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U.S. Activists to Gather in Timor-Leste for Anniversary of
Historic Independen
 John M Miller
 Aug 12, 2009 05:49 PDT 



ETAN to Gather in Timor-Leste for Anniversary of Historic Independence Vote

Contact: John M. Miller +1-917-690-4391 (New York, before August 14);
+670-746-7636 (Dili, from August 17) jo-@etan.org

August 12 - Members of the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action
Network (ETAN) will gather in Timor-Leste later this month to
<http://www.laohamutuk.org/solidarity/index.htm>commemorate the tenth
anniversary of the country's historic vote for independence.

"In Dili we will demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Timorese
people," said John M. Miller, ETAN's National Coordinator. "We will
join with Timorese and international activists to look back at the
East Timorese struggle for independence and to evaluate the new
nation's course since those momentous events. We will explore with
our Timorese friends how we can best support Timor-Leste in the future."

"We will also strongly reaffirm our commitment to
<http://www.etan.org/issues/h-rights.htm>justice and accountability
for the years of crimes against humanity committed by Indonesia with
U.S. government backing," he added.

"Our goal is to return home with a deeper understanding of today's
Timor and a strengthened commitment and concrete plans for ongoing
ties with the people of the still struggling nation," added Pam
Sexton a member of ETAN's Executive Committee who has been living in
Timor-Leste during the past year.

"The anniversary should not serve only as platform for
self-congratulatory speeches by the international community and
politicians" said Charles Scheiner, an ETAN co-founder.

"The United Nations and its members need to clearly understand the
impact of their failure to help the Timorese people from Indonesian's
invasion in 1975 through 1998. International support since then needs
to be made more effective and responsive to Timorese needs," added
Scheiner works with <http://www.laohamutuk.org>La'o Hamutuk, a local
organization founded soon after the independence vote to monitor
international institutions and foster grassroots participation in
decision-making.

Contact ETAN to arrange interviews from Timor-Leste.

Background

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and illegally occupied the
territory until October 1999, with backing from the United States and
other powers. On August 30, 1999, the East Timorese people voted
overwhelmingly for independence in a UN-organized referendum.
Following the vote, Indonesian security forces and their militia laid
waste to the territory, capping nearly two and half decades of brutal
occupation with the destruction of 75% of the buildings and
infrastructure. Timor-Leste's
<http://www.etan.org/news/2006/cavr.htm>Commission for Reception,
Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) estimates that up to 184,000 Timorese
people were killed as a result of the occupation. Timor-Leste became
independent in May 2002.

ETAN was a major participant in the
<http://www.etan.org/ifet/ifetop.htm>International Federation for
East Timor's Observer Project, one of the largest international
observer missions for the vote in 1999. ETAN members also served as
observers with church and parliamentary delegations.

ETAN was formed in 1991 to advocate for self-determination for the
occupied country. The U.S.-based organization continues to advocate
for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste and
Indonesia. ETAN recently won the
<http://www.etan.org/news/2009/07award.htm>John Rumbiak Human Rights
Defenders Award. For more information, see ETAN's web site:
http://www.etan.org.


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ETAN looks forward to your support. Go to
http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm to donate. Thank you.

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: (718)596-7668 Mobile phone: (917)690-4391
Email jo-@etan.org; Mobile phone: (917)690-4391 Skype: john.m.miller

Web site: http://www.etan.org
Twitter: http://twitter.com/etan009
Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/134122?recruiter_id=10193810

Send a blank e-mail message to in-@etan.org to find out
how to learn more about East Timor on the Internet

Winners: John Rumbiak Human Rights Defender Award for 2009

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