|Subject: WT Press Summaries November 03-16
Please find attached, and below as text, summaries of the West Timorese press from the last two weeks.
West Timor Press Summaries 3rd November - 16th November 2001
NTT X ? NTT Eks pres; PK ? Pos Kupang; ST ? Surya Timor; RT ? Radar Timor; SP ? Sasando Pos
Saturday, 03 November 2001
PK: Invited by the candidate President of Timor Leste, Xanana Gusmao, Commanders of the Indonesian Military were to visit East Timor to see the latest situation in the new country. Commander of Provincial Military Base, Korem 161/Wirasakti, Col. Inf. M. Moesanip stated on Friday (2/11) that he would accompany Udayana Regional Military Commander, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa to visit all areas in Timor Leste on November 18th to 19th. The information obtained from the visit would be disseminated to refugees living in camps in the West Timor areas.
PK: Village heads of Napan and Tes in East Central Timor regency stated recently that they hoped the government would build more resettlement houses for refugees staying in their villages. Head of Napan Village, Martinus Taefi, stated that out of 173 refugee families in his village, only 100 families were given resettlement houses. While the head of village Tes, Hilarius Anunu, stated that only 21 families out of 75 refugee families residing in his village had been given resettlement houses.
PK: Members of the District legislative assembly of North Central Timor regency distributed 1 ton of rice aid and 20 boxes of instant noodles for the victims of earthquake in West Miomafo subdistrict on Friday (19/10). The aid would be distributed to villages such as Noelelo, Naekake, Tasifeto, Oelolo, Oelake and Oetulu.
Monday, 05 November 2001
PK: Vice Regent of Belu, Drs, Bria Johanes, stated on Saturday (3/11) that the government of Belu had begun collecting information of damages caused by recent rainstorm that hit the village of Haekesak in East Tasifeto subdistrict, Belu. He added that the District Government had also delivered 5 tonnes of rice aid for the victims of the rainstorm. Tentative records held by the district government office shows that 5 persons were injured and at least 200 houses were heavily damaged by the rainstorm.
Tuesday, 06 November 2001
PK: A handover ceremony of the Borderline Security Taskforce Commander took place at the military base in Atambua on Friday (2/11). Col, Purdianto was assigned to replace Col. Magna Chandra commanding three battalions to secure the border areas; Battalion 641/BRV stationed at Kefamenanu and Oecussi Border, Battalion 621/Manuntung stationed at the northern part of Belu, and Battalion 726 at the Southern part of Belu.
PK: Police of Belu are still awaiting updates from the UN Civilian Police over a murder that occurred at the border last month. Matheos Guabelat, an East Timor refugee from Haekesak camp, East Tasifeto sub-district in Belu, was killed on October 10th at the border areas in East Tasifeto Subdistrict. Police Chief of Belu, Adj. Snr. Comr, Nender Yani conceded this saying that he had already reported the case to UN Civilian Police but has yet to receive any response.
RT: Speaker of Consultative Assembly of UNTAS, Armindo Mariono Soares, expressed his doubt over the decision taken by the government to stop distributing aid to the refugees as of January 2001, regarding it as bluff. He reasoned that the government has never been consistent with any policy taken.
RT: Antara reported from Atambua that Xanana Gusmao came to visit refugees from Manatuto in Batugade yesterday. Xanana who just arrived in Dili from his visits to Portugal and Macao flew directly aboard a helicopter from Comoro airport to Batugade beach and met with refugees at a transit place in Batugade. Speaking to the refugees, he requested the refugees to return home to Manatuto. Refugees were very pleased with the visit since Manututo is Xanana's birthplace.
Thursday, 08 November 2001
PK: Status as refugees for the people of East Timor residing in West Timor areas was officially removed by the government of Indonesia recently. In a letter sent by the Minister of Home Affairs, Hary Sabarno to the Governor of East Nusa Tenggara, Piet A. Talo number 471/2016/SJ dated on October 2001, it was stated that the revocation of refugee status applies to all East Timorese who opted to stay in Indonesian territory in the registration on June 6th 200. They will be regarded as ordinary citizens of Indonesia. This was stated by the spokesman of provincial administration, Nani Kosapilawan in his office on Wednesday (7/11).
RT: Three staffs of MSF-Holland in West Timor, John Heeneman, Moniek Hooymans and R.W. Appels came to the Regent's office Belu recently disclosing the plan to conduct a survey for running a health program to help the refugees staying in Belu regency. MSF-Holland would assess the possibility to work on health sector providing health service to the refugees in Belu. The organization would work closely with the local health department and adjust its program with the ongoing program run by the government.
RT: Antara reported from Atambua that the Police of Belu is currently questioning 56 persons over the clearing of forests in Belu. Police are still pursuing other suspects. At least 500 persons are suspected to be involved in clearing the protected forest in Kateri,Central Malaka Subdistrict of Belu. Contacted yesterday, Police Chief of Belu, Adj. Snr. Comr, Nender Yani stated that among the detainees, 42 are locals and are 14 East Timor refugees.
Friday, 09 November 2001
PK: Some 470 illegal immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan staged demonstrations in front of the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) office in Kupang yesterday (8 Nov.). They demanded UNHCR to immediately reinstate their status as refugees so that they could be deported to Australia soon. They also demanded the organization to evacuate them to Jakarta. Some 243 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan were captured by the Police in the island of Rote, Kupang district on 21 October and 230 more illegal immigrants from Iraq were captured in the same island on 29 October. They are all now being accommodated at the boarding house for students at the Police Academy of Kupang.
