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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

November 2001 News, Articles & Reports:


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Nov 28 UNTAET: Constituent Assembly Chooses Presidential Election Date  News added Dec 16
"The Constituent Assembly today approved a motion recommending that East Timor’s first presidential election be held in the first or second week of April 2002, and that the voting process be universal, direct, and secret. The assembly also affirmed that the formal transfer of powers and sovereignty from the United Nations to democratically elected East Timorese institutions on 20 May 2002." UNTAET Daily Briefing

Nov 24 WkAus: 21 charged with Timor massacre  News added Nov 26
"United Nations prosecutors in East Timor have lodged an indictment against 21 people, including senior Indonesian military, militia and government officials, over the massacre in the Catholic church in the town of Liquica in April 1999. ... Of the 21 accused, only two low-ranking participants in the April 6 massacre are in custody in East Timor. ... there is strong resistance in Jakarta to fulfilling extradition requests. ... The results of the investigation in East Timor, ... could assist, and put pressure on, Indonesian justice officials and encourage the Attorney-General’s office to increase the number of people facing prosecution. Ultimately, this is likely to reach retired armed forces commander General Wiranto." Don Greenlees

BD: November 20 2001 - This Month in Review  Overview added Nov 20
* Santa Cruz Massacre * Justice And Accountability in East Timor * Calls for an International Crimes Tribunal * Japanese Self-Defense Force * Independence * Disparity Between UNTAET & East Timorese * Health * Military Aid to Indonesia * The Tampa Affair / Refugees

Nov 19 Aust: Timor venture on hold  Article added Nov 20
"Development of the vast Sunrise gas reserves in the Timor Sea has been delayed at least two years. A meeting of joint venture participants in Perth on Friday failed to agree on a commercial arrangement for development. ... News of the delay comes as senior Australian government officials prepare to travel to Dili for a round of talks with the new East Timorese Government, in a bid to resolve differences over the Timor Sea Arrangement signed in July." Nigel Wilson

November 16th: International Day of Tolerance
See: BD: The Reconciliation process in East Timor

Nov 16 UNTAET: Alkatiri/de Mello press conference  Briefing added Nov 26
"Q: You have been talking about a Presidential election but you have not been talking about parliamentary elections. When do you think parliamentary elections will be? Marí Alkatiri: This is a decision that is going to be made by the Constituent Assembly itself. Are we going to have a parliamentary election before independence or after independence? If after independence, when? Two, three, four years after independence or immediately after the independence? The Constituent Assembly will decide on this.
Q: What kind of experts do you expect to fill [posts in the successor mission] after independence?
Sergio Vieira de Mello: Yes, we will come up, as I said, with a fairly comprehensive inventory of the positions, the core ones, that is the 100 or so to be funded from the mandatory assessed budget of the United Nations, will be in essentially three areas of government: one, central administrative support services to all the ministries of the independent Government of East Timor; second, financial and banking; and third, justice." UNTAET Daily Briefing

Nov 15 KairosCanada: Appeal for Tribunal  Action added Nov 15
“There must be no hiding place for political monsters such as unleashed the destruction of East Timor in 1999. These are crimes which are far greater than their immediate victims ... They strike at the future as well as the present. They make the world more dangerous for everyone.” Bishop Belo, Bishop of Dili, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, 1996
"Please show your support for the creation of an international tribunal on East Timor and for human rights reform in Indonesia. Below is a brief outline of a letter you can send to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hon. John Manley. Please also send a copy of your correspondence to our office. We will forward copies to all of the member countries on the UN Security Council, the UN body which mandates the creation of an international tribunal." Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Nov 14 LH: Dili Justice Seminar report excerpts  Summaries added Nov 15
"The following material relates to a seminar held in Dili on 16 October 2001 entitled Justice And Accountability In East Timor: International Tribunals And Other Options organized by several East Timorese non-governmental organizations. ... If you would like the 24-page seminar report including all papers, discussions and outcomes of the seminar, write to ifet@etan.org and I will email you an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. Please indicate if you would like the English or Bahasa Indonesia version. The full report of the seminar will be available soon at http://www.etan.org/lh/reports.html [including new information and reports as they come out]" Charlie Scheiner, La'o Hamutuk

November 12th, 1991 Massacre of unarmed Timorese youth at Santa Cruz cemetery
See: BD: War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity

Nov 12 DemNow!: RealAudio Program on Santa Cruz Massacre  Audio link added Nov 15
"The Indonesian troops who committed the massacre [Santa Cruz] used M-16 rifles provided by the US; their officers were trained and supported by the U.S. When the horrific reports of the Santa Cruz massacre reached the outside world, the response of the US and its allies was instructive. The Bush Administration doubled military aid to Indonesia even as General Try Sutrisno, who would later become Vice President, said of the nonviolent protestors “such people much be shot and we will shoot them.” But the massacre also sparked an international solidarity movement to support the East Timorese struggle for liberation from Indonesian occupation." Democracy NOW! in Exile

Nov 12 APCET: Ten years ago today, a massacre in Dili stunned the world  Statement added Nov 13
"The crimes against East Timor are also crimes against humanity. It is time that the international community close this grim chapter in world history by convening an international human rights tribunal for East Timor. It is time that the Indonesian government redress their past wrongs by cooperating, if not, initiating proceedings to convene this international court. It is time for the victims and kin of all crimes in East Timor to rest. It is time for East Timor to be completely free." Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET)

