BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor Loro Sa'e: Monday May 7 2001


This email contains a summary of a few of the items added to the website during the week
(ending Monday May 7)

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  TOPICAL THEMES  Updated May 7
  MAY 2001 NEWS, ARTICLES & REPORTS  Updated  May 5
  APR 2001 NEWS, ARTICLES & REPORTS  Updated  May 5

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Click on links relating to various Themes at:

This collection of recent items relating to a particular theme
has had a major up-date in the past week:

BD: Timor Oil

These collections have been up-dated in the past week:

Refugees & Missing Persons
War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity
Military and political aid to Indonesia
Calls for International War Crimes Tribunal
Sexual Violence as a weapon of war
Pro-autonomy Political Parties & Movements

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Access the following recently added May items at:

May 3 TP: NC members off to Darwin to gather data on Timor Gap  News from ETimor added May 5
"Twenty-six councilors out the 30-member National Council will be making their way to Darwin between 8 May - 10 May to seek further data on the Timor Gap. This data will be used by the National Council to analyze the involvement of the Australian government and Philips Petroleum in the development of the Timor Gap, said National Council President Manuel Carascalao yesterday." Timor Post

May 5 GLW: East Timor: Big business press backs Australian oil theft  Article added May 5
"In the wake of the second round of negotiations between Australia and East Timor on the Timor Gap Treaty and the disputed seabed boundary, Australia’s big business press are stepping-up its support for Canberra’s push to deny East Timor a fair share of the revenue from oil and gas deposits. ... There has been no indication that the UNTAET is pursuing any goals [in relation to Timor oil] different to the wishes of the East Timorese leadership. There have been no public criticisms from the National Council or the East Timorese members of the transitional cabinet.  Although the Australian government and its supporters in the capitalist media look set to continue their blackmailing and bullying tactics, and misrepresentation of the views of East Timor’s negotiators, UNTAET and the East Timorese leadership seems determined not to falter." Jon Land, Indonesia - East Timor Campaign Watch

May 2 IO: Solidamor demands Wiranto be charged  News from Indonesia added May 3
"The Solidarity Without Borders (Solidamor), led by its chairman Bonar Tigor Naipospos, was received by senior prosecutor Rahman, who chairs a Attorney General's Office (AGO) team investigating human rights abuses in East Timor. The AGO last week named 18 suspects in the destruction of East Timor by pro-Jakarta militias after the East Timorese people voted for independence from Indonesia on August 30, 1999. However, the list sparked outrage from human rights activists as it excluded Wiranto and other former high-ranking officers, such as Lieutenant General Johnny Lumintang, Major General Zacky Anwar Makarim and Major General H.R. Garnadi. Former militia commander Joao Savares was also not among the suspects." Indonesian Observer

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Access the following recently added April items at:

Apr 30 SMH publishes KPP HAM's Secret Report on Crimes Against Humanity in ETimor
"KPP HAM has been successful in collecting facts and proofs that provide strong indications that serious violations of human rights have been carried out in a planned and systematic manner and on a large and wide scale in the form of mass murder, torture and maltreatment, forced disappearance, violence towards women and children (including rape and sexual slavery), forced evacuations, scorched earth policies and destruction of property, all of which constitute crimes towards humanity. ...
KPP HAM also found strong evidence concerning getting rid of and destroying evidence, which is a criminal act. ...
The types of acts and the pattern of crimes against humanity were as follows: The involvement of the civilian and military apparatuses including the police cooperated with the pro-integration militia groups in crimes against humanity. This represented abuse of power and authority and resulted in the involvement of military institutions as well as civil agencies." Indonesian Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM)

Apr 30 ABC Darwin: Denis Burke re: Timor Gas  Interview with comments from BACK DOOR added May 1
" ... frankly I believe Australia has to hold a very hard line in the region. I mean like it or not we have responsibilities in this region.  Like it or not we have taken leadership and should continue to hold a strong leadership position in the region. And in that context we have to demonstrate firmness on issues such as sovereignty." Denis Burke, the Northern Territory (Australia) Government’s Chief Minister

Apr 30 UNTAET: National Council Briefed on Timor Gap  News from ETimor added May 1
"The National Council Standing Committee on Infrastructure today invited Mari Alkatiri, Cabinet member for Economic Affairs and Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea, to speak on the issue of the Timor Gap negotiations. Alkatiri began by explaining the agreement between Australia and Indonesia, negotiated in 1989, noting that if one were to abide by international law and norms, 100 per cent of the oil reserves of the Timor Gap belong to East Timor." UNTAET Media Briefing Notes

