"End the bloodshed"
Last Thursday May 27 community groups, churches and trade unions took action around Australia to show their solidarity with the people of East Timor. The rallies gave an opportunity for concerned Australians to demand an immediate end to the militia violence and support the right of the East Timorese people to a free vote on their future. ACTU President Jennie George said that Australian union members needed to do all they can to support the human rights of the East Timorese people. "We must send a signal to the Australian Government and the Indonesian military that the violence and intimidation ... must end", said Ms George. "Unions and the Australian Community need to let the East Timorese people know that Australians are supporting them." On the ABC program Background Briefing on May 23, Dan Murphy, an American doctor who has been working in East Timor at the Motael Clinic, said that outside forces were going to have to take charge as there is no security inside East Timor. He believes that the only hope is an international peace-making effort. Dr Murphy also stressed that all the weapons are on one side — the Indonesian military and militias. He told of massive brutality occurring in East Timor. During the Liquica Massacre, people went to the church for refuge — they were murdered by the militias. Others sought shelter in a house. The militias tear gassed the house and shot the people as they emerged. Dr Murphy also expressed frustration because he does not have adequate resources to cope with the situation. He is not a surgeon and the Motael Clinic is not geared for large numbers of surgical casualties. Sister Josephine Mitchell, an administrator of the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies, reports that wounded young East Timorese are going to Indonesian hospitals but are not receiving treatment. It is clear that the change of leadership in the Indonesian regime one year ago has not stopped the bloodshed and terror and that the regime is using the militias to try and force the people to accept autonomy with Indonesia, instead of a vote on independence. A statement by the Campaign for an Independent East Timor (SA) last week called on western countries to stop their callous appeasement of the brutal Indonesian regime and bring an end to the terror, bloodshed and suffering in East Timor. At the ACTU rally in Adelaide there was a call for Indonesia to withdraw all its troops from East Timor before the August referendum on independence and for an international boycott of military co-operation with Indonesia. NO MORE EAST TIMORESE BLOOD FOR OIL!