How to donate
Dear friend and ETAN supporter,
I have long admired the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), a clear, effective, and very much needed voice in support of justice, human rights, and accountability. ETAN is the only U.S. group to focus solely on both East Timor and Indonesia, and I am writing to urge you to support it as generously as possible.
Few if any other groups in this country are doing the work that ETAN has done for so long. By giving generously now, you can help ETAN meet the challenges of the coming year.
Almost a year ago, I pointed out to you that, "[d]espite President-elect Barack Obama’s familiarity with Indonesia dating from childhood, positive changes in U.S. policy toward Indonesia and East Timor are not assured." If anything, the new administration has muted human rights criticisms of allies; during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's February visit to Indonesia, for example, she downplayed these issues. The Pentagon is looking for loopholes so it may resume training of Indonesia's notorious Special Forces (Kopassus) unit, which stands accused of some of the worst human rights violations. Willing and eager to confront those in power whenever necessary—in Washington, Jakarta or Dili—ETAN opposes assistance to a largely unreformed Indonesian military that continues to resist accountability for its crimes in East Timor, West Papua, and elsewhere.
More than a year ago, the Wall Street Journal Asia editorial page urged then-President-elect Obama to continue the training and to resist “liberal Senators and interest groups,” criticizing ETAN by name for demanding that military assistance to Indonesia be conditioned on real human rights accountability. ETAN was not intimidated. It continues to apply pressure to put justice at the center of U.S. foreign policy. When President Obama makes his high-profile return to Indonesia in 2010, ETAN will provide important alternative perspectives on U.S. policy, past and present.
For 18 years, ETAN’s tenacity has had significant results and accomplishments, such as those described in the following paragraphs. East Timorese, Indonesian, and other activists have often expressed their appreciation for ETAN’s ongoing support for justice, self-determination, and genuine independence for East Timor and human rights and accountability in Indonesia. Please join me in supporting ETAN as it carries out this vital work.
This past August 30, the East Timorese people commemorated the tenth anniversary of their courageous vote for independence. The vote itself remains a remarkable tribute to what the human spirit can achieve. As part of the anniversary observance, ETAN helped organize and participated in a ground-breaking conference in East Timor on the continuing struggle for justice that reunited solidarity activists from around the world and brought them together with a new generation of Timorese activists.
ETAN remains central to international coordination of those seeking justice for the many human rights crimes committed—with U.S. backing—during Indonesia's Suharto dictatorship. ETAN works with groups in Indonesia and East Timor to pressure governments and the United Nations to fulfill past promises of justice they would rather forget. ETAN actively monitors ongoing threats to human rights in both countries, acting to apply pressure in defense of activists and others. Its e-mail lists, website, and blog are praised as irreplaceable sources of information and analysis.
Your support is crucial if ETAN is to continue this important work, all of which it accomplishes on a very modest budget. Nearly all of ETAN’s funds support its advocacy and educational work, with very little spent on fundraising or administration.
ETAN counts on your generous response to this annual appeal. Many non-profit organizations are now struggling financially. ETAN is no exception, making your donation at this time all the more important.
Thank you for joining me in supporting ETAN’s invaluable work.
P.S. You can contribute safely through ETAN's website below. Or you can mail your donation. To support ETAN’s political advocacy work, write a check made out to “East Timor Action Network.” For ETAN’s educational efforts, tax-deductible donations of over $50 can be made out to “A.J. Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN.” Please mail your donations to: ETAN, PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873