Subject: DN: Timorese resistance does not believe guerrillas attacked soldiers
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 10:20:52 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

BBC May 20, 1999, Thursday Source: 'Diario de Noticias' web site, Lisbon, in Portuguese 19 May 99

Timorese resistance does not believe guerrillas attacked soldiers

Text of report Joao Pedro Fonseca entitled: "Did the guerrillas attack Indonesian soldiers or not?" ; published by the Portuguese newspaper 'Diario de Noticias' web site on 19th May

The Timorese newspaper 'Suara Suara Timor'reported yesterday that Falintil [East Timor National Liberation Armed Forces] had killed three Indonesian soldiers in the Lolotoe region, in Maliana district.

But the information is contradictory. A CNRT [National Council of the Timorese Resistance] spokesman confirmed the clashes to 'Diario de Noticias'. Yes, it is true, but the Falintil guerrillas only reacted to a military offensive.

He also drew attention to the rumour that the military is mobilizing the pro-integration militias in the Maliana area to attack the population.

The people are petrified of the consequences of this incident.

Another CNRT member said he did not believe Falintil would have attacked the soldiers: "We have a president (Xanana Gusmao) and he takes the decisions and gives the orders. And people obey. The orders are to act in self-defence only. Falintil does not attack spontaneously."

Pro-independence Timorese citizens commented on the attack to 'Diario de Noticias', if it did indeed happen. They said that "if the soldiers were in the mountains on an offensive, being soldiers they are armed, it is natural that there might be clashes, and men might die" .

They added: "Why are they going to the mountains at a time when the ministers are calling for peace?" The answer is simple: "It is normal. That is the way it should be. Falintil are fighting the Indonesian military and not the militias. Therefore when there is disarmament Falintil will lay down its weapons when the armed forces leave the territory."

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