JOIN ETAN's Campaign to Bring the East
Timorese Refugees Home
On August 30, 1999, almost 80% of the population of East Timor voted for
independence from Indonesia. Within hours of the announcement of the results
on September 4, a systematic campaign of terror was launched by the Indonesian
armed forces and their militias. Unknown numbers of East Timorese were
murdered, raped, and tortured. Approximately three-quarters of the population
was displaced. In a coordinated manner, the Indonesian military and its
militias forced hundreds of thousands of East Timorese at gunpoint to board
trucks, boats, and even airplanes. They were taken either to Indonesian West
Timor or off the Timor island to other parts of Indonesia. Some were taken out
to sea by boat and never seen again. By the end of September, over 250,000
East Timorese were living in refugee camps in West Timor. By the end of 1999,
UN agencies reported over 125,000 had returned to East Timor either through
their own or organized efforts. However, more than 100,000 East Timorese
remain unable to return home, nearly five months after the announcement of the
referendum results and despite repeated pledges by the Indonesian government
to remedy the situation. Thousands taken to other areas of Indonesia remain
unaccounted for. It is time to bring the East Timorese home.
Call or write the following to urge that all refugees who wish to return home
can do so safely and immediately! Urge the the Indonesian government to
fulfill its promises by ensuring a safe and quick return of East Timorese.
- 1. Ambassador Dorodjatun Kuntjoro Jakti at the Indonesian Embassy:
Tel: 202-775-5200, Fax: 202-775-5365.
- 2020 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036
- 2. Ambassador Makarim Wibisono at the Indonesian Mission to the UN:
Tel: 212-972-8333, Fax: 212-972-9780.
- 3. President Abdurrahman Wahid Leave messages for him with the
State Secretary at the State Ministry. This is a long distance
call, but it's worth it: Tel: 011-62-21-384-7198, Fax:
- Office of the President, Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Indonesia
In addition urge the Indonesian government to guarantee:
- humanitarian aid workers complete open access to refugees in all
camps, including those taken to areas outside of the Timor island.
- an end to Indonesian armed forces collusion with militia groups.
- separation of the militia from civilian refugees. Militia groups must
be removed from the camps, disarmed and disbanded, and brought to
justice. No East Timorese should be forced to choose whether they wish
to remain in Indonesia or return to East Timor in a climate of
4. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Stanley
Tel: 202-647-9596, Fax: 202-647-7350
Rm. 6205, Dept. of State, 2201 C St., NW, Washington, DC 20520
Tell him the=20U.S. must immediately step up the pressure on Indonesia to
expedite the return of all refugees who wish to go home. Bring up the
same points as for the previous 3 calls to Indonesian officials, and add that
an organized system must be put into place to track and locate East Timorese
L CONGRESSIONAL CALL-IN DAY
Congress comes back into session the last week of January. Welcome your
Representative and Senators on Wednesday, January 26 with a message
urging stepped up U.S. pressure on Indonesia to expedite the return of all
East Timorese refugees in Indonesia who wish to go home. Urge your member of
Congress to participate in congressional delegations to investigate conditions
in East and West Timor. The congressional switchboard number is
202-224-3121, or consult
http://www.congress.gov for other contact information. Contact your
local League of Women Voters to determine your members of Congress.
Actions You Can Take:
- WRITE letters to the editor. Ensure that East Timor and refugees in
Indonesian remain on the agenda of international, national, regional,
and local media coverage. For sample letters to the editor,
consult the ETAN website at www.etan.org. Contact John M. Miller at email@example.com
or 718-596-7668 for further assistance.
- MEET WITH your Senators and Representative. In-person meetings are
effective means of keeping your Members of Congress updated and actively
focused on events in East Timor. For tips on congressional
meetings, consult the 20/20 Vision website at www.2020vision.org,
or call Karen at ETAN's Washington, DC office at 202-544-6911.
Please let ETAN know the
results of your contacts. Thank you for your support.
For additional background information, see ETAN's web site
http://etan.org/action/action1/2back.htm or send a blank e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of ETAN's backgrounder on the refugees.
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