Letter: Timor's innocents

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The Independent Culture
Sir: We can do much more than "hope that the next 20 years will be better" for the East Timorese. We can help in practical terms by halting our supply of guns, armoured vehicles, military expertise, water cannon and ground-attack aircraft to the Indonesian military and hence to the militias it supports, equips and trains.

It is no more morally acceptable to supply weapons to the brutal Indonesian government than it would be to start selling them to Slobodan Milosevic, no matter how many "British jobs" it safeguards. Our government likes us to believe that Indonesia does not use British weapons in the repression of East Timor, deciding to ignore widespread refugee evidence to the contrary - exactly the sort of evidence they find so compelling in Yugoslavia.

Though it will be too late for 200,000 East Timorese, we can and should stop our participation in this tragedy now.


Enfield, Middlesex