Saturday, 10 November 2001
RT: Brushing aside the importance of citizenship for the East Timor refugees lately, a refugee, Oujorio Mindes Soares, told the press on Friday (9 Nov.) that it is necessary for the government and international organizations to resolve refugee problems by paying more attention to the refugees' living conditions and delivering of food and medicine supplies. Although, they were granted citizenship by the government, the refugees purported that they should be allowed to come and visit East Timor freely.
Monday, 12 November 2001
PK: An East Timorese, identified as DSS, residing in Manumutin Village, Atambua city was detained by the police for throwing a grenade into a party on Sunday morning (11 Nov.). No one was injured since the grenade failed to go off. People found the grenade later in the morning and reported to the police, who then came to the site and defused it. The incident did not disturb the stability of the situation in Atambua. Contacted by the press yesterday, both the Police and Camp Coordinator of refugees from Ermera, Albert Madera da Silva, conceded the occurrence of the incident.
PK: Snr. Comr, Arthur Damani was inaugurated on Saturday (10 Nov.) to replace Snr. Comr, Gories Mere as the Vice Chief of Provincial Police of East Nusa Tenggara. Two big assignments awaiting Snr. Comr, Arthur to resolve are the murder of six people in Wanibesak, Belu and the uprising gambling and drugs cases.
RT: Referring to the report from District Government of Belu, a spokesperson of Public Relations Section of Provincial Administration stated that the grass root level reconciliation process had resulted in the return of at least 6,654 refugees back to East Timor since the refugees' registration took place in West Timor on 6 June.
NTT X: Refugee leaders from Ermera and at least 125 camp leaders from other areas in Belu district held a meeting on Friday (9 Nov.) in preparation for a grand reconciliation meeting for the people of Ermera scheduled for 17 November at the border. Claudio de Jesus Lay stated that results of the meeting would be conveyed to the reconciliation meeting later. He added that all attendants pledged to mediate true aspirations of refugees at camps and mediate them to the brothers from Ermera district. Jesus Lay informed further that, out of 16, 000 refugees from Ermera, most are relatives and families of former pro-integration fighters. He predicted a big return of refugees if the people of Ermera District, East Timor would be fair in proposing points for reconciliation.
Tuesday, 13 November 2001
PK: The Government Taskforce for Refugees' Affairs reported from Atambua (12 Nov.) that the planned incentive payment for refugees would greatly affect the process of repatriation. Refugees had been inquiring about incentives lately, said Maruli Sinaga, staff of the taskforce. Some refugees stated that they would wait for the payment before returning home. The Government has reportedly planned to give the refugees incentive to the amount of Rp. 750,000 per returning family as establishment allowance.
RT: Several prominent leaders of Timor Lorosae such as Xanana Gusmao, Taur Matan Ruak, Bishop of Dili, Mgr. Carlos Belu, and Bishop of Baucau, Mgr, Basilio do Nascimento are scheduled to visit Kupang by the end of this month for reconciliation meetings. Former Commander of Militiamen, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho hailed the planned visit saying that the visit would encourage a big number of returnees to East Timor.
CP: Thousands of people of East Timor gathered at the Santa Cruz cemetery on Monday (12 Nov.) to commemorate the killing of hundreds of pro-independence East Timorese by the Indonesian Military which occurred 10 years ago.
Wednesday, 14 November 2001
NTT X: Regional Commander overseeing Bali, and East and West Nusa Tenggara Provinces, Maj. Gen, Willem T. da Costa appealed to the youth in West Timor to show concern regarding problems faced by East Timor refugees who are still residing at camps in West Timor. Maj. Gen, da Costa stated this yesterday at a Military Base of Kupang in an informal dialogue session with representatives of several youth organizations in Kupang.
PK: The Government of North Central Timor District is mulling over the possibility to knock down resettlement houses in Maurisu since the houses were not constructed according to the project specification. During the monitoring visit by the Vice Head of District Government, Drs. Gabrile Manek, it was found out that the project was not carefully done particularly the foundation of the houses.
Thursday, 15 November 2001
PK: Speaking to camp coordinators and former militiamen commanders in a dialogue at a Sports Hall on Wednesday (14 Nov.) in Kupang, Regional Military Commander, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa called on the refugees not to obstruct the process of census scheduled to take place next week. A team consisting of Military members and provincial government officials will be visiting camp to camp to conduct census of the exact number of refugees who want to return to East Timor. In the dialogue, Maj. Gen, da Costa informed the refugees' representatives about the payment of incentive to the amount of Rp.750.000 for every returning family as establishment allowance.
Friday, 16 November 2001
RT: Opening the seminar of Population Profile Analysis and the Socialization of 2001 Census result, Governor, Piet A. Talo stated yesterday that East Nusa Tenggara is one of 18 provinces in Indonesia currently hosting and handling internally displaced persons and refugees. He added the province is not only hosting thousands of East Timor refugees but also hundreds of asylum seekers from Middle East. Also speaking at the seminar was Director of Central Statistic Bureau, R. Lukito Praptoprijoko who revealed the outcome of population census in the year of 2000.
PK: Landslides occurred in Buar Village, Manggarai District killing five persons on Monday (12 Nov.) The five villagers from neighbouring villages were shoveling sand onto a truck when the landslide occurred. People living nearby came to the site to rescue but only found three persons dead. One person was found alive but later died in the hospital on Thursday (14 Nov.) Another victim was found on Thursday. Eight others were reportedly working at the site when the landslide occurred but three managed to escape the disaster.
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