BACK DOOR Newsletter on Timor Loro Sa'e:
Monday October 15 2001


This email contains summaries of items added to the website during the past few weeks

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  * Friendship Cities & Reconstruction
  * Second Transitional Government of East Timor
  * Terrorist attacks in the U.S. & the 'war on terrorism'
  * other news

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Click on links relating to various Themes at:

This NEW collection of items relating to a particular theme has been added since the last newsletter:
BD: The Current World Crisis - The recent terrorist attacks in the US and the subsequent 'war on terrorism'

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Access recently added news items at:

Friendship Cities & Reconstruction

Oct 11 Woodcroft-Lee: Friendship Cities: Relationships between Localities in Australia & Timor Lorosa'e  Overview added Oct 11
"The following is a summary of the information I have been able to obtain by discussions with representatives of several Melbourne councils, the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) and two regions in New South Wales, concerning their friendship city programs with various towns and districts in Timor Lorosa'e. ... A key principle underlying the friendship relationship is that it should function both ways. ... I would welcome any suggestions as to how we [Canberrans] could initiate the steps necessary to set up a partnership arrangement, either with a specific region or with grassroots organisations in Timor Lorosa'e." (Mrs) Patricia Woodcroft-Lee, Canberra ratepayer [Australia]

Sep 27 Woodcroft-Lee: Canberra Plans for Sister City Relationship with Dili  Letter added Oct 11
" ... the Chief Minister, Mr Gary Humphries has made a commitment that the Liberal party, if elected, will inaugurate a sister city relationship with Dili, the soon to be capital of the independent republic of Timor Lorosa'e. Many residents of the ACT will welcome this commitment, as there is much goodwill here toward the people of Timor and a desire to assist in the rebuilding of the country.  ... A model of cooperation which may better fit the current circumstances is the Friendship City Program ... It is essentially a series of grass roots people to people initiatives, for which the city or shire council provides an administrative framework and contributes its expertise in areas such as urban planning and services." (Mrs) Patricia Woodcroft-Lee, Canberra ratepayer [Australia]

Sep 2 AW: World Bank - It's impacts on ETimor and PNG  Article added Sep 25
" … it has proved difficult to prevent corruption and other problems in privatising monopolies … Advocates of privatisation may have overestimated the benefits of privatization and underestimated the costs, particularly the political costs of the process itself and the impediments it has posed to further reform" Joseph Stiglitz, head of World Bank’s Asia-Pacific branch
"The time has come to show that there is a critical mass of members of civil society who are questioning the projects and policies of the World Bank ... more people than just AID/WATCH are concerned about the bank and its activities." James Arvanitakis, Campaign Director of AID/WATCH

August 2001 LHB: Provision of School Furniture: World Bank Project  Article added Sep 27
"There have been, however, a number of problems in the implementation of the emergency stage of the school rehabilitation effort, including the provision of school furniture. ... Perhaps the greatest problems relate to the insufficient level of commitment on the part of the World Bank and UNTAET/ETTA to having local employment generation and capacity building as important goals of the project. The Bank and UNTAET/ETTA argue that one should not confuse the goals of an emergency project—in this case, bringing destroyed schools to a basic operational level as quickly as possible—with other goals." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Second Transitional Government of East Timor

Sep 20 UNTAET: New East Timorese Government Sworn-In  Briefing added Sep 28
"Following the elections, SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello appointed Alkatiri who subsequently assisted him in forming the new Government. Consultations with the presidents of the other three parties that received the largest number of votes were conducted, as well as with other Timorese personalities." UNTAET
"You were appointed because I believe you will place national interest above your own individual or party interests, ... We are determined that this Government be an example in restoring the values and ethics of our society. What is being asked of you is total transparency, unconditional dedication and diligence to serve the nation.” Fretilin Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister

