Indonesian students support East Timorese


Following are major excerpts from a statement on the Dili massacre adopted by representatives of University Student Senates throughout Java.

Indonesian students who are members of the Communications Forum of Student Senates throughout Java used the occasion of their National Meeting on November 20 and 21 1991 at Parahyangan University, Bandung, to discuss the bloody incident in Dili, East Timor, on November 12, 1991.

We agreed on the following demands directed specifically to the Indonesian government:

1. We condemn the bloody incident in Dili on 12 November 1991, the spilling of the blood of hundreds of "expendable" human lives which, in our opinion, could easily have been avoided.

2. We call on the Indonesian government — in the name of humanitarianism and to preserve the good name of the nation and state in the eyes of the world community, and to avoid being branded as an uncivilised nation with no respect for basic human rights — to allow an international (UN) team to conduct an investigation so as to ensure that an objective and independent investigation is conducted, and to dissolve the National Commission of Investigation, whose independence is untrustworthy as it is composed of people from government circles. We also strongly insist that the Polkam [Politics and Security Department] investigation team headed by Major-General Sudewo, deputy chief of BAIS [the army's strategic intelligence agency] should be disbanded; the armed forces should themselves be the object of investigation because they are the ones who were involved in the bloody onslaught of November 12.

[Point 3 attacks members of the state-sponsored youth organisation, KNPI, who have been demonstrating outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta.]

4. We demand the release of our 70 co-students from East Timor who held a demonstration at the UN office, the Japanese embassy and the Australian embassy on November 19, as well as 10 Bandung students who are now in custody in the police detention centre in Bandung.

5. We demand an end to the arrest and torture of relatives of the East Timorese students who are being held at Polda Metro Jaya, Jakarta.

6. We demand that the government make public information about the death of an East Timorese student while in police custody at Polda Metro Jaya, after having been tortured beyond all endurance by the police, the Jakarta military command and BAIS.

7. We call upon the world community to exert pressure on the Indonesian government by imposing an arms embargo and possible economic sanctions until the Indonesian government and the armed forces begin to respect the human rights of people in Indonesia and stop extinguishing human life as a way to crush protest and discontent ttention being shown by world opinion towards events in East Timor reveals grave concern at the methods used by the Indonesian government, and is proof of worldwide solidarity for the universal respect for human rights. It is petty narrow-mindedness to regard such a response as a hostile act or outside intervention in the internal affairs of the Indonesian nation and state. It is essential to distinguish clearly between "the government" on the one hand, and "the nation" and "the state", on the other.

8. We call on the Indonesian government to withdraw all elements of the armed forces from East Timor without delay and give the people of East Timor absolute freedom to "exercise their right to self-determination", in order to put a halt to any more spilling of blood.

9. We are resolute in our determination to carry out actions in opposition to armed violence against the people of East Timor until these demands have been met.
Bandung, 23 November 1991.