Subject: West Timor Press Summaries 19-26/09/01

West Timor Press Summaries 19th September - 26th September 2001 NTT X - NTT Eks pres; PK - Pos Kupang; ST - Surya Timor; RT - Radar Timor; SP - Sasando Pos

Friday 21st September

RT: Head of Police of Belu, Adj. Snr. Comr. Drs. Nender Yani stated that the Police could release Joao Baptista if he helps the repatriation process of refugees from Ainaro. Yani's statement was made responding to the will of refugees from Ainaro residing at Numponi Camp in Middle Malaka subdistrict. To the Refugees' taskforce members, these refugees stated that they wanted to be repatriated only if they would be led by their leader, Joao Baptista, who is currently being detained by the police. The police have detained Joao Baptista and a number of his group members since Saturday (15/9) in connection with their alleged intimidation towards refugees during recent repatriation process.

Saturday 22nd September

PK: Former King of East Timor and Commander of Pro-integration fighters, John Joao Tavares stated on Thursday (20/6) that he had requested the Provincial Police Chief and Wirasakti Military Commander to detain Cancio Lopez de Carvalho, former Sector C Commander of Mahidi militia for insulting the national flag during the socialization session of repatriation at Creana village in Middle Malaka subdistrict, Belu regency on Sunday (9/9). Tavares also informed that Cancio had made a fake report of attack incidents towards him that had damaged his car and two motorcycles. He asserted that based on this fake report, Police had also made the mistake of capturing four people including Joao Baptista Coordinator of Numponi Camp.

Monday 24th September

RT: Cancio Lopez de Carvalho, former commander Mahidi militiamen, stated that he would declare war with Joao da Silva Tavares, the former commander of pro-integration fighters if the latter continues to hinder the repatriation process of refugees back to East Timor. Cancio also regretted the accusation made by Tavaro towards him saying that he had insulted the national flag. Cancio stated further that as one of pro-Indonesia fighters he himself had been known for rejecting the repatriation plan of refugees back to East Timor, but after seeing the lives of the refugees for almost two years living at camps, he changed his mind and supported the plan of refugees' repatriation. In a separate occasion, Cancio also stated that thousands of former Mahidi members would return home in October led by his brother, Nemencio Lopez de Carvalho, who was known as a former battalion commander of Mahidi. The returning members are those whose mistakes in violating Human Rights are considered light.

RT: Youth leaders of Ainaro are planning to hold the second reconciliation talks slated on September 29th, in Salele, Covalima district. According to one of the youth leaders, Apoloniaro da silva, the forthcoming meeting would involve grassroots from 14 villages in Ainaro Districts and attended by 15 refugees' leaders including Nemecio Lopes de Carvalho, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho and Joao Batista. Catholic religious leaders would also attend the meeting. Indonesian Military and UNTAET have expressed their support of the planned meeting. The first Salele reconciliation talk was a success shown by a recent repatriation involving at least 961 Ainaro refugees back to East Timor.

Cendana Pos: After attending the meeting with provincial legislators on Saturday (22/9), Head of Regional Settlement and Infrastructure Department of East Nusa Tenggara, Ir Petrus Djami Rebo stated that the European Union had already given Rp.40 billion fund aid to build at least 1,500 more resettlement houses for refugees. There have been 2,300 resettlement houses built throughout regencies in West Timor, but they have yet to accommodate the refugees. With the aid given by the European Union, 1, 500 more houses could be built to overcome the problem.

Tuesday 25 September

NTTX: Speaking to the press after attempting to schedule a meeting with Vice President of Indonesia, Hamzah Haz, at the vice presidential palace on Monday (24/9), Eurico Gutteres stated his reason for wanting to meet with the Vice President is to inform the Vice President of the intimidation by the military personnel and the police towards the East Timor refugees. He specifically named Udayana Regional Military Commander, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa and Vice Provincial Police Chief, Snr. Comr. Gories Mere to have threatened to kill the refugees if they refuse to be repatriated back to East Timor. In regards to overcome the refugees' problems, Eurico stated further that he wanted to give a suggestion to the Vice President to provide an island such as Wetar island in North Maluku as the place to relocate the East Timor refugees.

RT: Hundreds of refugees, the supporters of Joao Baptista from Numponi camp, came to Belu Police base on Monday (24/9) to protest against the detention of their leader and his three other aides. Four figures of the refugees from Numponi camp, Middle East subdistrict, namely Joao Baptista, Jaimi Baptista, Gabriel Baptista and Duate Fatima Soares are currently being detained at the police base of Belu for their alleged role in disturbing the repatriation process of refugees conducted recently. Carrying banners demanding the release of their leader and the capture of other refugees' figure, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho, the refugees staged the protest peacefully waiting patiently for their leaders' lawyers to negotiate with the police. Police Chief of Belu, Nender Yani promised to make visit to Numponi camp to clarify the accusation towards Joao Baptista and his aides, but stated that official procedures are still needed to release these detainees.

PK: Woman Protection Aid Organization, Derap Warap Sari, chaired by Mrs. Roesmanhadi, is going to deliver aid in the form of daily necessities for 500 households of former Police members of East Timor today. These Police members are currently being stationed at Provincial Police of East Nusa Tenggara. Vice Chief of Kupang Police, Comr. Ida Bagus Wardana stated that Mrs. Roesmanhadi would symbolically hand over the aid today.

Wednesday 26th September

NTT X: Dossier of the UNKF Soldier's death case is to be handed over to Jakarta State Court for the trial to begin. The suspect's lawyer, Gustaf Yacob SH, stated yesterday in Kupang that the suspect, YB and the evidence would be handed over to Jakarta State Court for the trial to get underway. The evidence include the victim's firearm seized by the main suspect in the incident, the victims' clothes, and some other goods owned by both the victim and main suspect related to the case. Yacob added that according to article 17 and 18 of Criminal Code, the trial should be held at the State Court in Jakarta since the criminal act was committed outside of Indonesian territory. The main suspect, YB would be accompanied by his lawyers, Police investigators of the case and officials of Provincial Attorney Office.

NTTX: Apart from the efforts made by prominent refugees to repatriate the refugees back to East Timor, post of Refugees' Affairs taskforce in Atambua reported that the spontaneous repatriation still continues. The taskforce are scheduled to repatriate at least 39 refugees within this week to East Timor. These are refugees who registered voluntarily to be included in the repatriation process. Out of that number, 26 refugees are from Camps in Atambua and scheduled to be repatriated on Thursday (27/9) going through Mota ain Post to East Timor.

RT: Based on the report made by an Investigation Team of Youth Forum, a Police Base in SoE had been attacked by a group of people around 6.15 pm last night. The attack was believed to be steered by members of District Military. One police officer reportedly suffered from a serious injury and a people's house was almost destroyed during the attack. The attack started when some refugees from refugee camp residing in Kobalete Stadium wanted to release their friends detained by the Police of SoE for gambling. They planned to stage protest at the police base but while walking towards the police base, these refugees were blocked by armed police members and the two groups began pushing towards each other. Two members of Military came to the site and shot to the air, which automatically drove the mob to be more aggressive. Rumors are rife that military members have been provoking people to attack the police base. Police Chief of South Middle Timor Regency, Adj. Snr. Comr. Arkian Lubis stated last night that the attack was related with the recent captures made by the police to 16 persons involved in gambling activities and most of the gambling operators in SoE are from the refugee camps.


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