|Subject: 4 Reports: RI Expresses Concern
Over Shooting of Horta; Border Security; Exiles Speak Out
- Indonesia expresses concern over shooting of E Timor's president
- Army chief says Indonesia to tighten security along Timor border
- Indonesian House Speaker warns army to expect Timor "exodus"
- Horta failed to restore peace, East Timor exiles claim
Indonesia expresses concern over shooting of E Timor's president
Jakarta, Feb 11 (DPA) - Indonesia expressed concern Monday over the shooting of East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta, who was undergoing surgery after being wounded in a pre-dawn rebel attack on his home in the capital, Dili.
'We are concerned about the attack...' Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda told reporters. 'As a neighbour, we hope the security situation in Timor Leste can be restored immediately.'
Ramos-Horta, a Nobel laureate and former prime minister, was shot in the stomach in a pre-dawn rebel attack on his home in the capital Dili, media reports from Dili said.
The exchange of fire reportedly cost the life of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, a former major who has been on the run since escaping jail in August 2006.
Wirajuda said there were no immediate plans to evacuate the Indonesian citizens living in East Timor, arguing that the situation seems to have been under control.
Indonesia has no plans to deploy military personnel to East Timor because the situation has been controlled by troops from Australian and New Zealand as well as UN police forces, Wirajuda added.
Indonesia invaded East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, in 1975 and occupied the territory until 1999 when Australia led an international force that helped guide East Timor to full independence in 2002.
As many as 200,000 East Timorese were killed or died as an indirect result of of Indonesia's 24 years of frequently brutal occupation.
BBC Monitoring Newsfile February 11, 2008
Army chief says Indonesia to tighten security along Timor border
Source: Tempo website, Jakarta, in English 11 Feb 08
Text of report in English by Dwi Riyanto Agustiar, carried by website of independent Indonesian news magazine Tempo on 11 February
Jakarta: Army Chief of Staff Lt-Gen Agustadi Sasongko Purnomo has said that the TNI [Indonesian armed forces] will tighten up security in areas along the East Timor-Indonesia border in connection with the shooting of President Jose Ramos Horta.
"There are orders from TNI headquarters to tighten border security," he said during a meeting of the DPR [House of Representatives] security committee on Monday (11 February).
However, he did not clarify how many TNI personnel would be sent to the areas bordering East Timor. He only mentioned that Maj Alfredo Reinado, the leader of the rebels who attacked President Ramos Horta's house, had been killed.
East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta was shot at his home by rebels under the leadership of Alfredo Reinado early this morning. The rebels, who emerged suddenly from two trucks, fired a volley at Horta's house. There was then an exchange of fire with security personnel. Horta was shot in the stomach. The 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate was then rushed to an Australian military base.
BBC Monitoring Newsfile February 11, 2008
Indonesian House Speaker warns army to expect Timor "exodus"
Source: Detikcom website, Jakarta, in Indonesian 11 Feb 08
Text of report by Gede Suardana, carried by Indonesian commercial news website Detikcom on 11 February
Denpasar: The chairman of the DPR [House of Representatives], Agung Laksono, is concerned over the shooting of East Timorese President Ramos Horta by rebels. The TNI [Indonesian armed forces] have since been put on alert along the Indonesia-East Timor border.
"We are concerned, shocked and saddened. This occurred in our closest neighbouring country," Agung said during a break in the meeting of the Golkar party's Local Election Team at the Hotel Sanur Paradise, Denpasar, Bali on Monday (11 February).
In his opinion, the TNI will soon have its border units on a state of alert in anticipation of a possible exodus to prevent the problem spreading into Indonesia.
Agung said that Indonesia hopes East Timor can resolve the problem so that it does not affect the the country's unity, solidarity and development.
Horta failed to restore peace, East Timor exiles claim
KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara, Feb 11 (Antara): East Timor exiles in Indonesia organization, Uni Timor Aswain (Untas), says attacks from rebel soldiers against East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao have proven that the newly elected president has failed to restore peace and political stability in the recently independent nation.
Horta failed to persuade rebel leader Major Alfredo Reinado to join peace talks, said Untas general secretary, Filomeno de Hornay on Monday in Kupang, West Timor.
"It's obvious that President Ramos Horta, who has led the country for almost a year, has failed to create stability, and failed to persuade major Reinado to join peace talks as he promised," Antara newswire quoted de Hornay as saying on Monday.
Untas was formed by former militia members in February, 2000, in West Timor, soon after the militia were banned by the Indonesian government. Untas claimed to represent all East Timorese exiles and refugees in Indonesia. Among prominent members are former militia leaders Eurico Gutteres and Joao Tavares.
De Hornay claimed the rebel soldiers had launched the attack because Ramos Horta had failed to negotiate with the rebels following the firing of 600 mutinous soldiers in 2006, which had triggered unrest which killed 37 people and displaced more than 150,000 others.
De Hornay also claimed that the East Timor government had relied too heavily on foreign troops, to restore stability in the country, indicating that "the people and government of East Timor had not matured in politics and are not ready to be independent".
President Ramos Horta was wounded in the early morning attack and was admitted to hospital in Australia on Monday, in an induced coma and in a critical condition, while rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack.(**)
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