when he was sent by the British Army into Hiroshima and Nagasaki just weeks after the atomic bombs. She was involved in protest against NZ military involvement in Vietnam, and has supported a variety of peace and human rights groups since then. She joined PMA in early 1999.

    Lorraine currently teaches people with learning difficulties, is a health and education advocate, is Chair of Wellington Region Quality Public Education Coalition and Secretary of the Coalition for Public Health (Wellington region).

  • Tim Jones has been involved in peace work since 1981, firstly in the Otago Coalition for Peace and Disarmament and he took part in the meetings to set up what became PMA, initially based in Dunedin. Tim and Gabrielle Panckhurst shared the position of PMA's paid coordinator from 1982-1984, when the office moved to Wellington. Since then he has been involved in Peace Action Dunedin and Corso, and has been on the PMA Working Group and Office Group at various times during the past 15 years. Tim now lives in Wellington.

  • Amy Ross has been a PMA member since 1997, she worked with Women's Refuge, Rainbow Youth, AUWRC and the Pride Centre in Auckland; she currently works for Wellington Independent Rape Crisis and the Women's Centre. Amy is a trained facilitator and a self-confessed process freak !
What's on where

For ongoing details of what's happening, see PMA's page of current events and actions.


Auckland / Tamaki Makaurau

9 Oct - Award winning film "Life is Beautiful", WILPF fundraising dinner and film evening, 5pm at the Westwind Theatre, 177 Riversdale Road, Avondale. Tickets available from Rae tel (09) 828 6165 or Joan tel (09) 360 8001.

11 Oct - Human Rights Network Meeting, 5-30pm at the Race Relations Office.

28 Oct - Movement for Alternatives to Prison, AGM, 8pm at Ferndale House, Mt Albert.

25 Nov - The First Decade Conference, to mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Speakers Peter Newell, Pauline Tapp, Cindy Kiro, Moana Sinclair, Susan St John and more; at the Uni. of Auckland Conference Centre, for more info contact Alison Blaiklock, tel (09) 828 2209

28 Nov - WILPF fundraising breakfast, 9-30am at 1 / 5 Seymour St, St Mary's Bay, tel Joan (09) 360 8001.

Palmerston North / Te Papa-i-Oea

27 Oct - opening of GLOBAL EYES art exhibition by Artists against APEC, 5pm-7pm at Cafe Cuba.

27 to 29 Oct - APEC hits Palmerston North in the form of the 'Contribution of Science, Engineering and Technology to Sustainable Economic Development in the APEC region' conference. For details of alternative actions, contact Natasha at MUSA (06) 350 4500 or Jenny (06) 350 5021.

Lower Hutt / Te Awakairangi

26 Oct - Election Special ! meeting of the Waiwhetu-Lower Hutt Peace Group, 8pm at the Waiwhetu Uniting Church hall, 6 Trafalgar St (cnr Grenville and Trafalgar Sts).

Wellington / Whanganui a Tara

20 Oct - 'Public Participation and the Environment', Dr Laurie Jackson, 5-30pm to 7-30pm at Turnbull House, 11 Bowen St, entry by gold coin donation, ECO.

22 Oct - 'New Zealand in the New Millennium - a conversation with ourselves', Chaired by Ian Fraser, discussion panel of Terence O'Brien, Chris Laidlaw, Denis O'Reilly, Gaylene Preston, George Salmond, Alan Brunton and Ann Evans. Audience participation welcomed ! 5pm to 7pm at Turnbull House, 11 Bowen Street. IPPNW.

25 Oct - Wellington Friends of Tibet AGM, contact Rick (04) 239 9971,

30 Oct - GE Free NZ Music Festival, Shona Laing plus Wayne Mason, The Offbeats and others. 12pm - rally at parliament and march to Frank Kitts park; 1pm to 6pm - festival and music at Frank Kitts Park. If rained off, it will be held on 31 Oct. Organised by RAGE.

6 Nov - PMA SGM, contact PMA office for details.

Ongoing to 23 Nov - Community Training Programme including 'Strategic Planning', 'Negotiation and Conflict management', 'Management Committees / Boards', for details contact WELCOSS, fax (04) 385 3564.
Upper Moutere

13 Nov - Top of the South regional peace groups meeting, at Riverside Community, 10-15am, BYO lunch to share.

Dunedin / Otepoti

8 Oct - Rally for East Timor, 6pm in the Octagon. For more info tel CORSO (03) tel (03) 477 3395, fax (03) 474 0736,


25 Oct - Labour Day, details confirmed so far (as more come in they will go out on the email 'what's on'), WELLINGTON - 12 noon to 2pm in Civic Square, rally, drummers, opera singers, trade union choir, speakers, food, refreshments. It's time to elect a workers government !

12 to 14 Nov - National Treaty Workers Gathering - 'The Heart of the Matter - the decolonisation of Pakeha and Tauiwi', hosted this year by Network Waitangi Otepoti, PO Box 1375, Dunedin, tel (03) 477 3395, fax (03) 474 0736,


17 Oct - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. 26 & 27 Nov - International Buy Nothing Day. 30 Nov - Global Day of Resistance, Action and Carnival against Economic Globalisation - part of the international mobilisation against the WTO meetings in Seattle. Year 2000 - UN Year for the Culture of Peace; 2001 to 2010 - International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World. Further information on all of these is available from the PMA Office.

Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of all PMA members or the Working Group.

COPYRIGHT Peace Movement Aotearoa 1999. Permission is given for written material to be used by groups and individuals sharing our aims and objectives - please credit sourced material to its original source, unsourced material to PMA.

Link to earlier PMA newsletters.

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