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A Special Message from Noam Chomsky

December 8, 2014

A Special Message from Noam Chomsky

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I have admired and supported ETAN from the very beginning. In fact, I was the organization’s first donor. I still believe that contribution was one of the best investments I have ever made for political and social change. I write to you today to urge you to join me in making such an investment.

I know you agree that the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network continues to play an important and vital role in promoting human rights and justice for the peoples of Indonesia, Timor-Leste and West Papua. I know you also believe, as I do, that thanks to ETAN’s and your efforts, East Timor became the independent nation of Timor-Leste more than a decade ago.

ETAN successfully worked to shift U.S. policy from provider of a blank check to the brutal Indonesian military to a supporter of East Timor’s right to self-determination.

But trouble continues in West Papua, and ETAN is there to tackle it. As it did so effectively for the East Timorese people, ETAN is working to change U.S. policy to support the rights of West Papuans.

ETAN actively monitors ongoing threats to human rights, defending activists in Indonesia, West Papua and Timor-Leste. ETAN continues to press for justice on behalf of the victims of U.S.-backed policies that had such devastating impacts on the people of Timor-Leste, and that continue to have similarly devastating effects on the people of West Papua and Indonesia. And finally, ETAN continues to call for key U.S. figures — like Henry Kissinger — to be brought to justice for their roles in backing genocide and crimes against humanity.

I consider the shameful crimes committed against the people of West Papua to be a major scandal, one that those in the West have much to answer for. As I told the Jakarta Post last March, "What happened in East Timor was because the U.S. and its allies supported it for 25 years. West Papua is the same. As long as the U.S. … and [other] Western powers support atrocities, they are carried out with impunity, just like their own atrocities are."

ETAN understands this. Among its advocacy and educational efforts, ETAN:

· is campaigning for unconditional freedom for West Papuan political prisoners;

· is advocating to let the sunshine in by opening access to the region to journalists and other international observers;

· has highlighted the role of the U.S. mining giant Freeport McMoRan;

· regularly responds to the all-too-frequent reports of human rights violations in West Papua;

· continues to oppose (as it has done from the start) U.S. support for Indonesia’s security forces that repress West Papuans; and

· closely monitors events in West Papua, including publication of the well-regarded monthly West Papua Report with the West Papua Advocacy Team.

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