BACK DOOR Newsletter on East

BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

July 2001 News, Articles & Reports:

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July 2001 LHB: The United Nations: Aiding or Undermining a Resolution of the Refugee Crisis?  Editorial added July 29
"But during this transitional period, UNTAET and the governments of the world have a different role: they must use their leverage, including whatever pressure the international community can muster, “to ensure the safe return of refugees and displaced persons.”  ... one-tenth of the East Timorese population is still under occupation. In 1975 and in 1999 the international community failed to enforce its strong words with actions, and East Timorese people died. It must not happen a third time. -- Time is running out." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

July 2001 LHB: Reconstruction & Transition: What are the Next Steps?  Bulletin added July 29
"This Bulletin looks at different perspectives on the reconstruction and transition — that of the World Bank and UNTAET and that of the East Timor NGO Forum — in the context of the recently concluded donors’ meeting in Canberra, Australia. Given the intensifying “Timorization” of the territory’s administration and the current planning for the “post-UNTAET” era, these evaluations and recommendations are especially important." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Jul 31 Zeitlin: Scholar’s book renews debate on Australian news coverage of ETimor  Review added Aug 2
“Too often, [the Australian media] were insensitive to ongoing injustices ... at other times … [they] punctuated the politically convenient silence. They tested the propaganda claims. They sometimes conveyed the sufferings of the East Timorese, and so forced the issue to assume a higher priority in government policy. ... There was no outer limit, ... no transgression that was so great that they [Australian governments] would change course. The government was locked into conniving with Indonesia’s lies and it was locked into a logic in which the suffering of the East Timorese would always count for nothing, where raison d’état had become completely separated from normal human compassion.” Rod Tiffen, author, "Diplomatic Deceits: Government, Media and East Timor"

Jul 30 FAETTA: UN SC Special Session on ET  Release added Aug 2
“We have indicated to the Secretary General that for a period of two to three years a modest number of senior level international will be needed to advise the new government. ... For the period of two to three years or more a significant number of Peace Keeping Forces will have to stay in the territory. However we understand the International Community cannot go on subsidising a large and expensive UN presence in East Timor.” Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, Cabinet Member for Foreign Affairs

Jul 30 JSMP: Los Palos trial enters second stage  News from ETimor added Aug 1
[Includes links to info on KOPASSUS & Team Alfa militia - BD]
"During the cross examination, the militia members have testified to their strong links with KOPASSUS, the Indonesian special forces, ever since Team Alpha was established in the mid 1980s. One of the accused also confirmed that he had been paid 75 000 rupiah per month for being a militia member. The same accused confirmed that the militia had been informed by KOPASSUS of the “Operation Cleansing”, the first step in which was to kill everyone who voted for independence, the second step to destroy all buildings in East Timor made by Indonesians." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 30 Guard: Traumatized E.Timor sex slaves of the militias in W. Timor  Article added Aug 1
"Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of East Timorese women were forced across the border by the Indonesian military and their militia allies in those hectic days of rage after the vote. They became sex slaves of the militias, which still control the refugee camps, and even those who managed to get away are profoundly traumatised. ... Earlier this month, Igidio Manek was arrested, with 22 other militia fighters, by the Indonesian military. However, it was not for his kidnapping and rape of a minor, nor because he is sought by UN prosecutors for his role in the Suai massacre in 1999, but because an Indonesian soldier was killed during rioting by his Laksaur militiamen in the border town of Atambua." Victoria Brittain, Dili

Jul 29 Matsuno: Japan's Self-Defense Force face up to the militia?--NO WAY!  Analysis added Aug 4
"Wherever in the world the trouble spot might be, the Government wants to send the SDF only to score political points, and certainly in the case of East Timor it has never given serious thought to securing peace. ... By this scenario, Japan can achieve its diplomatic targets. Firstly, contributing to this UN PKO will allow Japan to push more strongly its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Secondly, Japan can protect its interests in Indonesiaby avoiding being dragged into an open conflict with Indonesian politicians and generals. Contributing to peace in East Timor is not a matter of consideration in Japanese diplomacy and therefore it will be the first thing to be compromised when it is found to be at odds with Japan's relations with Indonesia." Akihisa Matsuno, Osaka University of Foreign Studies

