/** reg.easttimor: 2213.0 **/

** Topic: Mother Jones Website on East Timor **
** Written 9:45 AM Aug 29, 1999 by etandc in cdp:reg.easttimor **
From: ETAN Washington Office <etandc@igc.apc.org>

From: Richard Reynolds <reynolds@motherjones.com> Subject: MoJo Wire East Timor Resource

For Release: Thursday, August 26, 1999 Contacts: Richard Reynolds, Brooke Biggs 415/665-6637

Mother Jones Web Site Debuts Pre-Election Report on East Timor www.motherjones.com/east_timor

The MoJo Wire, Mother Jones magazine's online sister publication, today launched an extensive, Internet-based resource on East Timor, whose citizens will vote on whether to break off from Indonesia in an August 30, UN-sponsored referendum. Despite 24 years of brutal occupation by Indonesia, the issues surrounding this half-island a few hundred miles north of Australia remain little known in the U.S. The MoJo Wire project is intended to serve as both a primer for those who want to learn more and a source of up-to-the-minute reporting relating to the referendum. Multiple links allow users to read original documents on which the reporting is based, including several uncovered for the first time by the MoJo Wire team. The site will be updated daily with new features and commentaries plus links to breaking news stories. The MoJo Wire is also offering a daily e-mail report on new developments.

A snapshot of the key points:

* In the year after Indonesia's December 7, 1975 invasion of the former Portuguese colony, military attack, executions, starvation after crops were destroyed or abandoned, forced migration, and disease claimed an estimated 100,000 lives.

* After the initial slaughter, the Indonesian government continued to pare down the population by limiting the reproductive rights of all women in the territory. A report by the East Timor Human Rights Centre in Australia details how Timorese women have been raped in the presence of family members, forced to marry Indonesian soldiers, subjected to torture by electric shock, sexually abused, and forcibly sterilized.

* The death of an estimated 200,000 Timorese since the invasion represents the worst genocide relative to population since the Holocaust.

* Timorese militias opposing independence, with support from the Indonesian military, are conducting a pre-election campaign of terrorism in an attempt to force the Timorese to approve integration with Indonesia. The death toll from this campaign is already in the hundreds, and some 40,000 Timorese have been forced into "refugee camps" controlled by the military.

* The December 7 invasion took place the day after U.S. president Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger departed from a summit meeting in Jakarta.

* A declassified memorandum of a July 1975 conversation between President Gerald Ford and then-Indonesian President Suharto leaves little doubt of the extent of U.S. support: Ford asked Suharto bluntly, "How big a Navy do you have and how big a Navy do you need?"

The MoJo Wire's East Timor report includes seven sections:

* Dossier: A backgrounder on East Timor from its days as a Portuguese colony through the upcoming elections.

* Features: Original stories detailing the campaign waged against the East Timorese by the Indonesian government and the extent of U.S. involvement.

* Comment: Commentaries by various experts, beginning with "Why Americans Should Care About East Timor," by Noam Chomsky.

* Q&A: The MoJo Wire polls key figures on a series of questions as the election story develops.

* Reference: A glossary of terms, an almanac of key facts and figures, details on the key players, and links to sources of additional information.

* Evidence: U.S. government documents, graphic photos of torture smuggled out of East Timor, and video footage of the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre, where Indonesian soldiers opened fire on hundreds of unarmed pro-independence demonstrators.

* alt.news: Links to breaking news stories from elsewhere on the Web.

Richard Reynolds, Communications Director Mother Jones magazine 731 Market St., 6th Floor San Francisco, CA 94103 415/665-6637 x240