Subject: West Timor Press Nov 24 - Dec 1 2001

West Timor Press Summaries 24th November ? 1st December 2001 NTT X ? NTT Eks pres; PK ? Pos Kupang; ST ? Surya Timor; RT ? Radar Timor; SP ? Sasando Pos

Saturday, 24 November 2001

PK: A clash between the youth of Kampong Bansone and Peboko village erupted in Kefamenanu, North Central Timor (TTU) district on Friday (23 Nov.). The two vehicles and three houses were damaged. The motive behind the clash is yet to be discovered since the Police are still investigating the case. Several persons have reportedly been detained at the police base of TTU in connection with the clash. The situation around the city in the evening after the incident was calm. Police personnel were seen safeguarding places nearby the incident.

NTT X: Chief of District Military Base of Belu, Lieut. Col, Didi Sudiana shut down five military posts located along the road of Atambua and Lamaknen following protests from the people over the military members' behaviours. To the press in Atambua, Lieut. Col, Sudiana said that the posts were established to watch over the mobilization of goods such as daily necessities and fuels around the areas of North Belu. He suspected that those goods would be smuggled to East Timor through Turiscain since the number of goods supplied to Northern areas of Belu had exceeded the demands of the people there. He regretted such behaviour of his subordinates and called on the people to report to the Military Base of Belu if there is any case of military members extracting money from the people in later days. He stated further that people could retrieve the goods seized by the military members upon presentation of ownership evidence.

PK: Four units of Military/Police are ready to safeguard the visit of East Timor independence leader, Xanana Gusmao during his visit in West Timor scheduled to take place from Monday (26 Nov.). Chief of Operation Command of Provincial Police Base, Snr Comr, Drs. Edward Pakasi informed this after attending a coordination meeting held on Friday (23 Nov.) at the Police Base concerning the security preparation for the visit. According to Snr. Comr, Edward Pakasi, Xanana would be accompanied by Chief of Staff of UNTAET, N. Parameswaran, Staffs of UNMO, Liut. Col, Abdul Kharim Hamza and Liut. Col, Ramao Paulo and several East Timor journalists.

PK: Some 53 illegal immigrants from the Middle East who had been accommodated at the Police School of Kupang were transferred to Situbondo, East Java aboard the Passenger Ship, Dobonsolo on Wednesday (21 Nov). Spokesperson for the Provincial Police, Adj. Snr. Comr, I Wajan Dana concurred the transfer of the immigrants reporting further that there are still 430 other immigrants accommodated at the Police School of Kupang at present. The expense for transferring the illegal immigrants to Situbondo was covered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), he added. All the illegal immigrants need to be relocated from the Police School since it would be used for students starting from January 2002.

PK: The handling of matters related to natural disasters would be vested on each related District Government said the spokesperson of the Provincial Government, Drs. J. Kosapilawan at the legislature building in Kupang on Friday (23 Nov.). He stated that with the implementation of the regional autonomy, each district government has its full authority to manage its administration including the handling of matters related to natural disasters. From now on, the role of the Provincial Government would only be to conduct coordination with the district government of natural disasters and would directly help the district government in handling the disaster if deemed necessary.

PK: Thousands of refugees residing in Halilulik, Belu district gathered on Thursday night (22 Nov.) to watch a documentary film played by the Military Base of Belu about the peace process in East Timor. The film depicts several reconciliation processes of the people in East Timor and in West Timor, and the recent repatriation processes in the Metamasin checkpoint was played. The repatriation process portrayed in the film was the return of Francisco Lopes de Carvalho with his 800 followers on 14 September, and refugees' leader Nemecio Lopez de Carvalho on the 17 October.

PK: The Deputy for District Coordinator of Ambeno, Fransisco Bano Raja Muda, and Ambeno community leader, Antonio da Costa said that as many as 18 tribes in Ambeno District in East Timor had expressed their support of repatriation of East Timor refugees from West Timor. The two leaders revealed this during the reconciliation meeting facilitated by the Indonesian Military/Police and UNPKF at a border post in Napan village on Thursday (22 Nov.). The meeting was divided into two phases. The first phase was the meeting between the District Government of North Central Timor and UNTAET, IOM and UNPKF exchanging information and discussing the handling of refugees. The second phase of the meeting was between coordinators of refugees from Ambeno and Ambeno district administration officials and several community leaders of Ambeno. Former Commander of Militiamen from Oecusse, Moko Soares was present in the meeting. It was agreed in the meeting to send envoys from Ambeno to the refugees at camps to disseminate the latest situation in East Timor. Leaders of refugees would also pay a visit to their homeland to witness the situation there.

