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Demilitarizing Okinawa (9/00)

In July, the G8 Summit Meeting was held in Okinawa, a group of islands in Japan that serves as a US stronghold with huge military bases. In response, the Japanese Peace Committee called for international support end to this occupation. Here is the group’s statement:

Like a colony, Okinawa is burdened with US military bases, a situation with no parallel in other sovereign states in the world. Huge bases occupy more than 10 percent of the whole territory (20 percent of the main island). They were built in violation of international law. read more

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India’s Holy Wars (8/00)

India is in deep turmoil on a number of religious fronts. While the mainstream press focuses mainly on the conflict between predominantly Hindu India and predominantly Muslim Pakistan over the threatened separation of the Indian Jammu and Kashmir state, the death toll rises in other parts of the country as internecine war widens.

Muslim-Hindu Clashes

On Jun 25, a bomb exploded in a mosque in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, injuring two people. An ensuing riot injured five more, including a TV crew. This led to a one-week curfew in Muslim-dominant areas of Guntur and the state capital, Hyderabad, where police guarded both mosques and churches. It was yet another sad chapter in the boiling conflict between Indian Muslims and Hindus. read more

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Funding Terror In East Timor (6/00)

Statement to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Human Rights
May 11, 2000

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, my name is Allan Nairn. Last fall I testified before this committee after witnessing the final days of the physical destruction of East Timor by the Indonesian armed forces (TNI). I recently returned to a free East Timor, and also managed to enter Indonesia and examine military operations in the rural zones.

The Indonesian military and security forces are now politically discredited, and the movement against them — that began in the streets — has now reached the Jakarta elites. Freedom and democracy are now within realistic reach in Indonesia, but only if the illegitimate power of the armed and security forces can be broken. The key determining factors in this struggle will be continued protest on the ground and action by the US Congress to maintain and strengthen the current military aid ban. read more

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Timor Cover Up (12/99)

A week after the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence and hundreds of journalists and observers fled, one thing was obvious. The violence engulfing this half-island wasn’t just the work of a ragtag group of pro-Indonesian militia, but rather reflected a highly organized campaign. Although obvious to Western reporters, that fact nevertheless escaped the notice of most of Indonesia’s press.

On the surface, the story centered on two warring political groups. But this was mainly a convenient fiction, designed to perpetuate the idea that factions had been warring in East Timor since 1975. Conclusion: without the Indonesian army, the place would descend into civil war. read more

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Asia on the Brink: Behind the India-Pakistan Showdown (11/99)

One of the world’s most disputed places, the northernmost state of India consists of the two regions – Jammu and Kashmir. Known as the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), it shares borders with Tibet and southwestern China to the east and Pakistan to the west. In the north lie the Himalayas. Although often equated to paradise for its beauty, danger lurks behind the awe-inspiring landscape.

On July 19, 1999, for example, nightfall brought another nightmare for Indians in the area’s Doda district. After overcoming resistance, militants supported by Pakistan – and allied with Osama Bin Laden’s network – rounded up 15 Hindu men, women, and children, and pumped bullets into them. Meanwhile, in the Poonch region, four Hindus were separated from a group of road construction workers and ruthlessly killed. read more

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Communist Comeback (11/99)

Less than a decade ago, Kazakstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan were integral parts of a highly centralized Soviet Union, with the Communist Party firmly in charge. Electors simply voted for a list of candidates provided by party bureaucrats, and parliaments were rubber stamps. Now the Communist empire is gone, but the Soviet-era leaders remain, the same men who held office when the USSR collapsed. The only exception is Tajikistan, whose Communist leader, Rahman Nabiyev, died in 1994. read more