Subject: SMH: Pacific diplomat named as first consul in Dili
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 17:45:50 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

Sydney Morning Herald 05/06/99


Pacific diplomat named as first consul in Dili


An experienced career diplomat, Mr James Batley, was named yesterday as Australia's first consul in the East Timorese capital, Dili. He will take over the new post next week.

Mr Batley served in Vanuatu, Port Moresby and Jakarta before becoming High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, his most recent posting.

The Australian Federal Police said yesterday that the first 50 police officers selected for the 280-strong United Nations police presence in East Timor had completed their training and were ready to be deployed, possibly as early as next week.

In Dili, a senior human rights official said grave fears were held for 12 East Timorese women detained on the orders of a local pro-autonomy militia group.

The Foundation for Legal and Human Rights (Yayasan-Hak) said it regarded as "very accurate" information received by one woman who managed to escape from enforced custody by the Besi Merah Putih (Red and White Iron) group based at Liquica, 30 kilometres west of Dili.

The woman, whose name is being withheld by the human rights group, claimed the remaining 12 hostages had been raped by militiamen.

Yayasan-Hak gave the Herald the names of the 12 women taken from their homes in Ulmera village in Liquica district on May 17 after their husbands had fled to avoid forced recruitment by the militia group.

"The husbands escaped to avoid forced enlistment. The women were taken hostage and given over to four families in Maubara," the official said.

Meanwhile, there are encouraging signs that Indonesian police are taking a stronger role in enforcing law and order in Dili.

On Thursday evening 70 police commandos patrolled central Dili and police established a checkpoint on the main airport road frisking commuters to check for illegal weapons.

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