Summer 1998
A New Era in East Timor

Senate For Referendum

Timor Autonomy?

New Report

Activist Training

Upcoming Speaking Tours

ETAN Chapters Active

Constâncio Pinto, Simon Doolittle

Attacks on Ethnic Chinese Indonesians

Timorese National Convention in the Diaspora

Relief Fund

Canadian Movement Reorganizes

ETAN/US Web Site


Upcoming Strategy Conference

Boston Concert

Estafeta -
Spring 1998
Spring 1997

Selective Purchasing Legislation Supporting Rights of East Timorese Voted Into Law
by Mulaika Hijjas, ETAN Boston and ETAN Economic Committee Chair

On Monday, July 27, The City Council of Cambridge, Massachusetts, voted unanimously to approve a resolution which regulates city contracts with companies involved in the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Passage of this bill, cosponsored by Cambridge Mayor Frank Duehay and four City Councilors, means that the city will no longer do business with any companies which have sold military equipment to Indonesia, or have been drilling or prospecting for oil or natural gas in the Timor Gap. This decision makes Cambridge the second city in the nation, after Berkeley, California, to enact a selective purchasing resolution in support of East Timor. Among the companies effected are Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Textron, Chevron, USX/Marathon, Royal Dutch Shell, Phillips Petroleum, and their subsidiaries and parent companies.

East Timorese Resistance Representative Constâncio Pinto spoke at the meeting. Applauding the council’s decision, Pinto said, "this resolution sends a strong message to the corporations involved that they can no longer ignore their complicity in the human rights violations that take place in East Timor." Representatives from the Catholic Church and the Portuguese community also spoke in favor of the resolution.

The Berkeley resolution, approved last spring, has a much broader scope, requiring the city to divest its funds from most companies that have dealings with Indonesia, with exceptions for "fair trade" companies, humanitarian relief and medical aid.

Selective purchasing resolutions are an effective way of putting pressure on companies connected to the continuing occupation of East Timor, as well as of sending a strong message of support to the East Timorese. On the state level, such resolutions have recently come under attack by corporate interests and the World Trade Organization. A group of corporations under the banner of the National Foreign Trade Council is suing Massachusetts over the state’s law regulating state contracts with companies doing business in Burma. If the Burma law is struck from the books, all selective purchasing legislation will be threatened.

· For more information, lists of companies involved, or copies of the Cambridge resolution, contact Mulaika Hijjas at

· For information about the Berkeley resolution, contact Pedro Coelho at; 510-558-7101.

· For information about how to support the Massachusetts Burma law, contact Simon Billenness at; 617-423-6655, x225.