Intervention in East Timor urged

[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 September 1999, 23:01 GMT]
Tamil organizations in Australia and Britain today expressed solidarity with the people of East Timor and condemned the violence unleashed by pro-Indonesia militia after the East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesian rule. The Australian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA) and the London-based Tamil Information Centre (TIC) today issued press statements urging international intervention in the region.

"The world cannot permit these genocidal attacks to continue. We are appalled by the reluctance of the international governments towards stopping this atrocity," said AFTA.

The organisation called upon the international community "to take immediate action to protect the East Timorese people from attacks by the militia backed by Indonesian armed forces."

"The East Timorese people have shown their indomitable will in braving the militia to vote for independence," the AFTA statement said.

"It is now up to the International Governments to back this show of courage by supporting the Timorese people in the hour of their greatest need," it added.

"The Tamil people, who are facing similar atrocities from the Sri Lankan Military feel the pain and horror the Timorese people are now suffering and are solidly behind the people of East Timor," said Professor C J Eliezer of AFTA.

The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) said it "is appalled and alarmed at the genocidal massacre of civilians admist martial law in East Timor."

The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) called upon the Indonesian government and the United Nations "to make good their pledge to provide security to the people of East Timor and respect the people's will in East Timor to achieve freedom and democracy".

The TIC said it was "deeply concerned about the inability of the Indonesian government to deal with the pro - Indonesian militia who are causing wanton destruction to life and property, and the United Nations [inability] to intervene and avert the crisis in East Timor."

"Reports say Indonesian troops are involved in clearing out town after town and herding people on to streets and pushing them across the border into West Timor. Over 150,000 East Timorese have fled the country and others continue to seek shelter in the UN compounds," the TIC statement said.

The Tamil Information Centre also urged the Tamil community and the human rights community to stand in solidarity with the people of East Timor and send a message raising their concerns on the grave situation in East Timor to the United Nations Secretary General, Chair of the Security Council and the Indonesian President.

Hundreds of people, mostly civilians, including women and children are reported killed in the past few days. UN officials are amongst the dead.

Press reports from East Timor described decapitated bodies thrown on roadsides, severed heads being arranged on tips of sticks and lined up along streets.

Reports from East Timor say that troops of the Indonesian army are behind the violence against the East Timorese, which began soon after a UN supervised referendum on 30 August, in which almost 80 percent voted, to break away from 23 years of Indonesian rule.

 

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