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UN peacekeepers have finally arrived to the ravaged island of East Timor, half way around the globe, just north west of Australia. Their presence is helping to restore order to this territory where pro-Indonesian militia wreaked havoc following an overwhelming vote by 78 per cent of the East Timorese people to seek independence from Indonesia on August 30.

The Canadian Labour Congress hot cargo edict was lifted from Indonesian goods after the arrival of the UN peacekeeping force. But the CLC has continued to call on Canadian union members to boycott consumer goods from Indonesia. Check the CLC Web site at www.clc-ctc.ca for more details.

In the meantime, financial support is needed to help rebuild the ruined remains of East Timor. What was not destroyed in the rampage following the announcement of the vote results has been deliberately burned as the Indonesian military has withdrawn from the island. News reports confirm that all buildings in the capital city, Dili, have been destroyed.

The East Timor Alert Network (ETAN), a Canadian-based solidarity group that was part of the CLC delegation to East Timor this past August, is launching an East Timor Solidarity Fund. Money will go to East Timorese non-governmental organizations that met with the CLC delegation. These groups desperately need financial support to rebuild their offices and organizations to enable the East Timorese people to play a major role in rebuilding their country.

Cheques payable to the East Timor Solidarity Fund should be sent to ETANs national office at PO Box 4115, Stn. E, Ottawa K1S 5B1. The ETAN Web site is also a good source of up-to-date information on developments in East Timor and what Canadians can do to help (www.etan.org).

ETAN is also launching a campaign demanding a Canadian military embargo against Indonesia. The Indonesian military has played a direct role in the violence against East Timor, most recently providing support and arms to the militia. Canada should not be supplying arms to governments that use them in this way. ETAN is publishing an ad aimed at Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy calling for an embargo. To add your local unions voice, please contact ETAN at the address listed above with a financial donation in support of the campaign.