35th Anniversary of U.S.-backed Indonesian Invasion of East Timor
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Jose Ramos-Horta on ETAN

ETAN: 35th Anniversary of U.S.-backed Indonesian Invasion of East Timor

December 7 invasion day, via Timor Archives

Today, December 7, 2010, marks the 35th anniversary of the U.S.-backed Indonesian invasion of East Timor. On the 30th anniversary of Indonesia's full-scale assault on Timor, ETAN

"called on the world to listen to East Timor’s victims and act on their demands for justice. The group also urged the United States government to formally acknowledge its past support for Indonesia’s brutal military occupation of East Timor, and for the international community to learn from this history and never repeat the same crimes."

It is well-documented that the Indonesian military launched its 1975 invasion just hours after then President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gave their explicit permission to go ahead. They reassured Suharto that U.S. military support would continue, despite U.S. law and Indonesia's treaty obligations. U.S. weapons, military training and political supportenabled Indonesia to seize the territory and maintain its occupation for 24 years. These brutal events claimed the lives of up to 200,000 people.

The report of Timor-Leste's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (known by its Portuguese initials, CAVR) thoroughly documents the impact of the Indonesia's illegal invasion and occupation.
While the report was long ago officially delivered to the U.S. and other governments, the CAVR's recommendations to the international community remain largely ignored. anniversary. Despite being urged to do so, President Obama did not address these issues during his recent visit to Jakarta.

We continue to urge the U.S. government and Congress to seriously respond to the report by holding hearings and formally acknowledge the U.S. role in the suffering of the East Timorese and Indonesian peoples. The U.S. and others who backed Indonesia should apologize and provide reparations. The U.S. should work to establish an international tribunal to try those most responsible the heinous crimes committed in Timor-Leste from 1975-1999 and withhold support for Indonesia's security forces especially their most brutal units - including Kopassus, as recommended by the CAVR to encourage genuine accountability and promote reform. These forces continue to terrorize the people of West Papua.

adapted from posting on ETAN's Blog

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