Genocide in East Timor:
STOP THE BLOODBATH
The inaction of the Australian Government makes it an accomplice in the mass murder of East Timorese now being carried out by the Indonesian military. The Government should be condemning the Indonesian Government for this slaughter and pushing hard for strong UN intervention. Instead, they are sitting on their bloodied hands claiming they can do nothing as the genocide of the East Timorese is perpetrated. Urgent action is needed. The bloodbath will continue unless the United Nations responds to the calls of the East Timorese for intervention. The Indonesian army and militias are openly working together to wreak new terror on the streets of Dili and elsewhere in the country. The International Federation for Timor's Observer Project (IFET-OP) reports the following places have been attacked in Dili: * Bishop Belo's House, a place of shelter for around 1,000 people; * International Red Cross Centre; * Office of Yayasan Hak, an Indonesian human rights centre that has supported human rights in East Timor. Around 100 people were murdered overnight. Severed heads have been placed on poles. Indonesian police laughed at US aid workers who sought help when they were attacked by militias. The neighbourhood of Becora has been blockaded after a night of shooting. IFET-OP has received unconfirmed reports of 77 bodies, including those of children, scattered throughout houses, lanes and waterways. Reports are coming in of killings in the mountains and in various suburbs. Homes are burning as people flee. There are also reports of bodies being thrown on fires. IFET-OP says that unless there is an immediate intervention by an international force within days the consequences will be catastrophic. Many international observers and foreign journalists have left East Timor. The present situation did not come as a surprise to the Australian Government. By stalling, Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer are giving the Indonesian military more time to secure their position in East Timor, particularly in the resource-rich west of the country. The Australian Government is more concerned about its relations with the Indonesian military and Government and the interests of BHP and other Australian-based oil corporations than it is with the lives and human rights of the East Timorese people. While the Government has been stalling, thousands of people have taken part in protest actions in the major Australian cities this week. Trade unions are organising and planning actions aimed at Indonesian economic interests. The East Timorese people are looking to Australia to intervene in the bloodshed. Funds are urgently needed to assist in East Timor. They can be sent to the East Timor Relief Association, see details in box opposite. Guardian readers are urged to support the actions being organised around Australia and write to Downer and Howard, the Indonesian Embassy, and their MPs and Senators. ACT NOW Write, fax, phone or email the Indonesian Embassy, the Australian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. It is important to demand that the Australian Government: * Call for a UN peace making mission to East Timor urgently. It is an act of treachery to wait for Indonesia's permission. * Halt all military aid and co-operation with the Indonesian regime now. * Cease the recognition of Indonesia's illegal occupation of East Timor. Contact addresses: The Hon John Howard Prime Minister Fax: (02) 9816 1349; Email c/- Anthony.Benscher@aph.gov.au Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600. The Hon Alexander Downer Minister for Foreign Affairs Fax: (08) 8370 8166; Email: A.Downer.MP@aph.gov.au Ambassador His Excellency Mr S Wiryono Indonesian Embassy, Canberra Fax: 02 6273 6017 or 02 6273 3545 Email: email@example.com Financial support is needed for food and other humanitarian aid. Send contributions to: East Timor Relief Association P O Box 1102 Parramatta, NSW 1102. Make cheques and postal orders payable to "ETRA"