The internet became an integral tool for the East Timorese freedom movement in the 90s, from email to news groups to a burgeoning number of websites. This is a strategic guide to what's available. From here you will find links to a large array of material.
Reg.easttimor is the key newsgroup where subscribers share up to the minute news and information. Formed in 1992 by the US-based Etan/US, it remains the starting point for detailed info (approx 20-40 messages per day, depending on events). To subscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Australian-based Etra (www.pactok.net.au/docs/et/, currently moving to www.etra.zip.com.au) is the only East Timorese NGO maintaining a broad-ranging website. Presents a wealth of material from East Timorese leaders Xanana Gusmao, Jose Ramos Horta and Bishop Belo, and much background information on the resistance umbrella organisation CNRT, the UN framework for the struggle, and development issues.
The Darwin (Australia)-based Etisc (easttimor.com) maintains an attractive and oft-visited site, in both English and Indonesian, especially useful for daily news summaries. Also has an up-to-date opinion/ editorial section, an East Timor chat line, and some handy pictures to download.
From North America there are two main sites. From the creators of reg.easttimor is the excellent Etan/US site (etan.org). It is well organised and attractively laid out and chock full of information and images, with a focus on US campaign and lobbying work. Lots of UN information. In Canada, Etan/Canada (www.etan.ca) also maintains an excellent site with a focus on Canadian government and media lobbying work.
An unofficial site was set up to support the CNRT Strategic Development Planning Conference held in Melbourne 5-9 April 1999 (www.ozemail.com.au/~cnrt/). It hosts a number of papers delivered at this ground-breaking conference.
Apcet, Asia Pacific Coalition for East Timor, is the peak regional solidarity organisation. Its attractive site (www.skyinet.net/~apcet/) reflects Apcet's innovative work. There are reports and statements from the three bi-annual Apcet conferences, the quarterly Apcet magazine Estafeta, and information of regional action.
Ipjet (International Platform of Jurists for East Timor, www.antenna.nl/~ipjet/) brings together legal specialists.
The University of Coimbra in Portugal has a little known yet informative site (www.uc.pt/Timor) detailing the history and geography of the territory. Lisbon-based East Timor Observatory (homepage.esoterica.pt/~cdpm/) is a new service from an established group presenting reports and analysis in English, French and Portugese.
Among the best of many solidarity sites is the large Australian-based Asiet (www.peg.apc.org/~asiet/) - with information both on East Timor and progressive political movement in Indonesia (weekly news updates). A new site was launched in Jakarta recently by the dynamic Solidamor group (www.solidamor.org), and looks good in its early stages. It is largely in Bahasa Indonesia. A Brazilian-based site in Portuguese (www.caferomano.org/timor/) is also very good. These link you to many others around the world.
Next time we want to look at what’s available for Aceh and West Papua. However, here’s a sneak preview. The best site - practically the only site! - on Aceh is www.aceh.org. A vast resource.
Kieran Dwyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a board member and volunteer project worker with the East Timor Relief Association (Etra). He edits the Etra website.