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Subject: Horta interview on VOA
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 13:18:08 GMT
From: TAPOL

DATE=11/6/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-241333 TITLE=NOBEL LAUREATES / HORTA (L-O) BYLINE=SUZANNA ANDERSON DATELINE=CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. CONTENT= VOICED AT:

INTRO: TIMORESE NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE JOSE RAMOS-HORTA SAYS THE END OF INDONESIAN PRESIDENT SUHARTO'S RULE MEANS THAT EAST TIMOR NOW HAS A REAL CHANCE FOR A BETTER FUTURE. V-O-A'S SUZANNA ANDERSON SPOKE WITH MR. HORTA AT A GATHERING OF NOBEL LAUREATES IN CHARLOTTSVILLE, VIRGINIA.

TEXT: JOSE RAMOS-HORTA SAYS THE WORLD HAS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY NOW TO RESOLVE THE EAST TIMOR CONFLICT, WHICH HAS DRAGGED ON FOR 23 YEARS. HE SAYS THIS RENEWED HOPE DOES NOT LIE IN THE HABIBIE GOVERNMENT -- BUT IN THOSE INDONESIANS WHO ARE SEEKING DEMOCRACY.

//HORTA ACT 1//

UNFORTUNATELY, HABIBIE IS PART OF THE SUHARTO LEGACY. HE IS WHERE HE IS BECAUSE OF SUHARTO'S APPOINTMENT OF HIM AS VICE PRESIDENT -- BECAUSE OF THAT CLOSE RELATIONSHIP THAT GOES BACK ALL THEIR LIVES. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, I BELIEVE THAT THE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT, THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, IS IRREVERSIBLE BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE DEMANDING.

// END ACT1//

MR. HORTA SAYS THAT NEW POLITICAL LEADERS EMERGING IN INDONESIA SUPPORT THE U-N PLAN FOR AUTONOMY AND THE CALL BY TIMORESE LEADERS FOR A REFERENDUM ON EAST TIMOR'S FUTURE.

HOWEVER, HE SAYS THAT MANY FACTIONS IN THE INDONESIAN MILITARY CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT FORCE IS THE ONLY WAY TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICT -- WHICH BEGAN WHEN INDONESIA ENTERED THE COUNTRY IN 1975 AND ANNEXED IT A YEAR LATER.

THE NOBEL LAUREATE SAYS THERE IS PROOF THAT THE INDONESIAN ARMED FORCES, KNOWN AS ABRI (AHB-BREE), HAS FAILED TO LIVE UP TO ITS PROMISE TO PULL OUT THOUSANDS OF TROOPS FROM EAST TIMOR.

//HORTA ACT 2//

THERE IS ABUNDANT DOCUMENTATION THAT INDONESIA HAS 20-THOUSAND TROOPS IN EAST TIMOR -- NOT THE FOUR OR SIX THOUSAND THEY CLAIM. ANYWAY WHO IN THIS DAY IS GOING TO TRUST ABRI'S WORD. THEY LIE AND LIE AND LIE FOR 32 YEARS -- PROTECTING SUHARTO.

//END ACT 2//

INDONESIA DENIED THIS WEEK THAT IT HAD SENT NEW TROOPS INTO TIMOR AFTER ONE-THOUSAND SOLDIERS WERE WITHDRAWN EARLIER THIS YEAR.

HOWEVER, MR. HORTA DOES NOT PUT ALL THE BLAME ON INDONESIA FOR THE SITUATION IN THE FORMER PORTUGUESE COLONY. AT THE NOBEL LAUREATES CONFERENCE, HE SAID THAT EVERY MAJOR COUNTRY IN THE WORLD PROVIDED WEAPONS TO INDONESIA, WHICH ENABLED JAKARTA TO HOLD ON TO TIMOR FOR SO LONG.

HE SAID MANY INDONESIANS ARE NOW ASKING HOW THE SITUATION IN TIMOR COULD HAVE HAPPENED AND QUESTIONING THE LOSS OF LIFE THAT IS THE RESULT OF 23 YEARS OF CONFLICT.

//HORTA ACT 3//

WHO IS GOING TO EXPLAIN TO THE INDONESIAN PEOPLE THE LOSS OF THEIR OWN PEOPLE? THOUSANDS OF INDONESIAN SOLDIERS LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE FIELD IN EAST TIMOR. WHO IS GOING TO EXPLAIN TO THE INDONESIAN PEOPLE THAT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WAS WASTED IN WEAPONS PURCHASES INSTEAD OF CHANNELING THEM TO EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, CLEAN WATER AND HOUSING FOR THEIR OWN PEOPLE?

// END ACT 3//

AN ESTIMATED 200-THOUSAND PEOPLE DIED IN THE GUERRILLA FIGHTING AND UNREST IN TIMOR. THE UNITED NATIONS HAS BEEN ATTEMPTING TO BROKER A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT OVER EAST TIMOR SINCE 1983. THE TALKS HAVE GAINED NEW MOMENTUM SINCE PRESIDENT SUHARTO STEPPED DOWN. (SIGNED)

NEB/SA/RRM


TAPOL, the 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 Campaigning to expose human rights violations in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh

Join us to celebrate TAPOL's 25th anniversary on 20 October 1998. Contact us for ticket details.

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