Monday, 26 November 2001

PK: Provincial Police Chief of East Nusa Tenggara, Brig. Gen. Jacky Uly stated to the press on Saturday (24 Nov.) at the Police Base in Kupang that the planned visit by Xanana in Kupang scheduled for Monday 26 November does not have any political intention behind it but is merely to speed up reconciliation among the East Timorese and to encourage the return of East Timor refugees back to East Timor. The Central government had already approved of the visit, said Brig. Gen, Jacky Uly. As many as 592 personnel of the Police/Military have been procured to safeguard the visit. Meanwhile according to the Provincial Military Chief, Col. Moesanip, Xanana will hold talks with a number of pro-integration hardliners to be convened at the sport hall of Oepoi in Kupang. Pro-integration hardliners have reportedly expressed their willingness to attend the dialogue.

PK: Starting from Tuesday (20 Nov.), Police of West Sumba district have been conducting an operation to sweep firearms in the possession of the people in West Sumba. Home-assembled and organic firearms have been used by the people in committing a number of crimes in the district. Police Chief of West Sumba District, Ajd. Snr. Comr, E. D, Kalumbang informed that there is an increasing tendency of firearms in the possession of the people in West Sumba district.

RT: Due to a less favourable security situation in Mota'ain, a reconciliation meeting of East Timorese and refugees from Manatuto particularly from the sub-districts of Laklubar, Soibada and Bariki failed to take place on Saturday (24 Nov.). At least 250 refugee representatives residing in four districts in West Timor were greatly disappointed with the cancellation. A facilitator of the reconciliation meeting, Vidal Sarmento stated on Sunday (24 Nov.) that he was disappointed with the cancellation adding that the earlier two reconciliation meetings held on 5 and 16 November were a success. The UN Civilian Police reportedly cancelled the planned meeting since they considered the security situation at Mota'ain was not conducive for such a meeting.

Tuesday, 27 November 2001

PK/NTT X: East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao arrived in Kupang yesterday (24 Nov.) and was welcomed by a former militia leader, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho. Xanana was accompanied by his wife and his only child for his three-day visit in Kupang in a bid for a reconciliation process of all East Timorese. Among those who came to greet Xanana at Kupang airport yesterday were, Secretary of Provincial Administration, Drs. Djidon de Haan, and Provincial Military Chief, Col Muswarno Moesanip. Several members of UNTAS (organization for East Timorese in exile) also came to greet Xanana at the airport. Included in Xanana's entourage were Chief of Staff of UNTAET, N. Parameswaran, three UNMO officers; Lieut. Col, Moh. Arif. Arifin, Maj, Rashid Ramly, and Lieut. Col, Abdul Khalid Hamzah, and several East Timor journalists. Meanwhile, asked by the press of his opinion of Xanana's visit, former militiamen leader, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho stated that he is hopeful the visit would encourage more repatriation of the refugees back to East Timor.

PK/NTT X: Xanana Gusmao expressed his gratitude to the people of East Nusa Tenggara who had been helping the people of East Timor in the the camps and facilitating those who had repatriated home. Besides meeting the Governor, Xanana also held talks with several legislators including the speaker of provincial legislature. Xanana stated further that he was hopeful that the relationship between East Timor and NTT could be improved since he realized that NTT is the bridge between the two countries, East Timor and Indonesia. Xanana commented that his visit is a reconciliatory visit to encourage the return of refugees to East Timor. He said further that he understands the refugees' hesitation to return since some still have views that there is no law and order in East Timor. He defied this saying that a truth and reconciliation commission had been established in East Timor to settle the problems among East Timorese, and that reconciliation would be top priority. He assured further that law and order is upheld in East Timor. The speaker of legislature, Drs. Daniel Woda Pale, told the press that during his meeting with Xanana, he urged the government of East Timor to accept the refugees and give them a security warranty. Xanana is scheduled to meet with Udayana Regional Military Commander, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa and Provincial Military Chief, Col. M. Moesanip at the Military Base in Kupang today. He will be also meeting bishop of Kupang, Mgr. Petrus Turang.

