|Subject: SMH: Barred Horta complains to UN
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 14:30:56 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, June 15, 1999
Barred Horta complains to UN
By LINDSAY MURDOCH, Herald Correspondent in Jakarta
Nobel laureate Mr Jose Ramos Horta has complained to the United Nations about Indonesia's refusal to allow him and the pro-independence leader Xanana Gusmao to campaign in East Timor ahead of the August autonomy ballot.
And Mr Ramos Horta called on Indonesia yesterday to acknowledge its failure to create a neutral, transparent and peaceful climate in East Timor, saying the UN should immediately send international peacekeepers to the former Portuguese territory, which Indonesia invaded in 1975.
On Sunday Indonesia rejected a plan by Mr Ramos Horta to go to Dili on July 10 with United States politicians, other Nobel laureates and journalists to campaign for East Timor's independence.
Indonesia's Foreign Ministry said the visit would breach an agreement between the UN, Indonesia and Portugal for East Timorese living in other countries to conduct their own campaigns.
It warned that Mr Ramos Horta's arrival could incite violence between supporters of independence and those who want the territory to remain part of Indonesia.
The Indonesian President, Dr B.J. Habibie, said last month that Gusmao, a former guerilla leader jailed in 1992, would not be released from house arrest in Jakarta until after the August 8 ballot.
Speaking from Sydney, Mr Ramos Horta said that if Indonesia found it too difficult to allow him to visit East Timor for the first time since 1975, he was prepared to be discreet and not to go as long as Gusmao was released in time to campaign.
Mr Ramos Horta said allowing Gusmao to campaign would be a giant show of good faith by Indonesia: "We would reciprocate on our side."
In Dili, the UN mission in East Timor announced yesterday that Commissioner Alan Mills of the Australian Federal Police would head the 15-nation civilian police contingent soon to be deployed.
Mr Mills will head a force of 272 UN police who will liaise with their Indonesian counterparts to maintain law and order in the lead-up to the autonomy ballot.
Meanwhile, the peak body for Australian non-government aid agencies said it had told the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, that the UN urgently needed many more people in East Timor than were planned, particularly if the ballot was delayed.
A five-member fact-finding mission from the Australian Council for Overseas Aid returned to Sydney at the weekend after spending a week in the territory.
It wrote to Mr Annan telling him most people they met felt East Timor was at present too insecure to hold a free and fair vote to choose independence or autonomy.
At least two children were killed in a suspected landmine blast yesterday in the Dili suburb of Becora, witnesses and a hospital nurse said. Locals said three children were killed by a landmine but only two bodies had been found, AFP reported.