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Source and author of article: Deborah Durnan

Posted to East Timor list on 23 June 2006
by Jennifer Drysdale <> :

ETAN Menu - Current Crisis in East Timor (2006):

Deployment of Troops Inside Timor:

Questions that demand honest answers

Deborah Durnan

23 June 2006

Dear Friends of East Timor

We have received over the past 2 days some very disturbing reports from Timor-Leste regarding the Australian government's deployment of our Defence forces throughout Timor-Leste. It appears that our government has decided without explanation to us or indeed the Timorese people that our troops are now to undertake roles outside of their original PEACEKEEPING role. It is important for all parties to the conflict and for the ADF's reputation as peacekeepers that they remain neutral and not be used for political purposes. Minister Nelson and Minister Downer it seems need to be reminded that we strongly oppose the politicisation of our ADF and we demand honest answers to questions concerning their role in Timor-Leste.


* how many ADF personel are currently in Timor-Leste and for what purposes?

* did the government of Timor-Leste request the Australian Government to build a base in Timor to station 3000 of our forces for the next 2 years?  

* why is it taking so long for the various rebel groups to be disarmed and what was the ADF relationship with these armed rebels?

* why is the coalition of international peacekeepers under ADF command unable to stop the burning of homes and government buildings in Dili ?

* is it true that ADF is now stationed in the district of Los Palos? If so, why and under whose authorisation?  and why are our soldiers currently patrolling villages in Los Palos?

* is it true that ADF is attempting to influence local politics eg questioning Timorese citizens about their support for FRETILIN including referring to PM Alkatiri as the "ex-PM" and treating citizens in a rough and intimidatory manner?

* why was the Timorese flag replaced by the Australian flag at Ministry of Education compound in Vilaverde?

* is it true that the Australian government does not support the deployment to Timor-Leste of an UN multinational peacekeeping force which is not under ADF command?

For your information I'm attaching a letter sent to politicans yesterday regarding Australia's role in Timor-Leste [contact Deborah for attachment]. Should you wish to add your voice to growing community of concern please contact your local Federal MP and Ministers:

Minister Nelson:
Minister Downer:

With thanks

in solidarity for an independent, democratic and peaceful Timor-Leste

Deborah Durnan

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