Thursday, June 29, 2017

ETAN message of support to Timor's LGBTI community

ETAN extends its wholehearted support and solidarity with this week's "LGBTI Pride - Acceptance" events happening in Dili, including Timor-Leste's first Pride March. We commend the organizers of these events and all those who support a fully inclusive Timorese society that celebrates diversity and protects everyone's human rights. We also appreciate Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo's statement of support for the LGBTI community.
Photo by Dinorah.Granadeiro via Facebook
ETAN hato'o apoiu no solidariedade kompletu ba eventu 'LGBTI Pride - Simu Malu' ne'ebe organiza iha Dili durante semana ida-ne'e, inklui Timor-Leste nia Marxa Pride 'Orgullu'. Ami louva sira hotu ne'ebe organiza eventu sira-ne'e no mos sira hotu ne'ebe apoia sosiedade Timorense ne'ebe selebra diversidade no proteje direitus umanus ba ema hotu. Ami gava mos Primeiru Ministu Rui Araujo nia mensajen apoiu ba komunidade LGBTI.

Mensajen S.E. Primeiro-Ministro RDTL Kona-ba
 "Familia Simu Joven LGBT iha Timor-Leste"

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners and Klibur Solidariedade send congratulations and solidarity to Palestinian Political Prisoners

Activists in Timor-Leste have long felt a strong connection and sought to offer solidarity to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, peace and human dignity. Human rights and student groups have organized seminars, rallies, candlelight vigils and solidarity statements to support peace and justice in Palestine. After receiving an international call to celebrate the success of a 40-day hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners, Timorese human rights activists contacted the Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners. Together, they drafted the following statement, which they released on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Tetun Komunikadu Imprensa below

Press Release

The Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners and
Klibur Solidariedade (Solidarity Association)

send congratulations and solidarity to Palestinian Political Prisoners

Date: 6 June 2017

Contact:  Jacinto Alves (Tetun, Portugés, English), Assepol,,
               Celestino Gusmão (Tetun, Indonesian),,
                   Pamela Sexton (English, Tetun),
                   Nug Katjasungkana (Indonesian, Tetun, English),

We congratulate the 1,500 Palestinian Political Prisoners (men, women and children) who, through their 40-day collective hunger strike, have secured basic rights which had been systematically denied them by Israel. We celebrate the courage and commitment of your collective action; we celebrate your success.

As we celebrate, we also declare our solidarity and call attention to the long and continuing struggle for freedom, equality, self-determination and basic human rights of the Palestinian people. Our national history teaches us that when faced with occupation, oppression, and injustice, there is no choice but to resist. “To resist is to win.”

Many of us are ex-political prisoners, jailed by Indonesia because we refused to simply accept an illegal occupation of our land. During Indonesia’s brutal occupation, we stood up to military violence and human rights abuses; we stood up against an international order oriented to U.S. corporate interests and militarism. We stood up for the dignity of ourselves, our families and our communities. We stood up for our vision of peace and justice, now and in the future. We encourage political prisoners and wish to tell you that many times, our struggle for a noble cause demands sacrifice and determination. We must believe that the truth will win and will bring happiness to many people. All of your sacrifices will be acknowledged; tudo vale a pena (‘everything is worth the effort’). 

Today, as we celebrate with you, we also stand against the widespread detention of Palestinians for defending their basic rights. According to the NGO Palestinian Prisoner’s Club, there are now 6500 Palestinian political prisoners, including 300 children. We stand against the continuing role of the US as a major supporter of militarism and occupation. We stand for against the denial of Palestinian’s basic rights by Israel. We stand for Palestinian’s rights to clear water, safe shelter, food, and basic social services, equality before the law. “A luta continua.” The struggle continues.

The Timor-Leste Association of Ex-Political Prisoners first formed during Indonesia's illegal occupation, during which systematic arbitrary detention of East Timorese civilians was routine security practice.

Klibur Solidadariedade was formed was formed by Timorese and international solidarity activists in 2009, on the 10th anniversary of Timor-Leste's historic referendum on independence.

21 January 2009 demontration of solidarity at Democracy Field, Dili, Timor-Leste

Monday, December 26, 2016

Reflections 41 years after Invasion Day, Secenber 7

Read the full article here

Reflections 41 years after Invasion Day,
December 7

By Pamela Sexton

Dili, Timor-Leste - Recently, thousands of U.S. military veterans travelled to North Dakota to support the peaceful struggle of the Standing Rock Sioux to defend their sovereignty and protect their land and water. I watched the veterans bend down to ask forgiveness from the many indigenous tribes gathered there. They apologized as veterans from the same military that has carried out genocide against Native Americans since before the U.S. achieved independence. In this way, they acknowledged the past and affirmed their commitment to ensuring the bitter past doesn’t repeat itself.

This December 7, I bent down in Timor-Leste to apologize for the crimes of my government against the East Timorese people. On that day in 1975, U.S.-armed and -trained Indonesian troops launched their illegal invasion. I feel a deep sadness and shame that my government has not yet formally and responsibly acknowledged its support for crimes committed here on that day and the 24-year Indonesian occupation which followed. An important first step would be for the U.S. to declassify and release all its records related to Indonesia and its invasion and occupation of Timor-Leste. ...

read the rest here

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Jose Ramos-Horta: Support ETAN today!


