etmnlong.gif (2291 bytes) spacer


Solidarity message on KontraS 8th anniversary

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) of the United States would like to extend its congratulations and deep gratitude to KONTRAS, the Commission for Disappearance and Victims of Violence, on the occasion of the eighth anniversary of its founding. Since 1998, KONTRAS has been a leading and inspiring force for democracy and human rights in Indonesia.

Shortly after the birth of KONTRAS, delegates from ETAN met with KONTRAS in Jakarta. It was at this time that ETAN first made contact with Munir, one of the foremost advocates of human rights in Indonesia and, indeed, all of Asia.

Following that first meeting, ETAN relied heavily on KONTRAS' courageous work in East Timor in documenting the TNI's brutality against the civilian population in the occupied country in 1998 and 1999. As ETAN's work has evolved to increasingly include matters of human rights and democracy in Indonesia, we have continued to rely on KONTRAS for its investigations and advocacy. ETAN activists have met with KONTRAS in Aceh, for example, and have found its support and guidance to be invaluable to our organization's efforts to understand better the human rights situation in violence-afflicted areas. At the same time, KONTRAS' continuing work on East Timor--specifically its monitoring of the ad-hoc trials in Jakarta and its role in exposing them as a hollow exercise in public relations--has been extremely beneficial.

East Timor is now free of Indonesia's military occupation, and significant democratic space has opened in Indonesia. Nonetheless, the murder of Munir--whose spirit will always remain in our hearts, the lack of full accountability for that crime, and efforts to silence KONTRAS and other human rights advocates through frivolous libel suits show how incomplete the democratic opening is and how far some will go to maintain the institutionalized impunity enjoyed by Indonesia's military and political establishment. At the same time, the ongoing state-perpetrated violence in West Papua and elsewhere and the complete failure of the Indonesian government to hold the TNI and political leaders accountable for their crimes demonstrate the desperate need for KONTRAS to continue and intensify its work. For such reasons and more, please know that you have the support of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network.

We look forward to working with you for many years to come in the struggle to protect human rights and bring about greater levels of democracy and accountability in Indonesia, and to create a U.S. foreign policy fully supportive of these goals.

Please accept our deep gratitude for your work and commitment.

In solidarity,

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)





make a pledge via credit card here

Bookmark and Share

Background | Take Action | News | Links | What You Can Do | Resources  | Contact

ETAN Store | Estafeta | ImagesHome | Timor Postings | Search | Site Index |