East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
ETAN's John M. Miller and Charles Scheiner (right)
receive Order of Timor from President Taur Matan Ruak (center).
the privilege of attending last May’s official ceremony in Dili on the
tenth anniversary of Timor-Leste’s
hard won restoration of independence.
Timor-Leste inaugurated its newly-elected President as fireworks
exploded in celebration.
later, I was honored to accept on ETAN's behalf the Order of Timor-Leste
-- the nation's highest honor. Timor-Leste's just-inaugurated President
Taur Matan Ruak presented the award to ETAN (and to ETAN co-founder
Charles Scheiner for his individual efforts) as the nation's thanks for
our work in support of the country's liberation. I am proud of the
part we played in the Timorese struggle for independence and since. We
could not have done it without your steadfast support.
The medal now has pride of
place in ETAN's Brooklyn, NY office, reminding us of all that we have
accomplished over the years. The honor also reminds us of how much many
East Timorese relied on our support. During my visit, people repeatedly
told me of their faith and confidence that ETAN will continue to provide
support and solidarity for their fledgling nation.
I am writing to urge you to
give generously so that ETAN can continue to support human rights,
justice and accountability, democracy, and an
sustainable future for Timor-Leste. Our work is only possible with your
began as the East Timor Action Network soon after the 1991
Santa Cruz massacre when Indonesian troops -- firing their
U.S.-supplied weapons -- killed peaceful demonstrators. Hundreds of
young Timorese were murdered, and the eyewitness accounts from that day
inspired us to action. ETAN's relentless grassroots pressure persuaded
the U.S. Congress to end taxpayer-funded training for Indonesian
soldiers in the United States and eventually changed U.S. policy from
support of Indonesia's illegal occupation to support for Timor's right
ETAN is "A voice of reason, criticizing the administration's
reluctance to address ongoing human rights violations and escalating
oppression in West Papua and against religious minorities throughout
- Noam Chomsky
Timor is now the independent Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and we
remain committed to supporting its people in pursuing justice not only
for the victims of the Santa Cruz massacre, but for all the victims of
the U.S.-backed Indonesianinvasion
and occupation. We continue to highlight the complicity of U.S.
government officials in the oppression of the people of Timor-Leste,
West Papua, and elsewhere in the Indonesian archipelago, including
Henry Kissinger, who gave a green light to the invasion of
last month, a now-high ranking State Department official recalled her
time as a human rights officer in Washington more than a decade ago. She
described ETAN as “punching above its weight” in revealing ongoing
Pentagon training of Indonesian soldiers, leading Congress and the State
Department to cancel the program. She said that she often uses ETAN as
an example of effective citizen action, and that our work in the 1990s
has had lasting, worldwide impact in curtailing U.S. training for
armies which violate human rights.
we changed our name to
the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network to emphasize our
support for human rights and democracy in Indonesia, where U.S.
engagement with the military and police has encouraged them to resist
accountability. In the past year, the U.S.-created and trained
Detachment 88 has been engaged in a number of rights violations in West
Papua and elsewhere. ETAN continues to oppose the administration’s
efforts to re-engage with the Indonesian military’s
notorious Kopassus special forces and plans to sell Indonesia’s
deadly Apache attack
2012 commemoration of Santa Cruz
massacre, Dili. Photo by Manuela Leong Pereira via Facebook.
continue to work with the West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT), helping to
produce the respected monthly West Papua Report. We work
with WPAT and others in supporting human rights and peaceful solutions
in the region.
Chomsky has called us "a voice of reason, criticizing the
administration's reluctance to address ongoing human rights violations
and escalating oppression in West Papua and against religious minorities
information sharing and networking provide vital links among activists
and others around the world. Our long-running
firstname.lastname@example.org email list keeps an expanding list of more
than 3000 direct subscribers – including journalists, policy makers,
East Timorese officials, activists and students -- informed with news
and analysis of events affecting Timor-Leste and on solidarity around
subscriber recently thanked us for "the excellent work you have been
doing these last years in keeping all people interested in Timor-Leste's
present and future duly informed. Your objectivity and professionalism,
providing an essential space for everybody to express itself freely
has been a great contribution to consolidate Timor-Leste's emerging
democracy. It is an example of how to give voice to the civil society
and others at relatively low costs, an example that many other countries
Many in Timor-Leste, West Papua, and Indonesia continue to expect a lot from
ETAN. I know, because I receive their requests for information and
pleas for action. With your help, we can better respond to their
requests and needs.
works with advocacy and human rights organizations in Timor-Leste, West
Papua, Indonesia and elsewhere, because together we are stronger.
past year, we placed international volunteers with local groups in Dili,
to assist their monitoring of national elections in Timor-Leste.
continue our crucial work, we face a number of challenges. ETAN has
never been very large or well-funded. We have become skilled at doing a
lot with relatively limited human and financial resources. However, we
have lost opportunities and with your help we could be doing more.
Many in Timor-Leste and Indonesia
continue to expect a lot from ETAN. I know, because I receive
their requests for information and pleas for action. With your help, we
can better respond to their requests and needs. We have many ideas for
possible projects, but we need your help to gather the necessary
resources to implement them.
I hope you will support ETAN.
Please give generously now to help strengthen ETAN as we meet the
challenges of the coming years.Thank you!
A luta continua,
consider becoming an ETAN sustainer by making a monthly donation by
credit card. Help put ETAN on a firmer financial footing:
campaigned for Timor-Leste's independence for many decades, and
as President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for the
last five years, I know that ETAN has consistently supported our
people during bad and good times."
Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate,
Former President, Timor-Leste
Donations of any size for ETAN's political and advocacy work should
be made out to ETAN and are not tax-deductible.
U.S. tax-deductible checks
for more than $50 can also be made out to "AJ Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN"
only be used to support our educational work.
your donation to:
PO Box 21873,
you for your support!
Become an ETAN Sustainer, make a
pledge via credit cardhere