[Sinn Fein]

8th September 1999

Ó Caoláin calls for urgent action on East Timor

Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called for the immediate intervention of a UN force to assist the people of East Timor to defend their independence and their lives. He also called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs David Andrews to seek an emergency meeting of EU Foreign Ministers to demand the immediate halt to all EU trade with Indonesia in response to the genocide being carried out by the Indonesian military.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``The overwhelming vote for freedom by the East Timorese people is being met with another attempt by Indonesia to wipe them out as a nation. This is a repeat of 1975 when the United States, Australia and Britain gave the green light to the Indonesian invasion of the newly independent state of East Timor. Ever since then these same countries have armed the Jakarta regime and their arms are today being used to massacre civilians throughout East Timor.

``This latest attack on the people of East Timor is happening because for years Indonesia's atrocities have been ignored by the Western powers who see Indonesia as a valuable political and economic ally. Jakarta believes it can act with impunity once again.

``A United Nations force should be dispatched immediately to defend the East Timorese people. I urge Foreign Affairs Minister David Andrews to call an emergency meeting of EU Foreign Ministers which would cease all EU trade with Indonesia.''

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