My Monthly Editorial


When the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit comes to the University of British Columbia this November 25, Vancouver will be rolling out the red carpet for some of the world's worst human rights violators, including Chinese president Jiang Zemin and the Phillippines' Fidel Ramos.

Foremost among them is Indonesian dictator Suharto. A former general in the Indonesian army, Suharto seized power in a 1965 coup, at a cost of up to a million lives, according to Amnesty International. He is most notorious for ordering Indonesia's invasion of East Timor in 1975. Since then, an estimated 200,000 people—one Timorese out of every three—have been killed. Noam Chonsky has called the situation in East Timor "the most obscene abandonment of world moral order since the Holocaust." The United Nations has passed ten resolutions calling for Indonesia to withdraw from East Timor, but Suharto has refused.

Suharto's treatment of his own people is not much better. Democracy is effectively banned in Indonesia, as are trade unions. Since workers cannot organize, wages are frozen below subsistence levels, averaging the equivalent of $2 per day.

Over the past five years, Canada has played a pivotal role in financing Suharto's regime. Canadian investments in Indonesia have nearly tripled since Jean Chrétien's Liberal government came to power, going a day.urrent figure of $9 billion. Chrétien has even allowed arms sales to Indonesia to resume, issuing permits for hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons exports.

Activist groups are calling for concerned people to protest at U.B.C. this November, and for the arrest and trial of Suharto.

For more information on opposition to APEC, e-mail APEC Alert at:

To contact the East Timor Action Network, e-mail: OR:


By John Lucas. Taken from Super Lemon. Used with permison.

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