Subject: AFP: E. Timor protest demands dismissal of Jakarta-appointed governor
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 14:10:53 +0000
From: Tapol <plovers@gn.apc.org>

Received from Joyo

East Timor protest demands dismissal of Jakarta-appointed governor

DILI, East Timor, Jan 11 (AFP) - About 50 demonstrators protested outside the local parliament here Monday calling for the East Timor governor appointed by Jakarta to be dismissed and tried for graft, collusion and nepotism.

The small group, in a written statement distributed during the protest, said that during his five-year rule governor Jose Osorio Abilio Soares had been guilty of promoting corruption, collusion and nepotism in East Timor.

"Dismiss Abilio (Soares)," and "Take the governor to court for corruption, collusion and nepotism," read some of the posters carried by the demonstrators who yelled similar slogans.

"We ask the central government to dismiss Abilio," their statement adding, saying Soares should be brought to court without mentioning any specific charges.

It said while the local parliament worked to elect a new governor, the government should install former East Timor governor Mario Carrascalao, who was replaced by Soares in 1992, in a caretaker capacity.

The group suggested five names as potential candidates for the territory's top post, including current ambassador at large on East Timor issue, Franciscus Xaverius Lopez da Cruz.

The group, unimpeded by security, later toured the city's streets.

Carrascalao, currently a member of the Supreme Advisory Council, which advises the president of Indonesia on general policies, was governor for 10 years until 1992.

In 1989, he sought and obtained the lifting of a ban on travel to and from the former Portuguese colony which Jakarta annexed in 1976 after invading it the year before.

The United Nations continues to see Lisbon as the official administrator of the territory.

Meanwhile in Jakarta, Home Affairs Minister Syarwan Hamid said Jakarta had no plans to replace Abilio.

"We have no plans to replace Abilio. But if the East Timorese demand his resignation, it's possible. We have contacts with the local government and we'll see the process. It should be bottom-up," Hamid said.

"Provincial officials said there was demand from central government. I don't know who demands his resignation. But he refused to resign because it's not in line with the law," Hamid added.


Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 1420 80153 Email: plovers@gn.apc.org Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh, 1973-1998

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