[Part 1 of 4] United Nations A/AC.109/2111

General Assembly Distr.: General 1 June 1998

Original: English

Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples

East Timor Working paper prepared by the Secretariat

Contents Paragraphs Page I. General 1 3 II. Political developments 2–22 3 A. Background 2–3 3 B. Recent developments 4–22 3

III. Human rights situation 23–29 5 IV. Economic, social and educational conditions 30–47 8 A. Economic growth 31–33 8 B. Employment 34 8 C. Agriculture 35 8 D. Water 36–37 8 E. Communications and transport 38–39 9 F. Education and training 40–41 9 G. Health care 42 9 H. Religion 43 9 I. Housing 44 9 J. Tourism 45 9 K. Transmigration 46 9 L. Oil 47 10 V. Consideration by the United Nations 48–63 10 VI. Consideration by regional organizations 64–66 12 Annex Krumbach Declaration of 1997 15

I. General

1. The Territory of East Timor comprises the eastern part of the island of Timor, which is located at the top of the chain of islands forming the Republic of Indonesia; the enclave of Oecusse Ambeno; the island of Atauro, off the northern coast of Timor; and the island of Jaco, off its extreme tip. It lies between latitudes of 8 17'S and 10 22'S and longitudes 123 25'E and 127 19'E. The 1980 census recorded the total population of the Territory at 555,350. According to Indonesian Government estimates, as of 1997, the population of the Territory was 857,000.1

II. Political developments A. Background

2. According to Indonesian Law 7/76 of 17 July 1976, East Timor is a province or a "first-level region" of Indonesia, with a Government consisting of a "Regional Secretariat" and a "Regional House of Representatives". East Timor is represented in the National House of Representatives and in the People's Consultative Assembly of Indonesia.

3. In its resolution 32/34 of 28 November 1977, the General Assembly rejected the claim that East Timor had been integrated into Indonesia, inasmuch as the people of the Territory had not been able to exercise freely their right to self-determination and independence.

B. Recent developments

4. Indonesia has continued to maintain its military presence in East Timor. In 1997, Indonesian sources stated that it had seven battalions in the Territory, with between 600 and 650 men per battalion.2 Other sources stated that the Indonesian Government maintained an estimated 15,000 troops in the Territory.3

5. East Timorese resistance to Indonesian rule has continued. On 6 June 1997, press reports indicated that at least 36 persons were killed following a series of attacks and violence which were blamed on pro-independence guerrillas. Indonesian police arrested and questioned 130 people in various districts. East Timor experienced a surge of unrest around the period of Indonesia's election (29 May). The guerrillas reportedly launched a wave of attacks in Dili, and in the towns of Baucau, Ermera and Los Palos. Rebels threw a grenade into a truck carrying policemen in the Baucau district, instantly killing 13. Five policemen were killed as they tried to escape, while nine others were injured.4

6. Guerrilla leader Mr. David Alex died of gunshot wounds on 25 June 1997 following a shootout with Indonesian soldiers in Baucau, 15 kilometres east of Dili. Five of his followers were captured. The circumstances of Mr. Alex's death have been in dispute as a rebel spokesperson said Mr. Alex was only slightly wounded but later died in the military hospital. Amnesty International called on Indonesia to allow for "an independent and impartial investigation" into Mr. Alex's death.5 On 27 June 1997, Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio appealed to the United Nations and the international community to "ensure a radical change in human rights" in East Timor.6

7. On 30 July 1997, some 14 people who had taken part in a demonstration at the time of the visit of the United Nations Secretary-General's Personal Representative for East Timor on 23 March 1997 were brought to trial. Prosecutor Bonar Pardede charged the defendants, aged between 19 and 33, with publicly advocating separatism. The demonstrators had demanded to meet the United Nations envoy but were blocked by security personnel.7 They were sentenced to one year in prison.

8. On 4 September 1997, East Timor's "Governor" José Osorio Abilio Soares was re-elected to office by the (local) legislative council, with 90 per cent of the vote. The council, comprising legislators from Golkar, the United Development Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party, elected Soares for a five-year term.8 President Suharto gave Mr. Soares' election the final approval.