Apr 28 SMH: Timor Crimes  Editorial added May 3
"The Indonesian special commission [KPP HAM] on militia violence in East Timor has amply confirmed suspicions of Indonesian military involvement in and responsibility for crimes against humanity in East Timor. The commission has made a sincere effort to find out what happened before and after the August 1999 vote on independence. It has cast new light on many crimes committed by the militia, the military and the police. It has uncovered new sources of information. It has exhumed the bodies of victims of massacres, putting beyond doubt that crimes were committed and that the evidence exists. And it has shown the links between some of the most terrible crimes and the Indonesian military, extending beyond Timor itself, beyond the regional command in Bali, to the the high command itself in Jakarta. The commission’s secret 41-page report, prepared for the Indonesian Attorney-General, Mr Marzuki Darusman, is frank and credible, and not exculpatory in tone." Sydney Morning Herald editorial

French & English:
Apr 28 Agir pour Timor demande la création immédiate d’un tribunal pénal international ad hoc sur Timor-Est / Agir pour Timor calls for the immediate creation of an ad hoc international criminal court on ETimor  Release added May 1
"Un processus judiciaire international est suspendu à la mise en oeuvre d’un processus judiciaire indonésien. Cette mesure, qui n’a pas d’équivalent dans l’histoire récente (on pense notamment à l’ex-Yougoslavie et au Rwanda), est incompatible avec le caractère international du conflit de Timor-Est, ... Agir pour Timor recommande: L’établissement immédiat d’un tribunal pénal international ad hoc, dont le mandat devrait couvrir au  moins l’entière période de l’occupation indonésienne." Rapport Agir pour Timor
"An international judicial process is suspended to the implementation of an Indonesian judicial process. This measure, which has no equivalent in recent history (ex-Yougoslavia and Rwanda notably come to mind), is incompatible with the international character of the East Timor conflict, ... Agir pour Timor recommends: The immediate set-up of an ad hoc international criminal court, whose mandate should cover at least the full Indonesian occupation period." Agir pour Timor report

Apr 26 STL: Bishop Belo: Leaders must address grassroots’ concerns  News from ETimor added May 3
"The leader of the Dili diocese Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo reminded leaders of political parties to have more contacts with the grassroots so that they could see with their own eyes the conditions under which people are living in. This, said Bishop Belo, would make political leaders be more realistic in their aspirations to build the country." Suara Timor Lorosae

Apr 26 AIDWATCH: World Bank Dictating Terms of Development in East Timor  Release added May 1
"Two AID/WATCH volunteers returned from East Timor yesterday and observed that, while East Timorese society has been heartened by the stability and security restored by the Peace Keeping Forces, and by the good relief work supported by the international community, it is distressed and confused by the emerging role of the World Bank.
AID/WATCH researchers Yoga Sofyar and Tim Anderson, found consistent concern amongst NGOs, church groups and administration officials, that the development assistance - generously and freely given by the international community - is being managed in a predetermined, secretive and authoritarian manner. The main responsible agency is the World Bank, supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). ...
Mr. Sofyar and Mr. Anderson were informed that many East Timorese feel that the World Bank is not treating them with respect." AIDWATCH: Monitoring the Development Dollar

Apr 26 TAPOL: Indonesia forfeits right to conduct Timor trials  Release added May 1
“The Indonesian authorities have cynically misled the international community as to their true intentions and cannot be trusted. Indonesia is neither willing nor able to provide justice to the long-suffering victims of the appalling crimes committed by the Indonesian military and its militia proxies in East Timor. International justice must now take its course.” Paul Barber, TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Apr 25 AI: Indonesia: Struggle against impunity -- one step forward, two steps back  Release added May 1
"It is a case of one step forward, two steps back, ... The decision to establish courts on Tanjung Priok and East Timor is a positive move, but to restrict the mandate of the court on East Timor to post-ballot cases denies justice to the scores of victims who suffered serious violations in the months leading up to the vote. ... This compromised decision should force the international community to seriously consider the establishment of an international criminal tribunal on East Timor so that the 1999 events can be looked at in their entirety," Amnesty International

Apr 25 ETAN publishes text of suppressed UN report on East Timor destruction  Release & Link to full text of report up-dated May 5
"The report is now available on the internet at
The document, "Crimes Against Humanity in East Timor, January to October 1999: Their Nature and Causes," was written by former Australian diplomat James Dunn, an independent consultant to the Chief Prosecutor for the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor's (UNTAET). ETAN obtained the report from a source associated with the United Nations.
UNTAET officials do not plan to release the report, which was submitted to them in mid-February. It names some of the key Indonesian commanders most directly involved in planning and implementing the violence surrounding East Timor's UN-organized independence referendum in 1999. A UN spokesperson has said that the UN is not releasing the report out of concern that it will hinder negotiations with Indonesia.
"We believe it is crucial that those responsible for East Timor's destruction be held accountable," said John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN. "Prosecution of the Indonesian military officers responsible is necessary both for East Timor's future security and Indonesia's transition to democracy. Open discussion of the report's findings best serves all involved -- the UN, the Indonesian government and people, and the people of  East Timor." " The East Timor Action Network/U.S.

