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Subject: RENETIL on Abilio's Latest Manoeuvre
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 00:25:21 -0700 (PDT)
From: TAPOL

The following report was received from RENETIL on 22 June, 1998:

After mass actions and student protests in Dili and Jakarta during the past weeks calling for a Referendum and Independence for East Timor, the Indonesian appointed governor of East Timor, Abilio Osorio Soares, today (22/06/98) in Dili, mobilised East Timor traditional figures to support autonomy status for the territory. The governor secretly contacted several traditional leaders to persuade them to support his proposal. Abilio is reported to have prepared a document to be signed by the traditional leaders on behalf of East Timor people, to affirm their preference for autonomous status for East Timor under Indonesian rule.

In a public gathering in Dili two weeks ago, contradicting the views of the majority of the participants, Abilio expressed support for a so called special autonomy planned by the Indonesian government.

Before his maneuver, Abilio stated in a TV interview that he had held a meeting with Xanana Gusmao, and said that Gusmao had agreed with him that a dialogue between all East Timorese is urgently required to find a peaceful solution for the case of East Timor. However, his unilateral political manuever contravenes the principle of dialogue, since it has been done without involving others. It is obvious that he had had a meeting with Gusmao just in order to gain public support for his recent political move.

On the other hand, Gusmao is reported to have rejected the proposal made public by Habibie to grant special autonomy to East Timor. "Referendum is the one and only way to solve the problem of East Timor", Xanana told Reuters.

It is therefore questionable that Gusmao agreed with Abilio as he claims.

In view of this latest maneuver by Abilio Osorio, East Timorese students in Dili are planning to hold a big protest tomorrow (23/06/98).

A silimar manoeuvre was also taken by Abilio to support Suharto's position before his fall, but the movement was canceled because of the sudden resignation of Suharto.

RSS/RENETIL.

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TAPOL, Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 8HW, UK Phone: 0181 771-2904 Fax: 0181 653-0322 email: tapol@gn.apc.org Defending the rights of the victims of Indonesian oppression in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh. ************************************************************