Subject: Reuters - U.N Special Envoy Arrives in East Timor
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 11:39:09 -0000
From: "Paula Carvalho Pinto" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
U.N Special Envoy Arrives in East Timor Reuters - 19-DEC-98
DILI, East Timor, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.N special envoy Jamsheed Marker arrived in East Timor on Saturday, urging peace as thousands of pro-independence East Timorese held fresh protests in the disputed territory's capital, Dili.
Marker flew from Bali aboard a military helicopter, landing at an airforce base just outside Dili and heading straight to the residence of East Timor military commander Colonel Tono Suratman for talks.
"I am very happy to be back in East Timor to continue the peace process and I call to all sides to maintain a peaceful atmosphere," Marker told reporters on arrival.
"I bring a message from the U.N secretary general (Kofi Annan)-- we acknowledge the suffering of all the people who have been determined to continue the peace process without violence.
"Violence will slow down the peace process. We all want a peaceful and happy resolution-- that's is why I'm here."
As Marker arrived, about 2,000 people protested outside the provincial legislature, demanding a referendum on independence and an end to violence.
Marker is in East Timor for a brief visit to meet local leaders, including the predominantly Catholic province's spritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Belo.
Indonesia and Portugal began talks in August on a proposal by President B.J Habibie to grant wide-ranging autonomy to the former Portugese colony now ruled by Jakarta.
The two countries had hoped to reach an agreement on East Timor's fate before the end of the year, but Portugal stopped the talks last month following reports of killings during a military crackdown in Alas, a remote town in the territory.
The talks are due to resume early in the new year.
The United nations does not recoognise Indonesia's rule in East Timor and still regards Portugal as the administering power.
But the United Nations is sponsoring the Lisbon-Jakarta talks in a bid to bring peace to the province.
Indonesia maintains a heavy military presence there to combat a low-level guerrilla campaign by pro-independene rebels that has continued since Indonesia's invasion in 1975.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.