|Subject: East Timor press
Bahasa Indonesia Headlines Tuesday 24 April 2001
1. Is An International Tribunal Needed?
1.Is An International Tribunal Needed? (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)
The statement over the weekend by CNRT President Xanana Gusmao that an international tribunal, to try persons suspected of committing crimes against humanity, was not a priority for Timor Lorosae, at the moment, has created a stir.
The East Timor NGO Forum a consortium of all local NGOs in the country said in a press release that it was disappointed with the independence leader’s comments in Jakarta when he met Indonesia President Abdurrahman Wahid.
“If Xanana’s statements were true, then the NGO Forum hopes that it was just a political statement that will not have a bearing on the families that have lost their loved ones because of the brutalities of the Indonesian military,” said the press release.
The NGO Forum press release said there were inconsistencies with Xanana’s statement because investigations carried out by the Indonesian Courts had not really answered the question of compensation for the families whose members were brutally killed by the Indonesian military in Timor Lorosae.
The NGO Forum said the international tribunal must be an option to be seriously considered because of indications that Indonesia was not making any progress on investigating human rights abuses carried out by its armed forces while they were in Timor Lorosae.
“We haven’t yet seen a single general, including General Prabowo Subianto brought before a court of law in Indonesia,” said NGO Forum.
“If the perpetrators of crimes against humanity cannot be brought before an International Court, then where are they going to be tried?” asked Arsenio Bano, the executive director of NGO Forum.
2. Willem da Costa: “We Will Shoot Dead Armed Civilians” (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page second lead)
KUPANG There will be no tolerance for armed civilians in Indonesia-controlled West Timor. They will be shot dead by the armed forces if they fail to surrender their weapons. This was stated yesterday by the Commander the Udayana Command Major-General Willem da Costa.
“We make no distinction between the militias or PPI (Fighting Forces for Integration). We will apprehend any civilian with weapons. If they do not surrender their weapons we will shoot them on the spot,” said Major-General Willem, who was speaking to reporters at Kupang’s El Tari Airport.
Major-Genral Willem said he was giving an opportunity to the East Timorese refugees in the camps in West Timor to surrender their weapons voluntarily.
“I had also given this ultimatum to the milisas and ex-TNI members who wanted to go back home,” said Major-General Willem.
The Udyana Commander said the militias had surrendered 100 hand grenades and 49 rifles before returning back to Timor Lorosae.
“If they are given incentives, I hope they will voluntarily surrender their weapons,” said Major-General Willem.
3. Carrascalao: No Evidence Of Indonesia Supporting Terrorists At Border (Timor Post, Front Page second lead)
The Deputy President of CNRT Mario Viegas Carrascalao stressed yesterday that Indonesia did not have any intentions of nurturing a group of terrorists at the West Timor-Timor Lorosae border in order to destablize the country.
Mario Carrascalao said rumors of a Veterans Brigade, comprising ex-Indonesia armed forces officers, operating at the border and waiting for an opportune moment to seize back Timor Lorosae were unfounded.
“I think these rumours have been spread to terrorize the Timorese people in the run-up to the 30 August election,” said Mario Carrascalao in an interview with the Timor Post.
“A group of terrorists will not be able to defeat the Timorese people. Even the TNI, for 25 years, could not subdue the Timorese people,” said Mario Carrascalao.
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