Jul 29 TAPOL: Dili Court Flouts Women's Rights in Releasing Surgeon from Prison  Release added Aug 1
"In granting the appeal, the court is sending out a message that appears to condone domestic violence, which is known to be fairly widespread in East Timor. Such practices should be firmly condemned, not tolerated. ... TAPOL believes that this case also raises questions about the independence and impartiality of the presiding judges and in particular the question as to whether their decision was influenced by Dr Lobo’s prominent position in East Timorese society." TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Jul 28 MULR: Creation of a Viable Criminal Justice System in ET  Report Abstract & Conclusions added Aug 1
"In its examination of the creation of a criminal justice system in East Timor, this paper has followed three identified themes: the degree of consultation with the East Timorese in the decision-making process; the ability of the existing and incoming system to cope with the laws it is expected to enforce; and the investment in human skills that is being undertaken in order to empower the East Timorese to manage their own country after independence. Through this analysis, the problems of the system have been brought to light. The picture that has emerged bodes ill for the future of East Timor." The Melbourne University Law Review

Jul 27 JSMP Comments to the Sergio Lobo interlocutory appeal  Comments added July 28
"Panel A of the Dili District Court decided to conditionally release Dr Sergio Lobo, ... from detention in Becora prison and place him under house detention until his forthcoming trial. ... JSMP is concerned that this interlocutory decision has the potential to seriously undermine the equally important rights of the victims of crime and violates international human rights law aimed at ensuring the safety and security of every person. Furthermore, the decision seems to reveal a prejudicial attitude, even within the justice system, against respect for women’s rights in East Timor." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 27 AI: EAST TIMOR Justice past, present and future  Report added Aug 13
"A mission to East Timor in March 2001 by Amnesty International researchers revealed that the necessary measures have not been taken with the result that law and order is now barely being maintained, justice is not being administered effectively and the human rights of the East Timorese people cannot be guaranteed. The judicial system is only partially established and what does exist is fragile." Amnesty International

Jul 26 AI: East Timor: Justice at risk  Release added Aug 1
“If the UN pulls out now, without leaving in place substantial support for the fledgling judicial system and other key institutions, its investment over the past two years will be jeopardized. The UN is failing in its primary task of ensuring that the new state of East Timor has protection and promotion of human rights at its core, ... Two years on the East Timorese people are still waiting for justice. If credible trials are further delayed, the demands for an international criminal tribunal will inevitably become more insistent“ Amnesty International

Bahasa Indonesia:
Jul 25 TMP: Pernyataan Keprihatinan Atas Sidang Naik Banding  Statement added Aug 1
"Bahwa kami sangat menyesalkan hasil  keputusan Majelis Hakim Panel A pengadilan distrik Dili untuk mencabut penahanan sementara atas tersangka dr Sergio Lobo. Dasar pertimbangan yang dipakai hakim maupun pihak pembela untuk melepaskan dr Sergio Lobo, tidak menunjukkan aspek pembelaan dan keadilan terhadap korban GG. Ernawati." oleh Tim Monitoring Persidangan: Fokupers (Forum Komunikasi Untuk Perempuan Loro Sae); Tim Kuasa Hukum G.G. Ernawati Legal Aid Ukun Rasi’An

Jul 25 CMT: Statement of Concern Regarding the Appeal Hearing  Statement added July 28
"We are extremely disappointed by today’s decision of the High Panel of Judges in District Dili Court to overturn the temporary detention of the accused Dr. Sergio Lobo. The reasoning for the judgement presented by the judges as well as by the defense for the release of Sergio Lobo does not point to concern for justice for the victim, GG. Ernawati." The Court Monitoring Team: Fokupers (the East Timorese Women’s Communication Forum) ; Legal Aid Team of Ukun Rasik An

Jul 25 IFET: Scheiner: No IFET-OP 2001 observer project  Letter updated Aug 13
"A number of people from around the world have asked if the International Federation for East Timor (IFET) is going to organize an observer project for the upcoming August 30 constituent assembly election in East Timor, as we did for the referendum two years ago. Based on advice from East Timorese NGOs, on our capacity, and on our assessment of the current situation, we will not be organizing such a project. ... This is a decision based on priorities and resources, not on principle. ... We reached this decision reluctantly, after discussions with La’o Hamutuk, Yayasan Hak, and other East Timorese NGOs." Charles Scheiner, U.N. Representative, International Federation for East Timor (IFET)

Jul 24 IHRN/ETAN: U.S. Reaffirms Support for Indon Military Reform and for ETimor  Release added Aug 1
"The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2002 (HR 2506), passed by the House of Representatives tonight, continues restrictions on military assistance to Indonesia. A day after Megawati Sukarnoputri took office in Indonesia with the military's backing, the bill renews the “Leahy Provisions,” conditions that the Government of Indonesia and the Indonesian Armed Forces must meet before U.S. military assistance can resume. The bill also appropriates $25 million to support East Timor." The Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN) and the East Timor Action Network (ETAN)

