You either believe in freedom or you don't
We believe

In 1975, just ten days after gaining its independence from Portugal, the southeast Asian island of East Timor was invaded by neighbouring Indonesia. As soon as the Indonesian soldiers arrived, they began slaughtering the inhabitants. Since then, 250,000 people, over a third of the population, have lost their lives.

For reasons best known to itself, the Canadian government supported Indonesia at the United Nations and in the marketplace. Fifteen years later, the Indonesian army continues to occupy East Timor. We think the Canadian government should end its support.

The Canadian government says East Timor will never be free. It says that after fifteen years, the people and the land belong to Indonesia. We believe people belong to themselves and the land belongs to those who live on it.

For a long time, people believed that Eastern Europe would never be free. The Canadian government adopted the same attitude to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu as it does to the generals who rule Indonesia. But times change.

We ask all Canadians to join us in telling the Canadian government to:
- Support the call of Bishop Belo of East Timor for a referendum on the country's future.
- Ban the sale of military equipment to Indonesia
- Condemn the Indonesian transmigration and assimilation programmes aimed at destroying the indigenous Timorese culture.
- Speak out for human rights by joining the European Community and the majority of the United Nations in calling for a free East Timor
- Provide humanitarian aid to East Timorese refugees and fight for the free access of the International Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations.

We want to get this open letter signed by as many prominent Canadians citizens and groups and possible and publish it in spring of 1991 in newspapers. Can you help with endorsements and the cost of publishing the open letter?

East Timor Alert Network, P.O. Box 354, Ladysmith British Columbia VOR 2E0 (604)245-3068.

Published in the Connexions Digest #53 - January 1991.



Subject Headings