ASIET statement on East Timor

May 5, 1999

Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor. April 23, 1999

Picture Cut all military ties with Indonesia!

Disarm the pro-integration terror gangs!

Indonesian army out of East Timor!

Self-determination now!

We oppose the war against the East Timorese people by both the pro-integration terror gangs and the Indonesian army (ABRI). We support the right of the Timorese people to defend themselves and to self-determination.

The Habibie government, which previously opposed independence for East Timor, has been forced to retreat by publicly stating that if the East Timorese rejected autonomy, then independence would be the next step.

Habibie was pushed to this point as a result of mounting pressure from the escalating protest movement inside East Timor, in particular by the student movement. The Habibie regime's hand has also been forced by the massive student protests in November 1998, the growing struggle for self-determination in Aceh and West Papua and the escalating social tension in many other parts of Indonesia such as Ambon and Kalimantan.

International pressure on the Habibie regime has to be stepped up, however, in the light of the activities of the pro-integration paramilitary terror gangs which operate in tandem with the Indonesian army.

The "cease-fire" announced on April 21 will do nothing to stem the violent attacks on East Timorese campaigning for self-determination unless the ABRI-backed terror gangs are disarmed, ABRI leaves and a referendum on self-determination can be held in peace.

For this to happen, we believe it is necessary that the United Nations be called on immediately to monitor the withdrawal of all Indonesian forces and that it, together with delegations of solidarity, trade union, peace, women's and church

representatives, supervise the referendum on independence.

We also call on the Australian government to:

  • step up the pressure on Jakarta to allow the United Nations to fulfill the above two tasks;

  • end its recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor;

  • end military ties with Jakarta; and

  • call on the Indonesian regime to withdraw its troops from East Timor and disarm the terror gangs.

Please endorse this statement by sending your name to ASIET, PO Box 458, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia. Donations can be sent to the same address; make cheques payable to ASIET.

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