Sep 19 UNTAET: New East Timorese Government Established Tomorrow  Briefing added Sep 25
"The new all-East Timorese Council of Ministers of the Second Transitional Government, which will replace the current Transitional Cabinet, will be sworn-in tomorrow morning in Dili. This second Transitional Government and its Council of Ministers will govern East Timor during the remaining transitional period before the independence of a democratic and sovereign state. ... all of this in close consultation with the Transitional Administrator [Sergio Vieira de Mello] who retains the ultimate executive and legislative authority ... Furthermore, a Public Administration of East Timor will be formally established, implementing the programs and policies of the Council of Ministers, a body now totally composed of Timorese members, broadly reflecting the results of the election that took place on 30 August." UNTAET Daily Briefing

Sep 19 UNTAET/REG/2001/28: Establishing Council of Ministers  Regulations added Sep 25
"The Special Representative of the Secretary-General  (hereinafter: Transitional Administrator [Sergio Vieira de Mello]), ... Taking into account United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) Regulation No. 1999/1 of 27 November 1999 on the Authority of the Transitional Administration in East Timor, Taking into account the results of the election of a Constituent Assembly to prepare a Constitution for an independent and democratic East Timor, For the purpose of establishing the Council of Ministers, with the aim of effectively governing East Timor during the transitional period, and For the further purpose of establishing the East Timor Public Administration, with the aim of implementing the laws of East Timor, and the programs and policies of the Council of Ministers, Promulgates the following: ... " UNTAET

Terrorist attacks in the U.S. & the 'war on terrorism'

Oct 10 CSM: A Long Wait for Justice in East Timor  Article added Oct 11
"Pressure to try human rights cases against the Indonesian military ebbs amid counterterror push. ... with a war on global terrorism bringing potential US allies across Asia in from the cold, Indonesia’s commanders may never be held accountable. One sign of that thaw is the US government’s decision last month to resume low-level military ties with Indonesia, which had been suspended over the East Timor violence. The resumption of ties came as Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri met with President Bush to voice support for the US-led counterterror campaign. ... Given the push to cement links with moderate Islamic nations, opponents in Congress may find it hard to refuse further military cooperation with the world’s most populous Muslim country, despite its tarnished record." Simon Montlake, Jakarta, Indonesia

Oct 10 Urgent Action: WSLS: New ASIO Powers Threaten Democratic Rights  Urgent Action added Oct 10
"New Powers: * ASIO to get powers of arrest and detention for up to 48 hours; * the removal of the right to silence when under questioning; * the creation of terrorist offences and related legislation violating the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. ... In the understandable fear generated since the September 11 attacks and with the climate of war, fundamental civil liberties are under threat. The [Australian] Federal Government, backed by Labor, has announced substantial new powers for Australia’s spy agency ASIO and is proposing anti-terrorism laws that could violate basic rights and freedoms. ... In Australia, support for the East Timorese’s independence movement could have been banned." Damien Lawson, Western Suburbs Legal Service, Melbourne, Australia

Oct 9 Age: US air strikes upset Gusmao  News added Oct 10
“World leaders and all the people around the world must fight against all the economic imbalances and social problems rather than using violence to respond to violence, ... That is something that makes the East Timorese very sad because we believe powerful nations could start the 21st century with new policies, a new understanding and new mechanisms in which all people can love each other ...  I would like to see the US and other countries seek another approach using all means but not violence.” East Timor’s independence leader Mr Jose “Xanana” Gusmao, at launch of the Melbourne Festival [Australia]

Oct 7 RA: Xanana on plight of refugees  News added Oct 10
"East Timorese Leader, Xanana Gusmao, says he hopes the acts of terrorism in the United States last month don’t make people insensitive to the plight of refugees. ... He says people have only to watch their television screen to see the suffering of tens-of-thousands of Afghani refugees, and there are many others suffering in other countries around the world. ... Besides the problem of going to the root causes, the people that are suffering need assistance." Radio Australia

