From: Press <>
To: "ICFTU Online" <>
Subject: ICFTU OnLine - East Timor (II)
Date sent: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 18:41:56 +0200


ICFTU OnLine 160/990907/DD

Unions worldwide to protest against East Timorese bloodbath

Brussels September 7 1999 (ICFTU OnLine): Trade unions world-wide have been requested by the ICFTU to intensify pressure on Indonesia in order that it cease the bloodbath taking place in East Timor and that the Indonesian Parliament ratify without delay the results of the August 30th referendum which voted overwhelming for East Timor's freedom and independence.

In Brussels tonight, the ICFTU made it clear that it will call on its member organisations and international sector unions (the International Trade Secretariats, or ITS') to take strong measures against Indonesia's diplomatic, economic and commercial interests, if the Habibie government does not abide by the United Nation's ultimatum, which expires on Wednesday night, 8th September, (New York time). On Monday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan gave Indonesia 48 hours to stop the killings or face decisive action by the international community, a message widely understood to mean the despatch of an international peacekeeping force.

The ICFTU is asking its members to demonstrate in front of Indonesian embassies in their countries and to call on their respective governments to prepare to step up financial pressure on Indonesia if chaos continues in East Timor.

In Australia, the ICFTU-affiliated Australian council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has taken the lead in organising demonstrations and picketing Indonesia's diplomatic posts. Trade unionists in various parts of the country have also begun action directed at Indonesia's airline, Garuda, as well as Indonesian ships and other economic interests.

In Brussels, Belgium, the seat of the ICFTU headquarters, an ICFTU delegation will be joining its Belgian affiliate, the FGTB-ABVV and several human rights and development NGO's in a demonstration outside the Indonesian Embassy on Wednesday, September 8, at 12:30 (Embassy of Indonesia, 294, av. de Tervueren, in Woluwe St. Pierre).

The ICFU also said that it would call on its affiliates to urge their national governments to step up pressure on international financial institutions and Indonesia's major donors and trading partners to suspend direct financial and other non-humanitarian support to Indonesia, should the latter fail to abide by the UN's ultimatum.

On September 6 the ICFTU wrote to Kofi Annan requesting the UN to send in a peacekeeping force to stop the killings in East Timor, and to disarm and bring to justice those responsible, including those in the armed forces.

In addition the ICFTU has written to President Habibie about the deterioration of the situation in East Timor urging him to order the Indonesian government and the country's armed forces to work with the international community to restore peace and security, and to implement the results of the August 30 referendum.

For further information, please contact the ICFTU Press Office on: 322 224 0212