9. In September 1997, a group of Nobel laureates and other prominent figures signed a letter to President Suharto appealing for his "fullest support" for new moves to try to resolve the conflict in East Timor. Those who signed the open letter included former presidents of four nations, Messrs. Richard von Weizsaecker (Germany), F. W. de Klerk (South Africa), Oscar Arias Sánchez (Costa Rica), and Patricio Aylwin Azocar (Chile). Former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, who also signed the letter, stated that it was a "well-intentioned effort to encourage President Suharto to rethink his position on East Timor, which is obviously still causing Indonesia a great deal of pain in its international relations".9

10. On 13 September 1997, a bomb exploded in the Plamongan Indah housing complex in Demak, Central Java. According to a spokesperson of the Indonesian Armed Forces, it was an accidental explosion that occurred during a bomb-making activity managed by the Associacio Socialista de Timor, a pro-independence group.10 Press reports indicated that the Indonesian authorities arrested at least nine East Timorese youths in Semarang and Dili in connection with the incident.11

11. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the 164th Wira Dharma military command in Dili continued to hold regular dialogue in efforts to solve human rights issues in East Timor. The head of ICRC in Dili, Jeurg Frei, said "we've been having good relations with the military since we began holding such dialogues".12

12. On 12 November 1997, East Timorese held demonstrations to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Dili incident of 12 November 1991, when security personnel opened fire, killing a large number of demonstrators. Some 300 students held a candlelit ceremony inside the campus of the University of East Timor. In Yogjakarta, 70 students wore black clothes and unfurled posters and banners before the city legislative building. In Kuala Lumpur, Solidaritas Timor Timur, an organization which supports self-determination for East Timor, issued a statement marking the anniversary. In Washington, D.C., 11 people were arrested in front of the Indonesian Embassy for staging a mock funeral.13

13. Media sources reported that on 14 November 1997, a clash ensued between Indonesian troops and students at the University of East Timor. Reports stated that trouble broke out when a number of students started fighting with plain-clothes military personnel who had entered university premises. By the time truckloads of military reinforcements arrived, a large crowd of students had gathered at the university entrance. Police and soldiers started firing their weapons into the air to disperse the crowd.14 A subsequent report issued by the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission stated that there had been no deaths in the campus clash, but that a number of students and security personnel had suffered injuries.15

14. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Vancouver from 24 to 25 November 1997 attracted demonstrators calling on the summit to place the issue of human rights higher on its agenda. Sixteen people protesting Indonesia's presence in East Timor were arrested. A people's summit, an "alternative" conference organized by human rights and labour activists, was held simultaneously. The people's summit filed a petition to Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, asking Canada to seek a commitment from Indonesia that Indonesians attending protests abroad would not be prosecuted on their return home.16

15. In January 1998, East Timorese students held a demonstration in the regional legislative council of Semarang, Central Java's provincial capital. A spokesperson of the students' organization Impetu said that the demonstration followed a series of kidnappings of several East Timorese students and university professor Lucas da Costa in Java in December 1997. Impetu called on the Indonesian Government to protect East Timorese students across the nation against military and police abuses.17

16. The Third Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (APCET III) was held in Bangkok from 2 to 6 March 1998. The organizers said that it was the first time that the Conference had been concluded successfully, despite complaints of police videotaping participants during the first days, and foreign participants having to present work permits. Some 90 academics, parliamentarians and human rights activists attended the conference. The Conference statement called upon the United Nations to place a human rights representative in Dili.18

17. Media sources stated that rebel leader Nino Konis Santana died on 11 March 1998 in Ainaro district from injuries sustained during a fall when he was trying to take shelter in one of his hiding places. Mr. Taur Matan Ruak, who was named successor, was quoted as appealing to the Indonesian Government to work in conjunction with the international community towards a peaceful solution, stating that a "radicalism approach" would not benefit Indonesia.19

18. On 29 March 1998, a team from the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights arrived in Dili to investigate the 4 January 1998 death of four residents of Coeliman village in East Timor. The team was scheduled to meet Dili Bishop Carlos Belo as part of their information-gathering. Team member Mr. B. N. Marbun said he welcomed journalists wishing to join the team. He added that all relevant information on the deaths would be collected for further discussion in Jakarta before the results were announced.20

19. On 3 April 1998, some 70 East Timorese students staged a peaceful rally in front of the British Embassy in Jakarta, demanding that officials attending the Asia-Europe Meeting in London to include human rights in East Timor in their agenda. A statement issued by the demonstrators "urged European governments not to use the Asian financial crisis as an excuse not to take a stand on East Timor or press Indonesia on it". Riot police from the Menteng subprecinct and troops from the district military command sealed off the area to prevent possible unrest.21 Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said that the issue of East Timor would not be taken up at the meeting because it was irrelevant and was already being addressed in other forums.22

20. On 20 April 1998, Portuguese radio reported that Messrs. Manuel Carrascalao and Francisco Carvalho, two leaders of the Movement of Reconciliation and Unity inside East Timor, had been subjected to continuous interrogation for four consecutive days. Indonesian authorities confiscated symbols of the movement and office equipment, including fax machines, typewriters and various documents.23 Both men were being investigated for "sowing public hatred against the Government".24