Oct 1 FAETTA: Ramos-Horta Calls for an End to Poverty And Terrorism  Release added Oct 14
“I am saddened by, and strongly condemn, the attacks on mosques and Muslim believers, long time residents or citizens of Australia and US. A dastardly arsonist attack took place against a Mosque in Brisbane. ... As a Catholic I am proud to serve under a Muslim brother [Dr Mari Alkatiri, devout Muslim and head of government of ETimor], and I am even more proud that our people have accepted this as absolutely natural.” Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr Jose Ramos-Horta

Sep 27 Ward: Response to open letter to Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta  Letter added Sep 27
"Dr. Ramos-Horta and had the opportunity to have more than one conversation with him about what had occurred. His letter to the International Herald Tribune seems to have hit some sensitivities and created a reaction or impression which was not intended. I can tell you this because I was the one who forwarded it to the IHT, and I spoke to him about it before it went. There is nothing in this letter inferring that a person, because they are Mulsim or Arab, is hateful or violent. I believe that anyone who has read Dr. Ramos-Horta’s work, heard him speak, or had contact with him would know that could not be further from his viewpoint." Mary Wald

Sep 26 The Peacemakers Speak: Horta  Statement added Sep 27
"We all know Islam does not advocate violence. All religions today call for tolerance, justice, and compassion. We must resist the temptation to blame entire nations, religions, or peoples for the actions of a small number of political extremists. And if it develops that certain governments have supported the terrorist conspiracy, we should remember that these regimes hold power in their countries by terror and violence - they are not supported by the majority of their citizens or neighbors." Dr. José Ramos-Horta

Sep 25 ASIET: US War Drive and Racism: Stop the War Against the Third World  Statement added Sep 26
"Two of the greatest acts of terrorism in the 20th century: East Timor and Indonesia: ... In East Timor 200,000 people, or one third of the population died, as a result of the war against the East Timorese people by General Suharto’s army. General Suharto attacked East Timor one day after US President Gerald Ford and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Jakarta and gave the go ahead. ... In 1965 in Indonesia, the US helped organise the mass slaughter of more than ONE MILLION workers, peasants, students and women’s activists who were trying to free Indonesia from the exploitative grip of the West. ... On September 11 in New York a group of suicide terrorists committed a barbaric crime of hate murdering more than 7,000 innocent people. That same day, George W Bush and his friends began their inhuman and cynical strategy of turning this tragedy into a war. They call it the “war against terrorism”. " Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET)

Sep 23 TAPOL: Statement on the Megawati-Bush Joint Statement  Added Sep 25
"Indonesia and the current world crisis On 19 September, President Megawati  Sukarnoputri went to Washington to meet President Bush for a state visit that had been agreed before the horrendous events in New York and Washington on 11 September when more than six thousand people of many nations met their deaths as the result of a heinous, terrorist attack. TAPOL joins in mourning those who were killed, while continuing to mourn the one million or more Indonesians who met their deaths as Suharto took power in 1965/1966. On that occasion, Washington gave unstinting support to Suharto and the Indonesian army to continue with this massacre and made no calls on the world community to fight terrorism - state terrorism - which might well have halted the massacre in its tracks. ... Megawati’s measured response shows that she knows full well that support for Washington in Indonesia is less than enthusiastic." TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Sep 19 White House: U.S. and Indonesia Pledge Cooperation  Pledge added Oct 11
"... President George W. Bush and President Megawati Soekarnoputri today vowed to open a new era of bilateral cooperation based on shared democratic values and a common interest in promoting regional stability and prosperity. ... President Megawati condemned the barbaric and indiscriminate acts carried out against innocent civilians and pledged to cooperate with the international community in combatting terrorism. She underscored that terrorism also increasingly threatens Indonesia’s democracy and national security. The two Presidents agreed that their respective officials would soon discuss concrete ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation on counter-terrorism, in particular on capacity and institution building. ... President Bush reiterated the firm support of the United States for Indonesia’s territorial integrity and emphasized that the U.S. does not support secessionist aspirations in these areas or elsewhere. ... President Bush and President Megawati agreed to work together to support a stable and prosperous independent East Timor. ... The two Presidents resolved to work closely to expand trade bilaterally, regionally and globally. ... President Bush recognized the important role of the Indonesian military (TNI) as a national institution ... " Joint Statement Between U.S.A. and Republic of Indonesia