Apr 25 TP: Horta Returns to Foreign Ministry After Resigning From NC  News from ETimor added May 3
“All the members of the National Council feel that I should return to my previous portfolio. They are of the opinion that the post of Foreign Minister is very important to Timor Lorosae. For that reason I resigned and went back to the Foreign Affairs Ministry,” Dr Jose Ramos Horta

Apr 9-11 APPEA: Galbraith: Timor Sea Petroleum  keynote conference address added May 5
"I am here today with Dr. Mari Alkatiri, East Timor’s Minister for Economic Affairs and therefore my colleague in Cabinet, to bring you a simple message: the period of instability and uncertainty in East Timor is over.  ... East Timor is well on its way to establishing stable democratic institutions and sensible pro-market economic policies. ... On behalf of the East Timor Cabinet and legislature, I am here to underline our intention to develop and implement a transparent, stable fiscal and regulatory regime that will be amongst the most modern in the world, and which will enable both the companies and the East Timorese to profit from our resource. ...
Both East Timor and Australia, and in particular its Northern Territory, have a lot to gain by concluding a Treaty to facilitate the development of the vast oil and gas resources of the Timor Sea.  ... Neither Mari Alkatiri nor I can bring back East Timor a treaty that would give East Timor less economic benefit than that which it is entitled under international law. ...
In summary, we see a great opportunity for East Timor and Australia in the Timor Sea. With East Timor the petroleum industry has a partner that promises a reliable, stable, and exploitation-friendly future. The uncertainty about East Timor’s future is over and we promise a regulatory regime that is transparent, straightforward, and honest."
Ambassador Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea, East Timor Transitional Government

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Access the following recently added earlier items at:

Oct 25 2000 WSWS: Timor Gap dispute highlights motives behind Australian intervention  Article added May 4
"Australian media commentators have expressed concern that the Howard government's intransigence on the border dispute will discredit the official humanitarian rationale for the dispatch of Australian troops to East Timor. “Some observers believe,” noted a front-page article in the Sydney Morning Herald last week, “the Howard government is attempting to conceal its bid to minimise East Timor's share of Timor Sea mineral wealth because it would be unpopular domestically where there is strong support for the long suffering East Timorese. It could also damage Australia's international reputation as the saviour of East Timor.” ... Throughout all the twists and turns of Australian policy — from justifying the 1975-99 military subjugation of Timor's people at a cost of some 200,000 lives to suddenly claiming to be preoccupied with rescuing them from Indonesian-backed militias — successive Australian governments, both Liberal and Labor, have had a common objective — to secure a controlling stake in the Timor Sea oil and gas reserves." Mike Head

Apr-Jun 2000 II: The new Timor Gap: Will Australia now break with the past?  Article added May 4
" ... inflexible pragmatism has its inherent risks, since today's interests may be shortsighted tomorrow. Compliance with now well-defined international law principles may offer more long-term stability. ... East Timorese policy makers will of course have a pragmatic desire to work with Australia. Nevertheless, there are multiple factors tilting the balance towards a permanent median line seabed boundary settlement. ... Australia's foreign minister raising a champagne glass with his Indonesian counterpart is the treaty's unforgettable symbol. Asking the East Timorese to 'honour' the treaty indicates a certain insensitivity on the part of Australia. There will be strong public pressure for East Timor to make a symbolic break with the past. An historic opportunity now exists to remove the Timor Gap from the very short list of the world's disputed maritime areas. The ideal procedure is direct talks between Australia and a democratically constituted government of East Timor. Failing that, the dispute can always be resolved by international arbitration." Geoffrey A McKee, oil industry consultant

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Access details of Canberra Events at:

East Timor Benefit Quiz Night
Timor nia Klamar, (Tetun for Spirit or Soul of Timor)
through Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies
Whitlam Room, Canberra Workers’ Club, Childers St, Civic.
Friday May 11, 7.30pm

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Access the following recently added links at:

AID/WATCH: Monitoring the Development Dollar

TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Amnesty International

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