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Subject: affet: re Need for Monitors
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 23:01:26 +0930
From: Rob Wesley-Smith <> Organization: Australians for a Free East Timor (AFFET) /Troppo Rural Consulting

The AETN email Campaign letter to the UN etc [reposted on 9 Nov] dwells a lot on the need for international monitors or peacekeepers or whatever you want to call them. Without these, and with unconfirmed vast numbers of Indonesian troops in place in East Timor, there can be no genuine self-determination let alone some sort of real autonomy.

The call for such monitors has come from Xanana, and virtually all East Timorese nationalist leaders who have been reported on the matter. Some examples are quoted following. But this is not a matter which is even being discussed at the UN talks as far as one can tell, probably because noone believes the Indonesians will allow such.

However the following posting (no 2) from 14 Aug 98 shows the Indonesians formally agreed to monitors. What then is the problem?

Of course we all understand that the Indonesian government needs to withdraw 'without too much loss of face'. But will they? It may be a terrible miscalculation to agree to 'autonomy' which then gets East Timor off the front pages and out of the schedules of Governments, and that may be where it stays.

At the least, send the email campaign letter or your own or your modification of this letter to the UN and governments and media before 19th November. NO SELL-OUT! Rob Wesley-Smith

1. 6 November 1998 East Timor Settlement Talks At Critical Stage - U.N. Envoy

LISBON (AP)- Jamsheed Marker, the U.N. envoy for East Timor, said late Thursday that the proposal envisages broad autonomy for the disputed Southeast Asian territory.

"We've reached a very important, and I might even say critical, moment in the talks," Marker told reporters after a dinner with President Jorge Sampaio.

He said the U.N. plan includes "a proposal for very wide-ranging autonomy for East Timor," a former Portuguese colony which Indonesia invaded in 1975 and later annexed.

Lisbon and Jakarta have agreed to discuss the proposal which was "couched in legal terms" and could provide the foundation for a future Constitution for East Timor, Marker said, though he declined to give further details.

2. IPS: Indonesia accepts observers in East Timor Fri, 14 Aug 1998 posted by sonny inbaraj <>

GENEVA, Aug 13 (IPS) - Indonesia's government showed concrete evidence of its policy for gradual liberalisation on the human rights front, signing a co-operation agreement with the United Nations (UN) human rights entity.

The technical co-operation agreement signed between the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Jakarta guaranteed access of international officials to the disputed territory of East Timor for the next two years.

Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, applauded the agreement and declared she was confident the convention would allow the most pressing human rights concerns in Indonesia to be tackled.

The agreement signed Thursday between the High Commissioner's office and Jakarta stated the personnel for the project "will have access to all parts of Indonesia with the aim of evaluating the primordial necessities".

"It is understood (the agreement) includes facilitating access to East Timor", specified the document.

The recent human rights situation in East Timor has been cause for concern for governments and specialist non-governmental organisations.

The new Indonesian government launched a proposal for "special status" for East Timor, which started to be negotiated between representatives of Jakarta and Lisbon, Portugal aiming for agreement to be reached in the next few months.

While the Portuguese-Indonesian negotiations are underway, the agreement signed in Geneva Thursday will allow UN officials to evaluate the human rights situation in the disputed area.

3. 4 Nov 98 The Independent

"We need international attention," says Commander Lere. "We need the UN to come and witness the withdrawals otherwise they will never happen."

"The Indonesia military has too much business here, too many opportunities for promotion and profit." The danger of a drawn-out solution, he says, is economic: that the poverty of many East Timorese will compromise the population.

4. Lisbon, Nov. 6 (Lusa) - Ma 'Huno, a former guerrilla, [leader after Xanana was captured] has called for the deployment of UN monitors in East Timor to check Indonesian troop movements and deployments in the occupied territory.

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