NTT X: Some 68 families/242 persons returned to East Timor going through Mota' ain checkpoint yesterday (26 Nov.). Antara reported from Atambua that the return of these refugees was facilitated by the Taskforce of Natural Disasters and the Taskforce for Refugees' Affairs. Most of the returnees came from Labur camp in East Malaka sub-district and several camps in Atambua, Belu. The refugees headed towards the districts of Ailiu, Dili, Liquica, and Bobonaro. They were welcomed by staff of UNHCR and IOM at the transit camp in Batugade. Before crossing the border, the refugees were given an incentive of Rp.750.000 per family.

RT: Abilio Soares, former Governor of East Timor, known as one of the pro-integration hardliners, confirmed yesterday of his rejection to meet with Xanana Gusmao. Abilio stated this at Eltari airport, a moment before taking off to Jakarta. He defied that his leaving for Jakarta is to avoid the meeting with Xanana saying that the departure had been planned since last week. Abilio Soares once stated firmly that the problems faced by the people of East Timor should be resolved by East Timorese themselves without any involvement of other parties including UNTAET or the Indonesian Government.

Wednesday, 28 November 2001

PK: East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao held a meeting with a hard line pro-integration leader Joao Tavarez at Sasando Hotel here in Kupang on Tuesday (27 Nov.). Both leaders agreed to end the conflicts and to build East Timor with peace as its foundation. Speaking to the press, Xanana stated that the meeting mainly discussed about how to achieve a thorough reconciliation of all East Timorese. He was quoted as saying, "We agree to conduct reconciliation involving the Liurai (chieftains) from East Timor and those residing here". The meeting between the two leaders was facilitated by another former militia commander, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho.

NTT X: During his talks with archbishop Mgr, Petrus Turang in Kupang, Xanana expressed his gratitude to the bishop for the attention he has given in helping the refugees in West Timor. Xanana also appealed to the bishop to support the reconciliation and repatriation program of East Timorese refugees He was very delighted with the commitment shown by Kupang Diocese in helping the refugees in West Timor. In the second day of his visit, Xanana and his entourage was still heavily guarded by Police and Military personnel. Xanana was scheduled to hold talks with refugees at the Sport Hall of Kupang in Oepeoi today.

NTT X: Thousands of supporters of RDTL (Democratic Republic Council of Timor Leste) came to the city of Dili on Wednesday (27 Nov.) to commemorate the independence proclaimed on 28 November 1978. They came from areas throughout Timor Leste to attend a session scheduled to take place at the RDTL base in Balide, East Dili.

NTT X: Refugees from Ainaro residing in Numponi camp, in East Malaka, Belu district held a farewell session on Saturday (24 Nov.) attended by Government officials of Belu including District head, Drs, Marsellus Bere and Military/Police officers. Coordinator of refugees from Ainaro, Jimmy Baptista gave a speech in the opening farewell session appealing to other refugees to follow suit and return home.

RT: The Patricia Ane Hotung passenger ship was scheduled to arrive today in Tenau seaport of Kupang to pick up the East Timorese refugees who wish to return home today (Wednesday, 28 Nov.). Spokesperson of the Provincial Government, Nani Kosapilawan stated that there would be around 100 families returning to East Timor aboard the ship today.

RT: Abilio Soares, a former Governor of East Timor, known as one of the pro-integration hardliners, confirmed yesterday of his rejection to meet with Xanana Gusmao. Abilio stated this at Eltari airport, a moment before taking off to Jakarta. He defied that his leaving for Jakarta is to avoid the meeting with Xanana saying that the departure had been planned since last week. Abilio Soares once stated firmly that the problems faced by the people of East Timor should be resolved by East Timorese themselves without any involvement of other parties including that of UNTAET or the Indonesian Government.

