Pressure Indonesia for Change in East Timor
The article ``Indonesia Regime Retains Grip, but Faces, and Allows, More Dissent,'' Feb. 25, discusses the issue of human rights in Indonesia. But to refer to a ``separatist rebellion'' in East Timor and to a military shooting incident that led to ``more than 60 people believed missing'' is a gross understatement of East Timor's tragedy. Nowhere does the article mention that East Timor was an independent country that was invaded in 1975 by the Indonesian military only hours after the departure of Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger from Jakarta, and that East Timor has since been annexed.
It is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 (8 to 16 percent of East Timor's population) have been killed by the Indonesian armed forces. And the response of the United States government has been increased military aid to the Indonesian regime.
The Western press has no difficulty recounting the horrors of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, a country where we have little influence. The US does have influence in Indonesia. An informed American public can pressure the government to use that influence to bring about change in East Timor. This can happen only with an accurate press that paints the entire picture. James York, Boulder, Colo.
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