|Subject: JP: UN, U.S. still upset over Timor
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 12:02:23 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Jakarta Post 18 July 1999
UN, U.S. still upset over Timor security
JAKARTA (JP): The United Nations and U.S. officials said on Saturday that they were still concerned over poor security and rampant violence in East Timor both ahead of and after the self-determination ballot planned for August.
The concerns were aired even as pro-Indonesia groups celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the 1976 integration of the tiny territory into Indonesia.
Speaking to journalists after presiding over a meeting between Indonesian and Portuguese officials at UN headquarters in New York, UN special envoy to East Timor Jamsheed Marker said the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) was anticipating "some form of increased security", in the province.
"I am concerned about the sort of hiatus that's going to exist between the time of the counting of the ballot and the announcement of the results -- which won't take long -- and the subsequent action that is to be taken by the governments," he told reporters after the talks.
According to AP, when asked whether a UN peacekeeping force was being considered, he said the UN was not excluding any options.
Marker claimed that Indonesia and Portugal had reacted positively to new UN proposals to beef up security in East Timor immediately after the ballot.
"We anticipate some form of increased security after the vote," said Marker.
In Jakarta, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Alatas described the meeting between foreign ministry senior official Nugroho Wisnumurti and his Portuguese counterpart Fernando Neves as a part of UN efforts to anticipate the implementation of the ballot results. For instance, there were questions about the next UN steps if the majority of voters agreed to remain part of Indonesia or if they wanted an independent state.
"It has been actually stipulated in the May 5 agreement (between the two countries)," Alatas said after attending the installment of Adm. Widodo A.S. as Indonesian Military (TNI) deputy commander and Vice Adm. Sutjipto as navy chief of staff at the State Palace.
According to the agreement, if the majority of the people agree to remain part of Indonesia, the government will initiate the constitutional measures necessary for the implementation of the autonomy framework.
Then Portugal will initiate within the UN the procedures necessary for the removal of East Timor from the list of Non Self-Governing Territories of the General Assembly and the deletion of the East Timor question from the UN agendas.
If proindependence groups win the direct vote, Indonesia then will take constitutional steps to eliminate its link with the territory. The UN secretary-general will then initiate the procedure enabling East Timor to begin the process of transition toward independence.
The 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, Jose Ramos-Horta, has said that he would prefer East Timor be governed by the UN for few years until the people were fully prepared to govern themselves.
"It is only his own view," Alatas said on Saturday.
In Dili, visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth reiterated his hope that Indonesia would step up its efforts to curb rampant intimidation and violence ahead of the ballot.
"There still needs to be more progress before one can have confidence that it's (the registration and voting process) going to work, particularly in dealing with the climate of intimidation," Roth told AFP after a 30- minute meeting with East Timor Governor Jose Abilio Soares.
Roth has warned that Indonesia's relations with the international community, including the U.S., would be severely affected if it failed to halt violations. He clearly held prointegration militias the most responsible for the violence.
Meanwhile, the governor led a ceremony marking Integration Day outside his office. The event was attended by about 500 civil servants and pro- Indonesia militias, including the Aitarak group which raised banners reading "Integration Dead or Alive".
Soares said autonomy was the most just and realistic solution for East Timor and all parties should accept it.
"This is a positive opportunity to build and design a better future for East Timor," Soares said.
UNAMET spokesman David Wimhurst said that some of the 200 registration centers were closed on Saturday in a bid to anticipate possible clashes between pro- and anti-independence supporters.
"Because of the big festivities for Integration Day in Balibo, three registration centers are not open on the advice of the Indonesian Police," Wimhurst said.
Balibo is a small town in Bobonaro regency near East Nusa Tenggara, where a dozen East Timorese clan leaders signed a declaration in July 17, 1976 stating that East Timor would become Indonesia's 27th province.
Meanwhile, Japan Broadcasting Corp. NHK reported that Japanese foreign minister Masahiko Komura planned to visit Indonesia later this month, where he would also raise the East Timor issue during talks with President B.J. Habibie. (27/33/prb)