Sep 19 White House: U.S. and Indonesia on Terror and Tolerance  Statement added Oct 11
"President George W. Bush and President Megawati Soekarnoputri today condemned the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and pledged to strengthen existing cooperation in the global effort to combat international terrorism. ... As leader of the world’s largest Muslim population and third largest democracy, President Megawati joined President Bush in underlining the importance of differentiating between the religion of Islam and the acts of violent extremists." Joint Statement Between U.S.A. and Republic of Indonesia

Sep 19 White House: U.S. - Indonesia Fact Sheet: U.S.-Indonesia Trade & Finance Initiative  Facts added Oct 11
"The three U.S. trade finance agencies: the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), have developed a joint trade and finance initiative for projects in Indonesia.  The three agencies will undertake to provide up to a combined $400 million to promote trade and investment within Indonesia, especially in the Indonesian oil and gas sector." The White House, Washington DC

Sep 18 FAETTA: JRH Address to Memorial Service  Speech added Sep 27
"The attacks against New York and the Pentagon killed also many Muslims and Arab-Americans, innocent victims like the rest of the casualties. In bringing the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice, we hope that there will be no more innocent victims. The cycle of violence must end. The tragedy that befell our brothers and sisters in America is already impacting on the lives of many Arabs and Muslims all over the world. Arab and Muslim Americans are now being labelled “enemies” and are harassed." Cabinet Member for Foreign Affairs Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr Jose Ramos-Horta

other news

Oct 12 ABC: Justice no closer for victims of atrocities in East Timor  News added Oct 13
“It turns out I was mistaken in implying a logical outcome to this M.O.U. [Memorandum of Understanding between the U-N and Indonesia] In practise, the government of the Republic of Indonesia has reneged on this M.O.U. meaning that there has not been any transfer of evidence and witnesses let alone suspects to be tried by the special panel.” Convenor of the East Timor Jurists Association, Aderito Soares

Oct 10 Timorese journalists: UN not up to task  News added Oct 13
"[Carlito] Caminha said the UN was trying to lead a “new colonisation” of East Timor. ... Caminha added that in his native Tetum language, UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor) translates colloquially as “UN Comes To Destroy East Timor”. [Gil] Da Costa said that the UN exploited the local Timorese workers by paying them $US6 a day for jobs for which they themselves earned top international dollars. As a result of these wage disparities, UN workers were the only people that could afford to visit the sole Westernised grocery store on the island, which is run by Australians." East Timor Press reporting team

Oct 10 ABC: Gusmao: Priorities for the New Nation  Interview added Oct 13
"I think the important question is how can we achieve peace? ... Of course we will not deny justice, the need of justice that if we look at justice in very formal way in terms of trial, punishment, prison, maybe we don’t solve the situation, the situation of the feeling of the people and that’s why to reconcile two sides it needs one who can reconsider, can recognise that he did mistakes and from the other side the willingness to forgive - that is reconciliation." East Timor’s poet revolutionary and presidential nominee Xanana Gusmao

Oct 7 FAETTA / Niner: Biography of Mr Xanana Gusmao  Info added Oct 14
"Jose Alexandre Gusmão was born on June 20, 1946 in Manatuto, on the north coast of Portuguese Timor. The second of eight children and eldest son, he was raised in various parts of the country. His parents were devout Catholics; his father a schoolteacher and catechist. He completed primary school at the Catholic mission of St Theresa’s in Ossu where his father taught, then went on to the Jesuit seminary “Nossa Senhora de Fatima” in Dare and later to night school at the Liceu in Dili. He began work to help support himself early in life and worked various jobs as a young man: a chartered surveyor, a teacher, a public servant, a wharf-side worker, a fisherman, a soldier and a laborer. He began writing for the local newspaper, “A Voz de Timor” (The Voice of Timor) in 1974. ... " Sarah Niner, Editor of "To Resist is to Win: The Autobiography of Xanana Gusmao"