Dear friend of my beloved country,
Timor-Leste recently celebrated the 41st anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, a right and a dream that was finally realized in 2002. For the last quarter-century of our journey, the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) has been among our most effective and consistent supporters. Their solidarity has been exemplary, beginning during the brutal, difficult depths of the illegal Indonesian military occupation and continuing through the economic and political challenges we face today as a 14-year-old, post-conflict, post-colonial, sovereign nation.
Twenty-five years ago, a month after Indonesian troops brutally massacred young, nonviolent Timorese protesters at Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, peace and justice activists organized a peaceful vigil in front of the Indonesian Mission to the United Nations. With participation from people around the United States, that quickly grew into a national organization which, by 1999, had 12,000 members in 28 local chapters.  Their protests and lobbying of the U.S. government and the United Nations were a vital element in enabling my people to vote in a UN-supervised referendum. As you know, Indonesian efforts to intimidate us failed, and the overwhelming mandate for independence led to Timor-Leste becoming the first new sovereign nation of the 21st century.
Without solidarity from international friends like ETAN, Timor-Leste’s dream of independence would not have become a reality.
Before the referendum, I served as Timor-Leste’s Foreign Minister in exile, lobbying decision makers all over the world for my people’s right to self-determination. Although ETAN always acted independently, we collaborated closely to encourage the U.S. government to abandon its diplomatic and military support for the Suharto dictatorship’s illegal occupation.
Since 2002, I have been the Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. As I evolved from diplomat-in-exile to Head of State, ETAN maintained their solidarity with my people. In government, I had to make difficult decisions concerning past crimes in the interests of better relations with post-Suharto Indonesia, our largest neighbor and biggest trading partner.  Although ETAN and I sometimes have different views on issues like accountability for past crimes and self-determination for West Papua, I know that their positions are based on principle, and I admire and respect their tenacity.
For the last five years, I have worked to improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping worldwide. I have helped Guinea-Bissau and other conflict-affected countries strive for the peace and human rights that the people of Timor-Leste are finally able to enjoy. I know how unusual – and how important – it is for people living under repression and conflict to have reliable, committed supporters in places like the United States.
Timor-Leste never attracted widespread popular attention in the United States, even during the peak of our struggle against violent occupation. Since the killing ended, we have become a “normal” country, and U.S. government policy now respects the rights of my people. It is even more difficult to get Americans to care about a small nation on the other side of the world, which is why ETAN’s work continues to be essential.
ETAN's John M. Miller and Charles Scheiner with Jose Ramos-Horta
ETAN's John M. Miller and Charles Scheiner with Jose Ramos-Horta in Dili, May 21, 2012. Photo by ETAN.
ETAN’s email list is an invaluable source of information, from a variety of perspectives, for more than 4,600 people around the globe. Their steadfast support for resolving permanent maritime boundaries with our neighbors, especially Australia, continues the international solidarity that was crucial to achieving sovereignty over Timor-Leste’s land territory.  As we evolve from a petroleum-export-dependent nation to one whose economy is based on our own resources and labor, ETAN’s support and encouragement continue to be irreplaceable.
In 2012, on the 10th anniversary of the restoration of our independence, I was pleased to join in awarding both ETAN and its co-founder Charles Scheiner with the Ordem de Timor-Leste for their support for our liberation.
ETAN's actions and campaigns have always been based on the interests of the people, developed after consulting our civil society. Although ETAN’s annual budget is smaller than virtually every other international organization involved with our country, the work that they do is invaluable.
ETAN is an exceptional organization, and their continuing support for the people of my country needs your help. I recently made a sizeable donation to ETAN, and I hope you will also do so.
José Ramos-Horta
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Invest in Justice!

 Donate Today!

Give to ETAN on #GivingTuesday

Why wait for the end of the year to invest in justice?

Don't delay. donate to ETAN today!

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media. 

Dear Friend of ETAN,

Your contribution supports ETAN's ongoing support for the  campaign of  government and people of Timor-Leste to establish maritime boundaries with its neighbors. Legally-recognized boundaries would end Australia's theft of Timor's resources and bring to a close the independence struggle that  began more than 40 years ago. In March, we conducted a successful online campaign calling on Australia to negotiate maritime boundaries now. This was in association with demonstrations in Dili, throughout Australia and elsewhere.

Your gift will help maintain and strengthen ETAN's crucial information sharing via email and on social media. So many people, perhaps including you, depend us to keep them informed about important news about Timor-Leste, Indonesia and West Papua. 

With your help, we can intensify our pursuit of justice for the many victims of Indonesia's security forces crimes: from the coup in 1965 that brought the dictator Suharto to power, through the illegal invasion and occupation of Timor-Leste to the West Papuans subject to ongoing human rights violations. And we need your help in keeping up the pressure on the U.S. government to acknowledge its role in arming and training the perpetrators of these crimes.

We continue to highlight the career and human rights record now coordinating minister and former general Wiranto. We are pressing  Indonesia's President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo to rescind his appointment. Please sign our petition here -- if you haven't yet done so. 

We can only maintain these and our other activities with the generous support of people like yourself. 

John M. Miller
National Coordinator, ETAN