Subject: AFP: East Timor defends shooting deaths of three Indonesians

Also: AN: Indon VP/House Denounces Timor Leste Border Shooting; RI, East Timor Need To Reach Joint Patrol Agreement,

Agence France Presse -- English

January 11, 2006 Wednesday 11:25 AM GMT

East Timor defends shooting deaths of three Indonesians

DILI, Jan 11 2006

East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said Wednesday that his country's police force had acted in self defence when they shot dead three former pro-Jakarta militiamen near the border.

He also criticised Indonesia for failing to prevent militiamen from infiltrating East Timor.

The incident Friday sparked a diplomatic row between Indonesia and its former province of East Timor, with Jakarta accusing East Timorese police of excessive use of force.

"Our policemen were ambushed by these three individuals that entered our country without documents, visas or passports," Alkatiri told a press conference.

One of two teenagers who managed to escaped the shooting said they and their three colleagues had intended to fish in a river near the border but had unwittingly crossed into East Timorese territory.

The three former members of the Red and White Iron militia took Indonesian citizenship after East Timor voted for independence from Jakarta in 1999.

Alkatiri said Indonesia has failed to prevent militiamen from infiltrating East Timor.

"Indonesia knows that it has people like this in its country. It is Indonesia's responsibility first of all to control those people, and to not allow them to cross the border and come here to provoke us," he said.

Around 1,500 mostly East Timorese who moved to Indonesia's West Timor after the 1999 referendum took to the streets of Atambua near the border on Monday to condemn the shootings.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda described the incident as "an excessive use of violence" and urged East Timor to prosecute the policemen who carried out the shooting.

Pro-Jakarta militias, which the United Nations says were directed by the Indonesian military, staged a deadly campaign of violence against independence supporters in East Timor before and after the referendum

An estimated 1,400 people were killed by the militias and whole towns were destroyed.

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Jan 11 17:33 House Denounces Timor Leste Border Shooting

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) on Wednesday denounced the shooting of three Indonesians by Timor Leste border police last Friday (Dec. 6).

"We should remind (the Timor Leste police) that the shooting should be the last. Don`t repeat it, or face the consequences," Hopuse Speaker Agung Laksono said.

The shooting was a betrayal of the Indonesian nation and therefore, the entire nation must denounce it and file a strong protest to the Timor Leste government, he said.

He called for a joint investigation by Indonesian and Timor Leste officers into the shooting.

"The investigation is needed to know the motive behind the shooting and avoid varying conclusions on it. More importantly, so that similar incidents can be prevented from happening in the future," he said.

The three were shot dead about 50 meters into Timor Leste territory from the border it shares with Indonesia`s East Nusa Tenggara province.

Indonesian Military officials contend the men -- former members of the Red Cross and White militia group who moved to East Nusa Tenggara after Timor Leste`s violent separation from Jakarta in 1999 -- intended to fish in a nearby river when they were shot.

The shooting is the second in less than a year. Earlier on April 21, 2005, Indonesia`s 1st Lt. Teddy Setiawan was also shot by the Timor Leste border police. (*)

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Antara

VP DEPLORES E TIMOR BORDER INCIDENT

Jakarta Jan 10

Vice President Jusuf Kalla here Tuesday deplored the shooting of three unarmed Indonesians in neighboring East Timor recently.

"We certainly regret the incident"_ he said on the sidelines of an Idul Adha prayer service at the Golkar Party headquarters here Tuesday.

Kalla said it was normal for problems to arise among countries lying close to each other but the problems must be solved.

Asked whether the shooting had disturbed bilateral ties between Indonesia and East Timor, Kalla who is also Golkar party chairman said Indonesia had protested the incident.

The Indonesian Embassy in Dili, he said, has already lodged the protest.

Meanwhile, former president Abdurrahman _Gus Dur_ Wahid said here Tuesday the shooting of three Indonesian nationals at the border with Timor Leste showed East Timorese police had high standards of discipline in doing their duty.

What the East Timorese policemen did was right as the three Indonesians trespassed on the neighboring state, he said.

Gus Dur, however, expressed hope that bilateral ties between the two countries would not be affected by the incident.

The incident should be solved in the spirit of humanitariaism, he said.

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Antara (Indonesia)

January 10, 2006 Tuesday

RI,EAST TIMOR NEED TO REACH JOINT PATROL AGREEMENT, OBSERVER SAYS

Jakarta Jan 10

Indonesia and Timor Leste need to reach a joint patrol agreement following last Friday's border shooting by East Timorese police of three Indonesian civilians, foreign affairs observer from Bandung-based Pajajaran University Teuku Rezasyah told ANTARA by phone on Tuesday.

"A joint patrol agreement between Indonesia and Timor Leste is needed to prevent border area conflicts between the two countries," Teuku Rezasyah said.

He added that under such agreement, a joint exercise and a border socialisation to both Indonesian and East Timor people in the border region could be conducted.

"Another solution that has to be considered is to control the border between the two countries like that between Israel and Palestine," he said.

According to him, one of the reasons of the frequent border conflicts was the still unclear boundary between the two countries.


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