spacer UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

Passed at the 186th Annual Meeting of the United Church Board for World Ministries November, 1995.


WHEREAS Indonesia continues to occupy East Timor illegally in defiance of repeated United Nations resolutions; and

WHEREAS Indonesia's brutal invasion of East Timor in 1975 and subsequent occupation caused the deaths of approximately 200,000 people, fully a third of the population; and

WHEREAS through its program of "transmigration" the Indonesian government has encouraged thousands of Indonesians to settle in East Timor, resulting in a gradual, yet alarming marginalization of the indigenous East Timorese by taking away jobs and land; and

WHEREAS the physical development which has taken place under Indonesian rule has done little to benefit the East Timorese and has resulted in the destruction of their culture, and

WHEREAS human rights organizations and independent observers have documented a continued pattern of severe human rights abuses against East Timorese including beatings, torture, rape, abductions and extrajudicial executions; and

WHEREAS in January 1995 a visiting delegation from Church World Service and Witness learned that the situation in East Timor had not improved over the past decade but was, in fact, getting worse; and

WHEREAS in March 1995 the United Nations Human Rights Commission expressed its "deep concern over the continuing reports of violations of human rights in East Timor";

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the United Church Board for World Ministries

1. Deplores the continuing abuse of human rights and the climate of oppression in East Timor;
2. Acknowledges that neither the United Nations nor the international community has recognized Indonesia's annexation of East Timor;
3. Supports the rights of the East Timorese to self-determination and calls for the full participation of the East Timorese people in the just resolution of the political status of East Timor;
4. Supports the East Timorese (both within and outside East Timor) and the East Timorese churches in their struggle for justice, dignity, freedom from fear and the preservation of their ethnic and cultural identity;
5. Supports the application of the Christian Church of East Timor (GKTT) for membership in the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical bodies in order that the East Timorese church may have an independent voice;
6. Encourages, in the spirit of partnership, the Indonesian churches to stand in solidarity with those who are oppressed in East Timor and resolves to continue to advocate for the East Timorese with the churches of Indonesia;
7. Calls on the United States government to cease military aid, including military training, and the sale of arms to Indonesia as long as it continues its de facto military occupation of East Timor; and
8. Work within the UCC and with other religious bodies and concerned groups to increase the awareness of the on-going crisis in East Timor among U.S. policy-makers, the general public and local congregations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Executive Vice President of the UCBWM be requested to send copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, all U.S. Senators and Representatives and all appropriate ecumenical colleagues.

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