Sep 2001 GPJ:An East Timor Village Before the Conflagration  Article added Sep 26
"Dili, a small seaport, still seems the quaint and decrepit, farthest and most forgotten outpost of an Empire that once ruled Brazil. Its streets are filled with a busy, friendly mix of Melanesian, Asian and European folk, cheerful and full of hope in spite of ubiquitous Indonesian solders and police, in spite of militias in balaclavas that roll through town in open trucks, occasionally giving the straight-arm fascist salute. ... Driving to the airport we meet a convoy of open army trucks transporting an Indonesian youth group in red berets, red-and-white flags flying, singing patriotic songs, flown in to celebrate the event. Although everyone expects trouble, no one expects what in fact happens, except, we learn later, the Indonesian military leaders who precisely planned it all." George Povey, writing for Genocide Prevention Journal

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Access details of Events within ETimor at:

Oct 16 Dili Seminar: Justice and Accountability in East Timor  Invitation added Oct 11
"You are invited to attend a one day seminar on: 'Justice and Accountability in East Timor: International Tribunals and other options'. The purpose of the seminar is to discuss the progress so far regarding prosecution of crimes against humanity committed in East Timor and where we go from here. ... The seminar will be held at the Canossian Sisters, Becora, Dili, Timor Lorosa’e. Tuesday 16th October ... Most of the presentations will be in Tetun or Bahasa Indonesia. An English interpreter will be available." The NGO Forum; Yayasan HAK; La’o Hamutuk; Fokupers; Caritas Australia; Judicial System Monitoring Programme


Access details of A.C.T. & National Events at:

SBS-TV Dateline: On the anniversary date of Interfet’s arrival in Oecussi enclave David Bradbury’s special report on survival and the “militia” massacres there.
Details from Jessica Giacco
Wed 24th October, 8.30pm


Access details of Darwin Events at:

East Timor fundraising
ASIET has a non-profit aid stall selling East Timorese handicrafts. Volunteers needed!
Ph Sibylle (08) 8941 7080 Email:
Nightcliff Markets.
Sun Oct 21, then fortnightly

Action in Solidarity with Indonesia & East Timor (ASIET)
Ph Sibylle (08) 8941 7080 Email:
(The old) Cafe‚ Bella, Nightcliff
Mon Oct 15, 7pm. Meets fortnightly


Access details of Melbourne Events at:

An exhibition of tais textiles from East Timor has been organised by AETA (Australia East Timor Association) member Sarah Niner as part of the Melbourne Festival. The exhibition will be open in conjunction with performances of the play “Tour of Duty” by AETA member Graham Pitts which is also part of the Melbourne Festival.
Info: Gasworks Box Office (03) 9699 3253
Gasworks Theatre, 21 Graham St, Albert Park
12 - 28 October (except Mondays and Tuesdays)
From 7 pm until after the performance on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
From 4 pm until after the evening performance on Saturdays and Sundays


Access details of Sydney Events at:

AETA Monthly Meeting. Guest Speaker.

Details Stephen Langford, (02) 9331-5986.
UTS Tower Bldg, Level 3 behind Students Association
Wed 24th October, 6.30pm

A Retrospective Photo Exhibition from East Timor (2000-2001) by Johnnie Lewis
Details (02) 9331-7775
Stills Gallery, 36 Gosbell St, Paddington
From Wednesday November 7th, 6pm (Opening)

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Access the following recently added lists at:

East Timor Forum list  [Australia based]  Updated Oct 13
This is the email list for the East Timor Forum, a new multi-disciplinary seminar series for discussion and presentation of papers on East Timor. Subscribers will receive notification of upcoming seminars held every few weeks on Thursdays between 12:30-2pm in the Coombs Building, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, the Australian National University, Canberra.
To subscribe send an email to
If you are interested in presenting a seminar in 2002 please contact the East Timor Forum Convenor via the same email address.
See: Oct 2001: Email list for the East Timor Forum

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