Subject: HAK: Incident on May 9, 1999
Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 01:35:51 -0500

The Militia Started Their Action Again, and Victims Fell in Dili

Ignoring the presence of the UN preparatory team in Dili, the pro-integration militia started their action again on May 9, 1999. During the incident one person died of shooting, one severely injured and three others were wounded by sharp weapon. The incident started with a fight at the gambling site behind the Old Mercado Market. According to a few witnesses the fight happened among the members of the militia -- the croupiers and those who played the game. The fight created chaos in the market and the police from the Resort Police headquarters in the north of the market came to the location of incident. The police launched shootings to the air. The shootings intensified the chaotic condition at the market. People who were at the market tried to leave the place. Suddenly two foreign journalists (Asians) came to the location. The militia disliked the presence of these journalists. At that moment the militia chased them away and tried to beat them. The journalists spontaneously ran away from the militia threat toward the east, Jl. 15 October (toward Becora). The militia kept chasing the journalists. Once the journalists reached the front of Puti Bungsu restaurant, one of them was protected by the people who happened to be there. But, the other one was captured by the militia and got beaten up several times.

When the militia ran after the journalists, the police were running behind the militia. When the people were trying to save one of the journalists, the police immediately shot at the people. The first shooting did not hit anybody, but the sound of it caused more people to crowd the front part of Puti Bungsu restaurant. The police sent some shootings again at the crowd, and as a result it hit somebody who happened to be there. The victim of the shooting was Jose Agusto Pinto Laranjinha, 32 years, a husband of one staff of Yayasan HAK (Octavinha). He suffered from shootings in his left hand and his stomach. He was immediately rushed to Motael Clinic.

Once I heard the first shooting, I directly went to the site of incident. However, I couldn't get to the market or to the 15 October street because the police blockaded the area. I could only stand around the rotary in front of the Telephone office watching the 'business' of the police and militia. It is obvious that they (the police and the militia) were chatting intimately. When a car full of journalists arrived at the site and attempted to cover the incident, the militia drove them away. One of the militia even threatened the journalists, "Hi Sam (a local journalist)! Don't bring foreign journalists here anymore! Come on you all get out from here. You only create problem!" The journalists then left that place.

Several minutes afterwards, I left the rotary and took a shortcut to reach the front of Puti Bungsu restaurant. There I could see that people were crowding the street and started to form a barricade with stones, some began to burn car tyres. This scene was apparent from the restaurant (Quintal Kiik), Audian up to the intersection in front of Bukit Bintang store (Bermori). Along the street I got a chance to talk with several people. I heard from them that 2 people were injured during the incident at Old Mercado and they were taken to Wirahusada Hospital by an ambulance. One of the people I encountered whispered to me that this incident was engineered to create chaos so that the police and the militia could shoot the people. The shooting in front of the Puti Bungsu restaurant appeared to be intentionally directed toward the crowding community. "The shooting was not to the air, but toward the people. And the bullets used were tin bullets, not the rubber ones," one person told me.

>From the site of incident I went to Motael Clinic. When I passed Belarmino Lobo street (in front of St. Paulus Catholic Middle School) I was reminded by some youth not to continue my trip to the intersection near Manuel Carrascalao's house, because the militia were there with arms. So I took other street to reach Motael Clinic.

At the clinic there were two doctors from Australia and France who were busy preparing an operation for the victim Jose Agusto. Outside the clinic several foreign journalists were interviewing several eyewitnesses. Around 5 PM we were surprised by the arrival of a car carrying another victim. It was reported that the victim was Eugenio Antonio Fatima, 26 years, a second semester student at Untim, who got shot at Bermori when he was standing in front of his lodging house. He said that the militia came from the north (the intersection near the house of Manuel Carrascalao) and shot at the crowd of people. The shot injured several people and caused the victim to fall.

Until last night the street in Audian area was still blockaded by the community. This morning (5/10) the militia began to gather in front of their secretariat at the Tropikal (next to Manuel Carrascalao's house) and the street where the secretariat is was blockaded by the militia up to the front of Kodim office. There is no information yet as to what the militia was planning to do. There was a possibility that they would attack the community who blockaded the street along the Audian (October 15 street). Or they probably prepared something to welcome the arrival of the UN police force which was planned to land in Baucau airport today.

This is all for today.

With regards,
HAK monitoring staff

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