East Timor Essay, Research Paper
The Indonesian invasion and occupation
of East Timor is one of the worst atrocities of this century. The occupation
has claimed the lives of over 200,000 Timorese people, one-third of the
original population. It continues in defiance of the United Nations Security
Council which has twice called on Jakarta to withdraw “without delay” as
well as eight General Assembly Resolutions. It has been maintained with
the help of the United States.
East Timor, occupies the eastern half of
the island of Timor, which lies between Indonesia and Australia (approximately
300 miles north of Darwin), East Timor is has lots of mountains and is
culturally diverse. There are 12 main language groups in East Timor. Today,
Tetun is the main East Timorese language with Portuguese spoken among older
generations and Bahasa Indonesia among the young.
A former Portuguese colony, East Timor
is recognized by the United Nations as a non-self-governing territory due
for decolonization. It was on the agenda of the U.N. agenda long before
Indonesia invaded and has been the subject of on and off negotiations,
mediated by the U.N. Secretary-General between Portugal and Indonesia since
1983. These talks resulted in the Tripartite agreement to allow a vote
on an Indonesian plan to grant East Timor a degree of autonomy. That Indonesia
government has agreed that if the East Timorese reject autonomy in the
U.N.-organized vote, it will repeal its annexation of East Timor. A U.N.-supervised
transition to independence would then occur.
Right now, Peace Brigades International
is establishing, upon the written request of the East Timorese Human Rights
groups, a permanent presence of international volunteers in East Timor.
The main objectives of the East Timor Peace Brigades International project
is to help maintain a peaceful space for civil society to operate and grow.
They are also working to bring about social and political dialogue that
would work towards reconciliation. Finally, the Peace Brigades are working
to empower civil society to reduce and eventually end the need for Peace