Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ETANers to Gather in Timor-Leste for Vote Anniversary

Members of the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) will gather in Timor-Leste later this month to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the country's historic vote for independence.

"In Dili we will demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Timorese people," said John M. Miller, ETAN's National Coordinator. "We will join with Timorese and international activists to look back at the East Timorese struggle for independence and to evaluate the new nation's course since those momentous events. We will explore with our Timorese friends how we can best support Timor-Leste in the future."

"We will also strongly reaffirm our commitment to justice and accountability for the years of crimes against humanity committed by Indonesia with U.S. government backing," he added.

Read the rest here.

ETAN is participating in international solidarity events organized by Klibur Solidaridade Timor-Leste / Timor-Leste Solidarity Group, as well official commemorations.

Earlier this year, ETAN released a statementon the Anniversary of the Liquiça Massacre.

If you have additional suggestions of what John should should do in East Timor, including things to see, people and organizations to meet, let me know.


Media release from

Kliburoup-Solidaridade Timor-Leste / Timor-Leste Solidarity: Solidarity Movements to Celebrate Tenth Anniversary of Timor Referendum, Timorese and International Activists will gather in Dili to reflect on the past and plan for the future> [PDF]


On 30 August, 1999, hundreds of thousands of Timorese voters braved an Indonesian‐directed terror campaign to cast ballots for independence in a U.N.‐organized referendum. This event, which ended Indonesia's 24-year illegal, brutal military occupation, led to the creation of the Democratic Republic of Timor‐Leste as the first new nation of the millennium. The vote was the culmination of decades of struggle by Timorese people, supported by solidarity activists around the world.

Ten years later, Timorese campaigners and their international colleagues will gather in a peaceful, independent Dili to celebrate that success and rededicate themselves to work to ensure that all the people of Timor-Leste enjoy the benefits of independence and justice.