Jul 24 Yayasan HAK: Serious Concerns re Judicial Independence under UNTAET  Paper added July 26
" ... in order for the transition to be a meaningful one, the foundations must be laid to ensure that national democratic institutions can perform the checks and balances required for any healthy and vigorous democracy. The establishment of such local institutions capable of upholding democratic values is particularly critical for East Timor to redress the oppression experienced under decades of colonial rule. Securing the basis for an independent judiciary is indispensable in this a historical context. It is only then that the East Timorese can start to overcome a past legacy of impunity and cultivate a culture of the rule of law where the people can trust and rely on the judiciary for the full protection and realisation of their rights. In light of the importance and urgency of this matter we would urge you to raise your concern on this matter with the Transitional Administrator and encourage his administration to act in accordance with international human rights law and democratic principles." Aniceto Guterres Lopes, Director, Yayasan HAK

Jul 24 IHT: Gareth Evans: Indonesia's Military Culture Has to Be Reformed  Article added July 25
“I am one of those who has to acknowledge, as Australia’s foreign minister at the time, that many of our earlier training efforts helped only to produce more professional human rights abusers.” Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister from 1988 to 1996, President of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group

Jul 23 ETAN Urges New Indonesian President to Show Support for ETimor  Release added Aug 1
"ETAN warned today that past actions of new Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri suggested that her rule could adversely affect East Timor. ETAN urged her to begin her presidency by addressing the worsening refugee crisis in West Timor and supporting an international tribunal for East Timor." The East Timor Action Network (ETAN)

July 23 IHRN Urges New Indonesian President to Curtail Military and Police Abuses  Release added July 26
"The Indonesia Human Rights Network urges Megawati to do everything in her power to put an end to military and police violence, and to work to establish a judiciary with the authority, capacity and support to bring those responsible for human rights violations to justice," Megan Walsh, The Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN)
"IHRN urges the U.S. government to uphold its commitment to genuine reform by maintaining all current restrictions on military assistance and refraining from police assistance to Indonesia until the most basic human rights of people throughout the archipelago are respected," Lynn Fredriksson, The Indonesia Human Rights Network (IHRN)

Jul 23 TAPOL: Prospects for Human Rights in Indonesia  Release added July 24
"The installation today of Megawati Sukarnoputri as president of Indonesia confronts civil society and the human rights community in Indonesia with new challenges, ... The commitment of Indonesia’s new president to reform remains to be seen. Her close ties with the military do not augur well for the upholding of human rights, for a peaceful solution to the conflicts in West Papua and Aceh and for the restoration of the rule of law. Far from being able to take such an agenda forward, she may soon find herself mired in the same snake-pit of political intrigue that brought her predecessor down. The struggle for human rights in Indonesia is likely to become even more difficult in the months and years to come." TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign

Jul 22 JRS: Annual Report 2000 E & W Timor  Report added July 22
"Over 250,000 East Timorese refugees fled to or were deported to West Timor in the wake of the post-election violence in East Timor in September 1999. The miserable living conditions of the refugees and their intimidation at the hands of militias who virtually controlled the camps, drew much media attention throughout this year.
JRS projects in West Timor: JRS set up in West Timor in September 1999. A team of 20 Indonesian nationals worked in the camps, collaborating closely with the local church. JRS did not evacuate with other international agencies when the UNHCR personnel were killed, becoming one of the few international organisations to maintain a presence in the camps." Edi Mulyono SJ, Jesuit Refugee Service Indonesia director

Jul 21 AGE: The lessons of East Timor  Editorial added July 24
"It appears this link [with Indonesia] was as much overvalued as the power of global public opinion - which helped make InterFET possible - was undervalued. Even this week, Mr Downer [Australia's Foreign Minister] failed to explain satisfactorily what such “diplomatic pragmatism” achieved. Australia’s work in East Timor is atoning to some extent for past errors and omissions. It can do more, by releasing intelligence records, which it was previously reluctant to acknowledge, that could help convict those guilty of crimes against humanity. Atrocities in Indonesia’s Aceh province are now attracting attention, and Mr Downer was more forthright this week than in the past: “I say to the Indonesians, and to the TNI leadership, you have to heed the lessons of East Timor.” Those lessons apply, too, to Australia’s conduct of foreign policy." The Age Newspaper Editorial

