|Subject: CONG: Press Statement by Lane
NEWS CONGRESSMAN LANE EVANS (17TH DISTRICT - ILLINOIS) VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, RANKING MEMBER ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE 2335 Rayburn Office Building-Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: 202-225-5905
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 7, 2000
STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN LANE EVANS RECOGNIZING ANNIVERSARY OF EAST TIMOR'S VOTE FOR INDEPENDENCE
This week marks the one year anniversary of East Timor's vote for independence. There is in fact little to celebrate in the way of self-determination for East Timor. Today, thousands of East Timorese live in bleak poverty, face constant fear of murderous militias and are held hostage from returning to their homes The Indonesian military has coordinated the instability and pillage of East Timor through direct support of militias that carry out unspeakable crimes.
This anniversary unfortunately is terribly overshadowed by the brutal murder of four members of the unarmed United Nations Peacekeeping staff in West Timor by Indonesian militias. One peace- keeper was a U.S. citizen whose body was burnt in the street in front of the UN mission. This crime against humanity highlights the inaction of the Indonesian government and inability of the military to control these militias.
On this very bloody anniversary, I join many of my colleagues in calling for the immediate end to our support for the Indonesian military until they can control the militias from their campaign of terror. The United States cannot continue to aid and support a regime that refuses to cease hostilities against its sovereign neighbor. I ask that the Administration reconsider our current relationship with Indonesia until they force the demobilization of these militias. The Indonesian military and police force need to recognize its responsibility for internal security and safety of Timorese refugees and peacekeepers. Finally, the government of Indonesia must actively pursue the prosecution of those responsible for this campaign of terror and destabilization. We cannot take their rhetoric at face value, but must demand solid results before we provide aid.
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