Winston Neil Rondo
Winston Neil Rondo is the General Secretary of the Centre for Internally Displaced People's Services (CIS) in Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia. CIS has worked with the refugees in the West Timor camps since their expulsion from East Timor in September 1999. In conjunction with Catholic Relief Services, Church World Service, UNICEF, the Eastern Indonesian Women's Health Network (JKPIT) and others, CIS has provided humanitarian assistance to thousands of families and children, investigated human rights abuses, counseled women victims of violence and reported on violence against women in the camps, and disseminated accurate information on repatriation to refugees to combat militia intimidation.
Winston Neil Rondo was raised and educated in Kupang. In 1999, Mr. Rondo joined FORSOLIDARESTE, a West Timorese nongovernmental organization formed in response to militia violence in East Timor to promote peace, reconciliation, and human rights. Mr. Rondo spent seven months in East Timor as an accredited observer of the August 1999 referendum on independence, monitoring human rights conditions. When the Indonesian military began its post-ballot scorched earth campaign, forcing some 260,000 East Timorese into West Timor, Mr. Rondo helped found CIS and distributed shelter materials, clothing, and other essential aid to refugee families. In November 1999, he began investigating human rights abuses in three of the largest refugee camps near Kupang. Mr. Rondo worked closely with JKPIT and other organizations to provide counseling to women victims of violence in the refugee camps in the Kupang and Belu regions. He also coordinated and monitored the establishment of three "tent schools" for refugee children in Belu.
Mr. Rondo and CIS are currently working to ensure the refugee registration process scheduled for June 6, 2001 allows refugees to choose between repatriation to East Timor and resettlement within Indonesian freely and without intimidation. Their ongoing concerns include the prominent role of the Indonesian military and militia in the registration process.