|Subject: East Timor May 20 Independence Day
resolution passed in Berkeley
On Tuesday, June 18 the Berkeley City Council adopted the resolution below, Note that the last line in the resolution supports an international tribunal on war crimes committed in East Timor.
Independence of East Timor
From: Councilmember Worthington
Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution supporting the Independence of East Timor.
Contact: Councilmember Kriss Worthington, District 7, 981-7170
Action: Adopted Resolution No. 61,631-N.S. (Noes Olds; Abstain-Armstrong)
Kriss Worthington Councilmember, City of Berkeley District 7 2180 Milvia Street, 5th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704 PHONE 510-981-7170 FAX 510-981-7177 firstname.lastname@example.org
June 18, 2002
To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Councilmember Kriss Worthington
Subject: SUPPORTS THE INDEPENDENCE OF EAST TIMOR RESOLUTION
That the Berkeley City Council supports the Independence of East Timor Resolution.
We congratulate the People of East Timor in their struggle and ultimate independence over tremendous odds against the brutal occupation of the Indonesian military. In the past, the City Council has supported the East Timor's fight for human rights, democracy and self-determination. It is now after two decades of hardship and sacrifice that the People of East Timor have triumphed over their adversaries, and the City of Berkeley joins in celebrating your new independence as a nation.
Councilmember Kriss Worthington 981-7170.
RESOLUTION NO. -N.S.
WHEREAS, on May 20, 2002, East Timor became the first new country of the millennium; and
WHEREAS, the perseverance and strength of the East Timorese people in the face of daunting challenges has inspired the people of the United States and around the world; and
WHEREAS, the people of Berkeley have a history of standing in solidarity with the people of East Timor, having actively supported the inalienable human rights of the Timorese, having hosted numerous visitors from East Timor for educational and cultural exchanges, and having passed a selective purchasing initiative targeting the Indonesian military's occupation of East Timor; and
WHEREAS, the Indonesian military brutally invaded and occupied East Timor on December 1975 with the backing of the U.S. government; and
WHEREAS, more than 200,000 East Timorese -- one-third of the population -- died through murder, forced starvation, and other means, and tens of thousands more suffered tremendous hardships to survive and resist the illegal occupation; and
WHEREAS, when the people of East Timor exercised their long-sought right to self-determination on August 30, 1999, 98.6% of the eligible population voted, and 78.5% chose independence in a United Nations-administered popular consultation despite months of systematic terror and intimidation by the Indonesian military and its militia; and
WHEREAS, the Indonesian military and its militia retaliated against this vote by murdering some 2,000 East Timorese, displacing two-thirds of the population, raping hundreds of women and girls, and destroying over 70% of the country¹s infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, up to one-tenth of the East Timorese population continues to live in squalid refugee camps controlled by militia leaders in Indonesian West Timor, the United Nations was forced to evacuate West Timor in September 2000 after a militia mob brutally murdered three United Nations aid workers, including United States citizen Carlos Caceres, and the United Nations Secretary General has reported that hard-line militia may still pose a long-term threat to East Timor¹s peace and security; and
WHEREAS, the people of East Timor have yet to see justice for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against them, and East Timor¹s nascent judicial system is under-resourced and lacks cooperation from the Indonesian government; and
WHEREAS, a large percentage of the population of East Timor lives below the poverty line with inadequate access to healthcare and education, the unemployment rate is estimated at 80%, and the life expectancy is around 48 years; and
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Berkeley City Council -
(1) Congratulates and honors the courageous people of East Timor and their leaders;
(2) Welcomes East Timor into the community of nations as a sovereign state;
(3) Remains committed to positive and mutually beneficial relationships between the people of East Timor and Berkeley;
(4) Urges members of Congress and the National Administration to make sure that the new country of East Timor will have the resources and international cooperation necessary to achieve a humane resolution to its refugee crisis, to support an international tribunal to ensure justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the East Timorese people, and to develop its human and natural resources in a way which benefits all East Timorese.