East Timor's Struggle

The active struggle for Independence by East Timor has continued over the last 22 years.

Internationally recognised as a Portuguese colony, the process of decolonisation was abruptly interrupted by the invasion by Indonesia on the 7th December 1975.

The intervening period has been speckled with the blood of many East Timorese who have died as a result of protest or simply by continuing to exist in an area that has now been declared to be the 27th province of Indonesia.

The launch of this project which includes the launch of the top level domain (.tp) for an independent East Timor has created an "electronic safe house" for the diaspora of East Timor to maximise their just and internationally supported cause.

Connect-Ireland are pleased to host these services and to apply their - however limited - resources to support the call for freedom and to stop the continuing abuse of human rights which have resulted in the deaths or disappearance of between 212,000 and 242.000 people.

We urge everyone to use their electronic capacities and freedom to support what has become the greatest abuse of human rights - since the holocaust.

Please sign the Petition and send your graphic donation to the Quilt.

Martin Maguire,
Project Director,
Connect - Ireland

We will be adding Press clipping and quotations of support from major institutions and personalities to this area - after the launch.

Press Clippings

Irish Times The Irish Times
December 6, 1997

Internet recognition for East Timor

By William Hederman

On the 22nd anniversary of Indonesia taking over East Timor, an Irish Internet service provider has registered an autonomous Internet domain for East Timor, with jailed resistance leader Xanana Gusmao as official administrator. Indonesia invaded East Timor on December 7th, 1975, and unilaterally annexed it as the nation's 27th province one year later. In co-operation with Dublin's small East Timorese community, Connect Ireland has created the country's "top-level domain", the Internet equivalent of an international dialling code.

Mr Martin Maguire of Connect Ireland told The Irish Times it was the company's intention to "hand over administration of the domain to the first government of an independent East Timor". "While we are the technical administrators, we needed to register it in the name of someone with an address and telephone line in East Timor, in adherence with the rules of the IANA (Internet Assigned Number Authority),"

Mr Maguire said. "Gusmao, who's in jail in Jakarta, still has an address in Timor. On the application form we put down the phone number where he spent his last night in East Timor: the barracks of the Indonesian Military Commander."

Numerous UN resolutions, including one co-sponsored by Ireland last April, have condemned Indonesia's occupation, but little action has been taken.

The award-winning Australian journalist and broadcaster, John Pilger, predicted that this "electronic safe house" would be seen as a historic bench-mark of a people's struggle for freedom.

A spokesman for the Indonesian embassy in London said that while Indonesia fully respected the freedom of cyberspace, it was "concerned that this freedom has been misused by Connect Ireland to spread a campaign against Indonesia. . .The handover of the domain to the government of East Timor is beyond imagination since the government of East Timor will not exist."

The domain, and a central East Timorese Website - address (http://www.freedom.tp) - will be officially launched next Tuesday, December 9th, at the Irish Film Centre in Temple Bar by novelist Joe O'Connor.

More Press: http://www.irish-times.com/irish-times/paper/1997/1216/for3.html

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