|Subject: AFP: Pro-integrationists in death threat
against East Timor Nobel laureate
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 1999 09:09:42 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Pro-integrationists in death threat against East Timor Nobel laureate
JAKARTA, June 30 (AFP) - A group of pro-integrationists Wednesday issued a death threat against Nobel laureate independence crusader Jose Ramos Horta warning he would be killed if he tried to return home to East Timor.
"He will instantly be killed as soon as he arrives in East Timor by the Aitarak or the Besi Merah Putih (army-backed militia)," the integrationist group leader Joao Angelo de Sousa said.
When asked by journalists if he was a militia leader, de Sousa said: "No but we express our feelings in the same spirit."
The threat was made in the lobby of a hotel here minutes after a priest had invited representatives of a group about 40 protestors screaming "Hang Horta" inside the hotel to meet with Ramos Horta.
Five of the group met with Ramos Horta for about five minutes in the lower hotel lobby along with Horta's co-1996 Nobel laureate East Timorese Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo and jailed independence leader Xanana Gusmao.
The hotel has been the venue of reconciliation talks between integrationists and pro-independence leaders which reached their last day Wednesday.
Horta had earlier threatened to fly to East Timor with a rogue pilot if Jakarta refused him a visa to return home.
But on his return to Jakarta Saturday after 23 years in self-exile, he modified his stand saying if he did return to Dili, the capital of the former Portuguese colony, he would abide by a foreign ministry condition not to campaign for independence.
Earlier the demonstrators, including a known gang boss from Jakarta's Tanah Abang area, massed at the gate of the hotel screaming "Hang Horta."
They were halted by a security barricade some 800 metres (yards) from the lobby of the hotel where the dialogue is being held.
"Horta and company equals provocateurs," "Hang the Provocateurs," "Wanted: Mr. Horta, Dead or Alive," said some of the posters carried by the protestors who said they were from the Alliance of post-1975 Youth (eds: correct).
"I want to ask (Ramos) Horta when he will leave, because we do not agree with his presence here," da Souza said.
"Remember, the fate of the East Timorese people is not in the hands of adventurers," said another poster carried by the group.
Some 30 policemen, mostly armed with rattan sticks kept them under watch.
Horta was granted the visa to attend the reconciliation talks. It was the first time he had visited Indonesia since East Timor was invaded by Indonesian troops in 1975 and annexed the following year in a move never recognized by the United Nations.
Horta has been a vocal advocate of independence for the former Portuguese colony and he has spent most of the past 23 years campaigning for a free East Timor in various fora abroad.