Friday, October 8, 2010

Call for Climate Justice in Timor-Leste

Timorese plant Mangrove trees on October 10, 2010. Photo by Charles Scheiner

The Movement for Climate Justice in Timor-Leste is joining the global movement to give one hour for the earth. 

On Sunday, 10/10/2010, thousands of actions all over the world will celebrate the international campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global carbon concentration to 350 parts per million to save our planet.

In Timor-Leste, an organizing committee is asking religious, government and other leaders, as well as the entire population of Dili, to take part in this campaign with a concrete action: stop all fossil-fuel-based transport in Dili from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Timor-Leste time on Sunday, 10 October 2010.

This concrete action will show the world that Timor-Leste is in solidarity with people worldwide in our common campaign on that day to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Our declaration follows below.

In addition, people will gather at 3:00 pm at the intersection next to Farol Primary School (across from Hasatil) to walk to the mouth of the river in Bidau Santana to plant mangrove trees.


“One Hour for Mother Earth”

Today, the entire world is confronted by the huge impacts of climate change. The world is already at great risks to humanity, ecological disasters, hunger, and island nations disappearing under the sea. These consequences come from the interests of rich people, companies and countries who give importance only to their economic profit, rather than to the lives of people around the world.
Many scientists have already studied our earth and the lives of its inhabitants. They concluded that the conditions that are leading to the destruction of the world cannot be avoided as long as people, companies and industrialized countries continue to increase their emissions into the global atmosphere.
For the world able to survive for many more years with the guarantee that everyone will have the opportunity to live and have children, everyone must realize that the emission of greenhouse gases must be reduced, by changing people’s lifestyles.
Timor-Leste has become an oil-producing nation, and therefore contributes to global emissions. Development inside our country will also lead to environmental damage and pollution.
Today’s reality in Timor-Leste also shows us that we are already at risk from hunger, a threat which will confront humanity and human survival is close to us today. The rainy season doesn’t follow its time, dry days are few, natural disasters happen all the time, agricultural production drops and is destroyed, many springs have dried up, seas are high and rough (eroding the coastal zone), and more.
Everyone must pay attention to these phenomena, we all must be aware of “One world for all of us,” and we must all come together to save the planet for our children and future generations.

Secretary of State Avelinho Coelho prepares to plant Mangrove tree on 10/10/10
Therefore, we from the Timor-Leste Movement for Climate Justice ask and demand of:
·     Industrialized countries should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45% in 2020 and 80-85% in 2050, based on the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report.
·     Industrialized countries, especially the United States, European Union, Australia, China, Japan and others should consider all people in the world, and work to normalize greenhouse gases globally at 350 ppm.
·     Industrialized countries should give reparations and compensation equal to the environmental destruction they have caused so far.
·     Industrialized countries should mobilize and expand their use of environmentally-friendly renewable energy, including changing current environmentally-destructive lifestyles .
·     The United Nations, which facilitates Conventions on Climate Change, should be more pro-active in giving pressure to highlight solutions to this global emergency. They should resolve to stop and immediately cut environmentally destructive technology and development practices.
·     The United Nations, especially the Security Council, should issue a resolution against countries which gravely pollute at the subregional or regional level, as a crime against humanity.
·     The Government of Timor-Leste must also think about its own people, and follow a development path which is sustainable, renewable, and friendly to the environment.
·     The Government of Timor-Leste, which has already signed the Kyoto Protocol, should implement the clauses of this protocol.
·     Peoples across the globe must understand that we must reduce emissions and change lifestyles to save our planet.
·     The Government of Timor-Leste should cancel the expensive heavy oil project, which destroys land and the environment, and reallocate its budget to develop and promote environmentally friendly energy sources like wind, hydroelectric, solar, biogas and other renewable energy.

The Struggle Continues.

Movement for Climate Justice
Haburas Foundation, La’o Hamutuk, Permatil, Hasatil (list in formation) and other activists and individuals.
Contact: Demetrio (Haburas) +670-723-1881 or Maxi (La'o Hamutuk)  +670-733-6307

see Tetum version of the announcement and call here

UPDATE: posted a revised version of Declaration. Copy-editing changes only.  Added photos from 10.10.10 action

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SBY postpones trip to Netherlands, fears arrest

UPDATE: On Wednesday, October 5, a Dutch court ruled against the request to issue an arrest warrant against SBY.

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono postponed a three-day trip to the Netherlands today, fearing arrest in a lawsuit that accuses him of sanctioning the abuse of Malukan political prisoners. SBY reportedly made the announcement after luggage had already been placed on the plane:
Officials and journalists had been assembled at an air force base before the departure and luggage had been loaded on to the jet before news emerged that the flight had been cancelled. (Sydney Morning Herald, "Malukan bid to have president arrested")

SBY speaks to press
at Halim Perdana Kusuma airport in Jakarta October 5, 2010.  
REUTERS/Presidential Palace-Adityawarman/Handout

SBY's  spokesperson said that a decision on the case during his visit could be "unpleasant for the honour of the president and this nation."

On Monday, Tempo Interactive reported that the was filed over the weekend by representatives of the pro-independence South Maluku Republic (RMS), in a district court in The Hague.  The plaintiffs asked that  SBY's diplomatic immunity be lifted and that he be arrested pending the outcome of the lawsuit. 

In a statement, SBY said
What I cannot accept is if the president of Indonesia makes a visit to the Netherlands, after an invitation from the Netherlands, the court decides to arrest the president of Indonesia."
The visit was to have been the first to the former colonizer by an Indonesian president in 40 years.

Human Rights Watch reports that up to 70-75 are in prison solely for exercising their right to peaceful expression of their views in the Malukus. 

In 2007, the Indonesian police's Detachment 88 members arrested and tortured 22 civilians after they unfurled the Maluku independence flag in front of Indonesia’s President. Yusuf Sipakoly, who in 2007 was sentenced to 12 years for possessing a "separatist flag” recently died in prison. In August 2010, 12 activists were allegedly detained and tortured at the hands of Detachment 88 members. The activists had planned to "to float dozens of the distinctive rainbow flags attached to helium-filled balloons during Ambon's Sail Banda regatta" which Indonesia’s President planned to attend.

Monday, October 4, 2010

West Papua Report - October 2010

full report here


An historic U.S. Congressional hearing regarding West Papua revealed ongoing human rights abuse and impunity for the Indonesian military and broad Papuan rejection of Jakarta's failed policy of "special autonomy." The hearing also cast light on a U.S. policy that appeared not to have evolved to address the deteriorating conditions in West Papua or an unreformed Indonesian military intent on resisting accountability and civilian control. Subcommittee Chair Faleomavaega's description of "slow motion genocide" set the tone of urgency that enveloped the hearing. A senior State Department's prediction that migration and demographic trends would soon make Papuans a minority in their own land underscored that tone of urgency. A Pentagon representative cited reforms scored a decade ago to justify recent expansion of U.S. military assistance to the Indonesian military. The hearing heard a Papuan call for a Jakarta-Papuan dialogue about Papua's political future and an end to U.S. support for an unreformed Indonesian military.

In other developments, Indonesian security forces killed two Papuans and wounded a third in Manokwari. The victims were a religious leader, his son and his wife. Non-judicial, administrative sanctions against those responsible were shockingly light. A prominent Papuan academic has welcomed the presidential decision to undertake an audit of "special autonomy" fund flow to West Papua, but lamented the reality that the funds have been unaudited over the past decade.