Subject: SMH: Ramos Horta Points Finger At the Indon Military

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts January 21, 2000, Friday Excerpts from report by Portuguese radio on 20th January

Timorese leader accuses Indonesian army of destabilization campaign

[Presenter] Jose Ramos Horta [vice-president of the National Council of the Timorese Resistance and Nobel Peace laureate in 1996] gave a news conference in Dili this morning.

[Horta] We have been witnessing the intensification of a destabilization campaign by top Indonesian military officials, from the Bali command. Agreements which have been signed since the one signed by [US] Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in November and other accords between Interfet [International Force in East Timor] and the TNI [Indonesian army] with a view to controlling the border, to disarming the militias, are still being violated. What is happening at the moment is that Indonesia, a sovereign state, a UN member state, is allowing its territory to be used as a training base, as a base for terrorist organizations which attack not only a neighbouring country, the civilian population of a neighbouring country, but also an international organization, the UN. This goes against all rules of co-existence between countries. It is a very serious act which harms further the good name of the Republic of Indonesia.

We think it is time for the UNSC to meet again to analyse the situation in Oecussi [enclave] as well as on the border with West Timor. And if necessary the security council and other institutions should intensify pressure on Jakarta so that those elements of the armed forces, who continue to terrorize the people of Oecussi and continue to want to destabilize East Timor, are really punished. One of the measures is precisely for the UNSC to decide and set the date for the creation of a war crimes tribunal. Only a war crimes tribunal can act as a deterrent to the radical line of the Indonesian army.

[Presenter] We apologize for the quality of the sound of Ramos Horta's words... We now have Ramos Horta on the line from Dili. Can we say that the most difficult situation in terms of security at the moment is in the Oecussi enclave?

[Horta] Well, let us put things into perspective. When we say (?complicated), tense, it does not mean that we are on the eve of a frontal aggression, an invasion of Oecussi. After all it is the an Indonesian colonel, backed by his superior officers in Bali and Jakarta, who is constantly provoking Interfet, constantly challenging the UN and putting psychological pressure on the civilian population. What is happening in Oecussi, in fact in West Timor, is an act of state terrorism. When a country shelters a group of terrorists - because the militias, and we all know who they are, are terrorists, killers - when it shelters these people and uses the territory of a sovereign country to attack another - this is state terrorism, international terrorism, it is an aggression against East Timor and against the UN.

[Q] That is why you are calling on the UNSC to intervene and press the Jakarta authorities.

[A] Of course. We have no conflict whatsoever with President Wahid. We are waiting for his visit at the end of February. He will be received with all the honour and dignity he deserves as a friend of Timor, as a fighter against Suharto's regime - but there is an army faction which remains unhappy and continues to challenge the Indonesian president. What is happening at the moment is not only a challenge to the UN, a psychological war against Timor, but an attempt to discredit the democratic regime led by President Wahid.

[Q] What is the situation of the refugees, hostages shall we say, in West Timor - perhaps over 100,000 people?

[A] I don't know if there are more than 100,000 people, perhaps a lot less. We never believed the Indonesian estimate because they inflated it to justify international aid. But the point is that Indonesia is still holding hostages, Timorese refugees who were forced to flee to West Timor, or taken by force. It is the militias, backed by the Indonesian army - they have been armed, given equipment, money, barracks, vehicles by the Indonesian army - who are holding hostage the thousands of East Timorese innocent victims. Once more it reveals the total complicity and bad faith of certain lieutenants in the Indonesian army.

[Q] What about the social tension in East Timor? Xanana Gusmao [president of the National Council of the Timorese Resistance] yesterday was forced to intervene in Dili. Is it possible to calm this tension?

[A] Yes, I think so. These are not demands, conflicts of a political nature. They are small problems which start - in this particular case in the Pite [phonetic] neighbourhood yesterday - with a scene of violence between children, primary school or secondary school age. Other people who should not have interfered, did interfere and made things worse. So something which started with children, at a school, developed into a generalized conflict between different youth factions. Until now, throughout the territory there have been no acts of political violence. There has been crime and deaths, because of unemployment, because youths are frustrated. Schools are not open, there are no jobs, there is no entertainment, there are no cultural or sport activities - so all this leads to tension and social conflict.

[Q] ...Do you think that in the short-term it will be possible to revitalize all this?

[A] In the short term no. I believe that it will take at least six months, I could say six months is short term but six months is a long time. Some commercial, economic activities are under way, but they are very limited bearing in mind the demand for jobs - 80 per cent of the active population is unemployed. There is really no employment in Timor at the moment. Some are farming - at least they are living from that. The situation at the moment, we can say, is one of generalized unemployment in Timor. This can probably be changed within six months, but I cannot be precise because it all depends on the availability of the promised funds, the World Bank funds and bilateral aid...


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