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ACTION ALERT AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
October 22, 1998

U.S. Congress Supports East Timor's Self-Determination
URGE PRESIDENT CLINTON & the STATE DEPARTMENT to Support Self-Determination Too!

Your Calls Do Make a Difference

What you can do TODAY to support East Timor:

Urge the PRESIDENT and the STATE DEPARTMENT to support self-determination for East Timor

Call or write President Clinton and the State Department. Tell them to:

  • support a UN-supervised referendum on self-determination. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives say that U.S. policy should support a democratic vote on East Timor's political status. The Clinton administration should follow their lead.
  • press the Indonesian government to free all political prisoners in Indonesia and East Timor and make substantial and monitored troop withdrawals from East Timor in preparation for a UN-supervised referendum.

White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111 Fax: (202) 456-2461; The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC 20500; e-mail: president@whitehouse.gov 

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: (202) 647-5291 Fax: (202) 647-6434; U.S. Department of State, 2201 C St. NW, Washington DC 20520

Assistant Secretary of State for E. Asian and Pacific Affairs Stanley Roth Fax: (202) 647-7350; Virginia Murray or Bob Clarke at the Indonesia Desk: (202) 647-1823.

Urge your REPRESENTATIVE to end U.S. military training to Indonesia

Write or phone your member of the House of Representatives; tell him or her to:

  • support Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Lane Evans' (D-IL) "International Military Training Transparency and Accountability Act" (HR 4874). We need your help to ban all remaining military training to Indonesia! This bill closes loopholes for U.S. military training of Indonesian troops and expands upon Nita Lowey's International Military Training Accountability Act (H.R. 3802).

Call your REPRESENTATIVE via the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or their local offices.

From October 22 through the end of 1998, members of Congress will mostly be in their home districts. (They may be back in Washington in mid-November.) This is the perfect time to schedule meetings -- before or after elections. Make East Timor a campaign issue!

Write to Rep. _________, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.

For a current list of Congressional e-mail addresses, office and fax numbers.

See text of legislation and the current co-sponsors.

BACKGROUND & UPDATE

Thanks to your efforts, Congress took a number of important steps to pressure Indonesia during its recent session. With your help, we can build on these victories and turn administration policy to explicitly support self-determination for Indonesian-occupied East Timor.

Recent events in East Timor show that continued pressure is needed. Soon after Indonesia grandly announced major troop withdrawals, thousands of fresh troops arrived and reports of human rights violations increased. In October, East Timor's governor said he would fire any East Timorese civil servants who refused to pledge their support for Indonesian rule. In response to these attempts at intimidation, the East Timorese have organized a series of mass demonstrations in the territory, calling for self-determination.

In recent actions, Congress voted to maintain the ban on IMET military training aid and the use of U.S.-supplied weapons in East Timor. Congress has also demanded a full accounting of all overseas military training programs and banned the training of military units with known human rights violators.

Efforts to ban all military training for Indonesia continue. With your support, Reps. Chris Smith and Lane Evans' new "International Military Training Transparency and Accountability Act" may be acted upon in this Congress. The bill would make clear that when a country is barred from receiving one type of military training , then it cannot receive any similar training.

On July 10, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 237 calling on President Clinton to "work actively to support an internationally supervised referendum on self-determination." Such a referendum would allow the East Timorese to determine their own political status.

In October, the entire Congress went on record in support of East Timor's self-determination. It passed language from the House resolution on a referendum (H.Con.Res. 258) in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998. It states "that the current economic and political changes in Indonesia offer a rare opportunity for the Government of Indonesia to take bold and innovative steps to deal with the East Timor issue" and supports "an internationally supervised referendum to determine a comprehensive settlement of the political status of East Timor."

Please pressure President Clinton to heed congressional directives to actively support East Timor's self-determination.

On December 7, 1975 Indonesia brutally invaded East Timor. By the early 1980s, the subsequent occupation had claimed the lives of more than 200,000 East Timorese, at least one-third of the population. For over two decades the United States has supported this horrific war on East Timor.

Last May, the Indonesian pro-democracy movement accomplished what once seemed impossible: it forced President Suharto to resign in disgrace. But Suharto's replacement, B.J. Habibie, is not much of an improvement. He will not lead Indonesia away from military domination, or accept self-determination for East Timor, without ongoing international pressure.

Please forward the results of your contacts to ETAN's Washington office.
Lynn Fredriksson, Washington Representative East Timor Action Network 110 Maryland Avenue NE #30, Washington, DC 20002 202-544-6911; 546-5103 (fax); etandc@igc.apc.org

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