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Reign of Terror in East Timor 7 September 1999
 
Parti KeADILan Nasional condemns the involvement of the Indonesian
military in the violence that has engulfed East Timor since the
referendum of 4 September which saw the people voting overwhelmingly
for independence.
 
By siding with the pro-Jakarta militia which has unleashed a reign of
terror in East Timor, the Indonesian army has undermined the very
basis of its existence: to maintain law and order and to protect the
peace. It is a disgrace that army personnel are participating actively
in the killing, looting and arson on the island.
 
KeADILan calls upon the Indonesian government to rein in the army
immediately. If it fails to do this, it should order the army to leave
East Timor within the next 24 hours.
 
The Indonesian government should agree at once to the despatch of a
United Nations peace keeping force to East Timor. The primary
objective of the peace keeping force should be the dismantling of the
pro-Jakarta militia and other marauding mobs who have instilled fear
among the people of East Timor. Only then will law and order be
restored. KeADILan hopes that ASEAN countries will also join the UN
peacekeeping force.
 
The UN, ASEAN, and indeed peace-loving people everywhere have a moral
obligation to ensure that the people of East Timor are protected and
their independence preserved.
 
East Timor, it should be noted, was annexed by the Indonesian armed
forces in December 1975 in one of the most brutal military campaigns
in recent history. It is estimated that in the course of 24 years of
Indonesian occupation about 200,000 out of East Timor's 600,000
inhabitants have been killed -- direct or indirect victims of harsh
oppression by a quasi-military regime.
 
It is the suffering of the East Timorese that makes their assertion of
independence from Jakarta all the more poignant. For 24 years the East
Timorese had put up a gallant resistance against oppression. In the
end, the UN which had never recognised Indonesias annexation of East
Timor freed the people of East Timor, through a referendum. Though
freedom was won through the ballot-box, it is a freedom that was
bathed in blood and tears. The world must never allow the precious
freedom of the people of East Timor to be lost again.
 
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar
Deputy President
Parti Keadilan Nasional

 
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