Subject: affet:Xmas/NewYear ClashesTimor
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 23:57:58 +0930
From: Rob Wesley-Smith <rwesley@ozemail.com.au> Organization: Australians for a Free East Timor (AFFET) /Troppo Rural Consulting

On 4 Jan the following posting from AFP was released under the heading "Two killed in East Timor clash".

The REALITY of the Indonesian military policy of Suratman and the Bali-based Simbono is destabilisation, achieved by implementing a policy to arm their supporters in East Timor. This reality is becoming expressed in fighting and deaths, whilst the UN and its players turn a blind eye. The truth about some events of last few days is reported following:

Note the absurdity of the AFP report and Indonesian military claims of "armed militia backing 'autonomy'" - what sort of autonomy is it if backed by the Indonesian military arming its people?!

> DILI, East Timor, Jan 4 (AFP) - Two men were killed and five wounded > in East Timor when supporters of a referendum on the future of the > troubled territory clashed with an armed militia backing autonomy, a > source said Monday.

> Militia members at a security post in Ainaro district fired into a > mob of about 100 people late on Sunday after warning shots were > ignored, the source here said.

> The head of the East Timor military information service, Captain Agus > Nukasa, said autonomy supporters had complained of harassment and > terror by those who backed a referendum for the former Portuguese > colony which Indonesia annexed in 1976.

> They said several houses in the area had been burned, forcing them to > establish an armed civilian militia set up with the help of the > military, Nukasa said.

> The militia established five security posts which apparently > irritated the referendum lobby, he added.

The TRUTH is that about 1,000 young Timorese Garda Paksi have been and are being trained in using arms which are now being distributed to them by the Indonesian military ABRI. The training is in camps near Balibo, Atabae and Atambua, on the west side of East Timor. The ex Bupati of Maliana, Joao Tavares, is directing the training.

On Sunday 3 Jan 1999 a clash occurred near Ainaro in the SW, actually in Manutasi village which is less than 10 km north of Ainaro via Maubessi. GRPTT under the Retih program are controlled from Ainaro military headquarters by the son of Francisco Lopes. The GRPTT, with 40 new weapons, had set up a para military post at Manutasi.

'Pro referendum forces' from Casa intended to discourage them from so overt a display of force. However, in a fight 2 GRPTT were killed and it is reported that 8 were injured.

This can be seen as an example of the kind of effects which ABRI are trying to achieve. They will cynically and hypocritically use such clashes, which they instigate, to demand their continued presence to ensure peace.

Further examples:

* Maliana area (see above) is very tense with terror prevailing, as Garda Paksi and ABRI maintain night patrols harrassing villages in the area. This eased off a little over Christmas, but continues now.

* About 500 people have abandoned the Timorese 'transmigration area' of Alas, and are staying with families and friends in relocation villages at Covalima, putting great strains there.

* South of Baucau on Saturday 2 Jan 1999 a Team SAKA group travelled to Baguia and shot dead one Pemuda (name not known yet). CNRT people travelled there Monday to arrange for the burial in Baucau. The funeral could get angry.

* From south of Dili nearly 400 refugees came from Turiscai to shelter in Becora (Dili). They are unable to get enough resources, which has led to clashes with local residents.

* In Dili itself tensions and fears are causing some fights and casualties.

* On Christmas eve a clash occurred between groups which spilled into the Baucau Cathedral, with the fight going on inside. As a result the people of the villages which the warring parties came from are being refused the sacraments by the church.

> Security authorities were still investigating the violence. [Oh great! They instigate the violence, then 'investigate' it!!]

> Jakarta has offered wide ranging autonomy for East Timor which it > invaded in 1975.

[The reality is Jakarta has offered very limited 'autonomy', which includes Jakarta military presence, Jakarta control of finances, and Jakarta control of foreign affairs policy which will include immigration, visas etc]

> The scheme is being negotiated between Indonesia and Portugal under > the auspices of the UN secretary general who has been sponsoring peace > talks on East Timor since 1983.

[That says it all - negotiations since 1983!!, and still crawling]

> The United Nations and most states still view Lisbon as the official > administrator in East Timor.

> The autonomy scheme is opposed by many East Timorese who believe a > referendum was the only way out of problems there.

> East Timor's influential jailed rebel leader Xanana Gusmao has said > an autonomy would only be acceptable for about 10 years after which > a referendum should be prepared.

[Did he? And what sort of autonomy?]

The above reality is dangerous and disappointing. Mr Marker, Mr Kofi Annan, and the Portuguese, cannot just negotiate away some deal without recognising that ABRI are actively fomenting trouble precisely to thwart any decent arrangement. UN monitors/peacekeepers are needed NOW.

Rob Wesley-Smith Mon (late) 4 Jan 1999 a spokesperson for affet darwin phfx +61 8 89832113 0419 907 175 rwesley@ozemail.com.au

Back to January Menu
Main Postings Menu

Postings of Human Rights Violations in Timor