Letter: Genocide in East Timor

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The Independent Online
Sir: The 1975 invasion by Indonesia of East Timor and the ongoing 19-year occupation has resulted in more than 200,000 East Timorese being killed - one-third of the pre-invasion population. This is genocide on a comparatively greater scale than that which occurred in Cambodia.

Despite 10 UN resolutions calling on the Indonesians to leave East Timor, the British government continues to aid and trade with the Jakarta regime. The Government's response to the Dili massacre in November 1991, in which more than 180 people were gunned down by Indonesian troops at a funeral, was to increase aid to Indonesia by more than 200 per cent.

Since 1978 the Government has been a key supplier of military equipment. Last summer British Aerospace sold 24 additional Hawk ground attack aircraft to Indonesia. Eyewitness accounts of the use of Hawks against the civilian population in East Timor highlight the Indonesian government's deception about the purported 'training only' use of the aircraft. Our Government's complicity in this deception and indifference to the East Timor tragedy is a disgrace.

Although the recent contract for 24 additional Hawks has been signed, the delivery will not be made until 1996. Sixteen other Hawks are under negotiation, and the Indonesian government has talked of buying up to 100 in total. It is imperative that this and all future sales are stopped and that an arms sales embargo is implemented against Indonesia.

Yours,

JULIET STEVENSON, Bishop DONALD ARDEN, ANN CLWYD, MP, TONY BENN, MP, BRUCE KENT, JOHN HEGLEY, ALEXEI SAYLE, JOHN KENDREW, Bishop of Malmesbury, DAFFYD WIGLEY, MP, WILL McMAHON, SUE BROWN

Campaign Against Arms Trade

London, N4

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