Thursday, 29 November 2001

PK: In a two-hour dialogue with East Timor refugees held in Kupang yesterday, East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao called on all East Timorese, both those residing in camps throughout West Timor areas and in East Timor, to forget the bitter past with a pure heart to begin developing the country together. In front of at least 1000 refugees at Kupang Sport Hall yesterday, Xanana spoke in Tetun language (local language in East Timor) calling for reconciliation among the East Timorese and requested the refugees to return home. Refugees were given the opportunity to ask questions to Xanana Gusmao during the dialogue. The dialogue was facilitated by Udayana Military Commander, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa. Chief of Staff of UNTAET, N. Parameswaran and Foreign Ministry staff of Timor Leste, David Ximenes were also present during the dialogue.

PK: Some 600 East Timor refugees are scheduled to repatriate home today aboard a passenger ship from Kupang seaport. These are refugees residing in South Central Timor (TTS) and Kupang Districts. According to Provincial Police Base Commander, Col. M. Moesanip, there are 65 families of Military members residing in TTS district among the returnees today.

NTT X: Administrator of District of Lautem, Olavio da Costa and liurai (Chieftain) of Rasa, Joaquim Rodriquez Lopez stated to the press in Los Palos, a city 227 kms east of Dili, on Sunday (25 Nov.) that they are expecting the return of their brothers who are currently in West Timor, when the new country gains its sovereignty by the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor. According to Olavio da Costa, there are at least 3000 people from Los Palos that have yet to return home and are still residing in West Timor. He added that all the brothers in Lautem are waiting for the return of the refugees. A similar sentiment was also given by the Administrator of Baucao Marito Reiz, who said that the people in Baucau are ready to welcome the refugees when they return home.

Thursday, 29 November 2001

PK/Cendana Pos: After three days in Kupang, East Timorese leader, Xanana Kay Rala Gusmao, returned to East Timor on Thursday (29 Nov.). Xanana expressed his longing to see the refugees at camps in West Timor and stated that refugees' problems are psychological in nature and it will take a lot of time and patience to recover. He also promised to continue making efforts for more reconciliation meetings at the border to support the ongoing repatriation process and to achieve reconciliation. In the press briefing at the airport, Xanana was accompanied by the governor of East Nusa Tenggara, Piet A. Tallo who commented that the positive impression he got from the visit was the strong will to improve a bilateral relationship between East Nusa Tenggara and East Timor in order to develop Timor areas as a whole. Other topics discussed by the two leaders included the possible future collaboration in sectors of economy, trading, sports, and cultures.

PK: Some 159 illegal immigrants from the Middle East are scheduled to be relocated to Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara today aboard the passenger ship Awu. It was reported previously that 53 illegal immigrants were relocated to Situbondo, East Java on Wednesday (21 Nov.), which makes a total of 212 persons relocated from Kupang. Spokesperson of Provincial Police, Adj. Comr, I Wajan Dana conceded the plan of evacuation today and stated that with this relocation of illegal immigrants, there would only be 238 persons left accommodated at the Police School of Kupang.

Saturday, 01 December 2001

NTT X: Leaders of East Timorese refugees in Belu expressed their complacency of Xanana's four-day visit in Kupang and considered the visit a success. A refugee leader from Liquica, Pedro de Sousa stated that they pleased with the visit since it had helped bring a change of their political views to more realistic views concerning recent changes. Another refugee leader, Apoliniario da Silva stated that the visit would encourage the refugees living at camps in West Timor to decide to return home. One of the achievements in Xanana's four-day visit in Kupang is his opportunity to hold talks with a hard-line pro-integration leader, Joao Tavarez. Meanwhile, it was reported from Belu, Joao Tavares told the press that he had already disseminated points of his talks with Xanana in Kupang to the refugees' leaders at camps in Belu on Friday (30 Nov.). Among other things disseminated to the refugees were the repatriation process and the readiness of the people in Timor Lorosae to accept the refugees home. Tavares was quoted as saying that he was willing to be actively involved in the reconciliation efforts to motivate the refugees' to return home.

NTT X: Antara reported from Atambua that some 26 families of former military members and civil servants at military base were among 36 families that returned to East Timor going through Mota'Ain checkpoint yesterday (30 Nov.). The ten other families were refugees' families residing in several camps in Atambua and Betun. The repatriation was facilitated by Military Base of Belu as the District Taskforce handling the refugees without the involvement of the Government Taskforce for refugees' affairs which used to handle the repatriation of refugees.

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