Subject: DN: Horta - half of militias from W Timor
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 10:18:32 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

Spokesman Horta says militias come from West Timor Source: 'Diario de Noticias' web site, Lisbon, in Portuguese 18 May 99

Excerpts from report by Fernando Madail entitled: "Horta says militias come from West Timor" , published by the Portuguese newspaper 'Diario de Noticias' web site on 18th May

Jose Ramos Horta [vice-president of the National Council of the Timorese Resistance and Nobel Peace laureate in 1996] believes that at least half of the [pro-integration] militias are from West Timor, the side of the island which has always been Indonesian. This has been reported by people who know well the current population of East Timor. Ramos Horta also says that many of his compatriots, who belong to those pro-integration groups, secretly talk to Catholic priests and resistance members and explain they are being coerced, as their relatives are held hostage, or they need the money because of the generalized situation of economic hardship.

It is, therefore, not a case of "a conflict between Timorese" , said Ramos Horta in a speech yesterday at a ceremony when he was awarded the Gold Medal from Coimbra University. Even though he described these groups as the perpetrators of "common law crimes" , capable of committing "barbaric acts before the television cameras and in full view of UN officials" , the resistance would be willing to talk to everyone, although the militias do not have a political programme, popular support or national legitimacy.

However, he rejected the comparison between Falintil [East Timor National Liberation Armed Forces] as "an army as legitimate as the Indonesian" and the militias in terms of disarmament. Horta disagrees with the fact that Jakarta now wants the army responsible for a genocide "greater than that of Kosovo" to invoke the "status of referee, when it should be confined to its barracks" .

Ramos Horta, referring to the "great weaknesses" of the New York accord, said that he understands diplomatic concessions, and places great confidence in the UN secretary-general and the Portuguese government. But he recalls that no one has put up with so much as the Timorese resistance to obtain peace.

Drawing parallels with situations as diverse as the Middle East peace process and Namibia's independence, Ramos Horta said that Indonesia had not freed Xanana Gusmao [Timorese resistance leader released from prison into house arrest] and other political prisoners, nor had it allowed exiles to return.

In support for his reservations about the accord between Portugal and Indonesia, Ramos Horta speaks of a recent telephone conversation with Dom Ximenes Belo [bishop of Dili and Nobel Peace laureate in 1996] when the bishop said that "to send 200 unarmed policemen to monitor the popular consultation was playing with the people" ...

While praising Portugal's support, Ramos Horta noted the hypocrisy of others. "On the day the wife of the British prime minister was crying for the victims of the Kosovo war, Tony Blair's government was selling two war planes to Indonesia" .

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