21. A meeting entitled East Timorese National Convention in the Diaspora was held in Peniche (north of Lisbon) from 23 to 27 April 1998. East Timorese resistance groups joined forces to establish a unified stand on the future of East Timor. The Convention, which was attended by 208 delegates from more than a dozen political parties, established the Council of Timorese Resistance. The new Council is headed by Mr. "Xanana" Gusmao, East Timorese resistance leader who is still serving a 20-year jail sentence in Jakarta, while Nobel laureate Mr. José Ramos-Horta, East Timorese resistance activist spokesman, was appointed Vice-President. A second vice-president from inside East Timor was also named. The delegates approved a charter of principles entitled "Magna Carta concerning Freedoms, Rights, Duties and Guarantees for the People of East Timor". The Convention was not attended by the Reconciliation Group for East Timor's Development and the East Timor Socialist Association, who ran their own resistance network inside East Timor.25 Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas criticized Portugal for supporting the conference, stating that the conference "was undermining the existing efforts by the United Nations Secretary-General under the tripartite dialogue"26 and would "only sharpen the polarization among the East Timorese".27 He also stated that the conference would affect the All-Inclusive Intra-East Timorese Dialogue which would "lose its useful aims".

22. A number of East Timorese continued to seek asylum in foreign embassies in Jakarta. Four adults and two children remain at the Austrian Embassy after taking refuge there in September 1997. Indonesian authorities have refused to give safe passage to two East Timorese whom they accuse of being involved in causing a bomb explosion in Central Java on 13 September 1997.28 Four asylum-seekers who entered the Bulgarian Embassy in June 1997 were handed over to the Indonesian police hours after their entry.29 In January 1998, five East Timorese sought asylum at the French Embassy30 while eight sought refuge at the Spanish Embassy.31 In February 1998, a group of six entered the Spanish Embassy,32 and in April, four East Timorese entered the British Embassy seeking asylum.33 All were eventually granted safe passage to Lisbon.

1 Indonesian Observer, 18 July 1997

2 South China Morning Post, 30 August 1997.

3 World News (Australia), 30 March 1998.

4 The Guardian, 30 May 1997; Agence France-Presse, 1 and 6 June 1997.

5 The Herald Tribune, 27 June 1997; Agence France-Presse, 5 July 1997.

6 Agence France-Presse, 27 June 1997.

7 ANTARA, 1 August 1997.

8 Reuters, 4 September 1997

9 International Herald Tribune, 11 September 1997.

10 ANTARA, 21 and 23 October 1997.

11 Agence France-Presse, 5 January 1998.

12 The Indonesian Times, 15 October 1997.

13 Reuters, 12 November 1997; Indonesian Times, 13 November 1997; Agence France-Presse, 13 November; The Jakarta Post, 14 November 1997.

14 The Weekend Australian, 15-16 November 1997.

15 News & Views Indonesia, Review of November/December 1997.

16 Agence France-Presse, 24 and 25 November 1997; Reuters, 24 November 1997.

17 Ibid., 5 January 1998.

18 The Associated Press, Comtex Scientific Corporation and Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH, 6 March 1998.

19 Reuters, 31 March 1998.

20 The Indonesian Observer, 30 March 1998.

21 Agence France-Presse, 3 April 1998; The Associated Press, 6 April 1998.

22 Berita Antara, 27 March 1998.

23 RDP Antena 1 radio, Lisbon, 1200 gmt, 20 April 1998.

24 The Associated Press, 17 April 1998.

25 Berita Antara, 29 April 1998.

26 The Associated Press, 23 April 1998.

27 Reuters, 24 April 1998.

28 Ibid., 12 October 1997; The Indonesian Times, 22 October 1997.

29 Agence France-Presse, 31 August 1997.

30 Ibid., 15 January 1998.

31 The Associated Press, 28 January 1998.

32 Reuters, 10 February 1998.

33 The Associated Press, 22 April 1998.

34 United States Department of State, Indonesia Report on Human Rights Practices for 1997, Washington, D.C., 30 January 1998.

35 Human Rights Watch, Indonesia/East Timor: Deteriorating Human Rights in East Timor, Vol. 9, No. 9 (c), September 1997.

36 Amnesty International. East Timor: Broken Promises – Implementation of the Recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Following a Visit to Indonesia and East Timor in 1994. ASA 21/24/98, March 1998.

37 Letter dated 6 November 1997 addressed to the Honourable Robert E. Rubin, Secretary of the Department of The Treasury, United States, from Representatives Barney Frank, Tony P. Hall, Patrick J. Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Joseph P. Kennedy.

38 Press Release, Office of the Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, First District, Rhode Island, 10 June 1997.

[part 1 of 4]
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