Nov 12 TETA: The eve of 10th anniversary of Santa Cruz massacre  Statements added Nov 12
"On Nov. 11, more than 70 people took part in a memorial event in Tokyo to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor. After about an hour meeting, mourners walked to the Indonesian embassy in Tokyo carrying pictures of victims of the Santa Cruz massacre and laid flowers at the gate of the embassy. The event was organised by Tokyo East Timor Association (a member group of Free East Timor! Japan Coalition ),  National Christian Council, Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, Amnesty International Japan, Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan, Japan NGO Network for Indonesia, and Pacific Asia Resource Center. The attendants unanimously approved the statement prepared by organisers, calling for the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute Indonesian military officers and top-level militia leaders responsible for crimes against humanity committed in East Timor." Kyo Kageura, Tokyo East Timor Association (Free East Timor! Japan Coalition)

Nov 12 SMH: Ten Years Later, Santa Cruz Massacre Still Leaves a Scar  Article added Nov 12
"Ten years after the massacre that shocked the world, memories are still raw in East Timor. ... Ten years later the territory has its nominal freedom, but Santa Cruz is still an open wound. UNTAET has paid little attention to victims of war crimes, although they constitute a substantial sector of the population. ... The balance is not entirely negative a decade later. Two young men, Gregorio Saldanha and Francisco Branco, were among those arrested and tortured for the crime of organising a peaceful demonstration. Both served eight years in Soeharto’s prisons, but were freed prematurely after the dictator fell. Today, they walk tall as members of Timor’s new parliament [Both are National Fretilin Party Representatives elected to the Constituent Assembly - BD]. Only their troubled, serious faces indicate their sad past." Jill Joliffe in Dili

November 12th - 23rd: UN Committee against Torture Venue: Geneva

See: BD: Kopassus (the Indonesian military special forces) & BD: Sexual & related violence as weapons of war on the East Timorese people & Coalition of International NGOs Against Torture & World Organization Against Torture & NI: Torture

Nov 10 ETAN/U.S.: Alert: Honor the Santa Cruz massacre victims  Action alert added Nov 11
"NOVEMBER 12 marks the tenth anniversary of one of the most infamous massacres in East Timor. On November 12, 1991, the Indonesian military indiscriminately fired upon East Timorese participants in a memorial procession-turned-peaceful pro-independence demonstration in the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili. Over 270 civilians were killed. This massacre, unlike many others during the U.S.-backed Indonesian military occupation, was recorded and reported on by international journalists. News of the atrocity sparked an international solidarity movement for East Timor." ETAN Washington Representative Karen Orenstein

Oct 30-Nov 5 Tempo: The Disparity Between UNTAET and E.Timorese  Article added Nov 4
"The contrasting incomes and lifestyles between the expatriates and nationals in Timor Loro Sa’, particularly in Dili, has caused deep envy and anger among the local population. That’s why rock attacks still happen occasionally, even if the war has ended. Those rocks are being thrown at UNTAET cars during night time, smashing window screens. This outpouring of anger is triggered by the flagrant display of wealth amidst the widespread poverty around the local people." Raihul Fadjri (Yogyakarta), Setiyardi (Timor Loro Sa’e).

Oct 30-Nov 5 Tempo: Foreign Pie in a Local Kitchen (UNTAET’s Budget for 2000)  Info added Nov 4
"Salaries of military personnel US$220 millon; Salaries of civilian personnel US$199 million; Salaries of international staff US$112 million (monthly average of US$7,800 per head); Dental care for military personnel US$7 million; Laundry cost of military personnel US$2.1 million; Drinking water for military personnel US$3.65 million; Salaries of local staff US$5.5 million (monthly average of US$240 per head); Total Budget 2000 US$549.15 million " Raihul Fadjri (Yogyakarta), Setiyardi (Timor Loro Sa’e)."

Oct 30-Nov 5 Tempo: 100s of UNTAET employees stay in Timor's Floating Hotels  Article added Nov 5
"In its one year of operation under contract with UNTAET, [Hotel] Olympia is believed to have made at least US$40 million in profits—eight times the amount UNTAET spent in salaries to its local employees during the same period. ... Having won independence, the Timorese are awakening to a new reality. The sight of Lobato sleeping on the pavement of a pot-holed road and old rickety buildings lining the beach stands in stark contrast to the [floating hotel] Central Maritime display of good living—a reminder to the Timorese that they still have to face another enemy in their midst—poverty." Setiyardi (Timor Loro Sa’e)

Nov 3 Age: Timor's Haunted Women  Article added Nov 7
"They’re cruel! We don’t want Japanese soldiers back here!” Marta Pereira, one of around 1000 surviving ETimorese women who were used as sex slaves, or “comfort women”, by the Japanese military
“We see it as an important issue - despite their old age, these women are still suffering, ... We struggled 24 years to get Indonesian troops out of here, and now we’re being asked to accept Japanese troops. Japanese support should be in another form. It’s ugly to have troops here when no apology has yet been made.” Natalia de Jesus Cesaltino, Fokupers

Nov 1 Inglis: UN and Tokyo agree on dispatch of Japanese troops to ETimor  Article added Nov 7
"The Japanese government announced on October 22 that a 600-member Self-Defense Force engineering battalion would be sent to East Timor next spring. ... twelve Timorese NGOs, organizations (involved in such fields as human rights, women’s issues, student mobilization, international aid monitoring, etc.)  issued a statement opposing the SDF dispatch and urging Japan to instead use its political and economic influence with Indonesia to bring about the normalization of conditions along the border with Indonesian West Timor. ... most of the world’s people, if given a choice, would opt for a twenty-first century with one less, rather than one more, military armed to the teeth and waiting for war." Jean Inglis, member of the Japanese solidarity network


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