Jul 20 OTL: As eleições para a Assembleia Constituinte e os Partidos Políticos  Report added July 26
"As primeiras eleições livres de Timor Leste devem realizar-se em 30 de Agosto. A sua organização pertence ao Governo transitório das Nações Unidas que tiveram de realizar o recenseamento da população e o recenseamento eleitoral, registo dos partidos políticos e dos candidatos. Mais difícil é assegurar a paz a uma população que tem a recordação viva da destruição que se seguiu os resultados da consulta popular organizada pelas NU em 1999." Observatório Timor Leste

Jul 20 ETO: Constituent Assembly Elections and the Political Parties  Report added July 24
"East Timor’s first free elections are to take place on 30 August. They have been organised by the UN transitional government, which first had to carry out a population census and an electoral registration process, and then conduct a registration of the political parties and other election candidates. However, a more difficult task is that of keeping the peace among a population for whom the devastation that followed the announcement of the results of the UN-sponsored popular consultation in 1999 is still a vivid memory." East Timor Observatory

Jul 20 STL: Fretilin shakes Liquica town  News from ETimor added Jul 21
“But today we are gathered here full of hope. Now we live free in a democracy. We do not have to be afraid of the enemy, because the enemy has left the country. Democracy, now, is not the same as democracy during the time of the Indonesians. Democracy now will bring us to the road of independence,” Luis Lobato.

Jul 19 Newsday: UN Is Weak-Willed in Fighting Genocide  Article added July 25
"During the 1990s, United Nations and world leaders proved unwilling to stop crimes against humanity and genocide in civil wars throughout the globe. The UN’s responses ranged from weak-willed and ineffectual - Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia - to absolutely shameful, Rwanda, East Timor and Sierra Leone. ... The Australian-led military response [to end 24 years of Indonesian occupation] came after a thousand civilians had been killed, 70 percent of the nation’s buildings had been destroyed and 200,000 civilians had been moved to concentration camps in West Timor." Peter H Maguire, author of “Law and War: An American Story”

Jul 19 Correspondence with U.S. Embassy on Refugee Registration  Letter added July 21
"We would also like to express our support for the decision not to give credibility to the severely flawed registration exercise by sending an observer from the United States, and are gratified that the UNHCR and Australia made the same decision. However, given the dire humanitarian conditions the refugees continue to face, ongoing militia control of the camps, and recent validation of the registration by an International Organization of Migration (IOM) led international observer delegation, we feel it is important to continue our discussion with you on this issue." Karen Orenstein, East Timor Action Network; Jana Mason, Policy Analyst/Congressional Liaison, U.S. Committee for Refugees; Kurt Biddle, Indonesia Human Rights Network; Mubarak Awad, Nonviolence International

Jul 19 TP: PST does not want Constituent Assembly to be like National Council  News from ETimor added July 20
“The regulations that were passed in the NC reflected the needs of the administration and not that of the people. These regulations did not take into account actual realities, ... I do not want to be in a so-called legislative body [the Constituent Assembly] where I will be used as a rubber-stamp and cannot perform my duties as a people’s representative,” Avelinho Coelho, the secretary-general of the Timor Socialist Party (PST)

Jul 18 STL: Don’t believe rumors  Editorial from ETimor added July 20
"But the irresponsible are still around. As evidenced two days ago, they were some politicians who were spreading rumors that there was a group of armed Indonesians heading towards Timor Lorosae. All these rumors are meant to scare people. FDTL Commander Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak had to intervene to calm the people. He asked the people not to believe rumors and not to believe those who said an armed group of Indonesian was out to disrupt the 30 August election." Suara Timor Lorosae

Jul 17 IANSA: East Timorese Refugees in Militia-Controlled Camps  Article added July 26
"On June 6 and 7, the Indonesian government carried out a sham registration of the refugees in West Timor. ... The final results indicated that over 98 percent of refugees wish to resettle in Indonesia, which contradicts the experience of the U.N., other international and local humanitarian organizations in the West Timor camps. Unless the international community rejects the registration, and the militias are disarmed and disbanded, the plight of Juliana dos Santos and many others will continue." Diane Farsetta, East Timor Action Network

Jul 17 ETAN/US: Scheiner: "Guns Know No Borders" rally NY  Speech added July 22
"The guns used by the Indonesian military to kill 200,000 East Timorese civilians were almost all “legal.” They were fired by soldiers following orders from a recognized government. They were sold according to the laws of the countries - principally the United States, but also Britain, Germany, Russia, Sweden and many others - which profited from Indonesia’s need for ever more bullets in their effort to exterminate East Timor’s freedom. ... Indonesia’s annexation of East Timor was never recognized by the United Nations, ... During the most intense killing in the 1970s and 80s, United States businesses and government supplied 90% of Indonesia’s arms, double the amount before the 1975 invasion. These weapons violated a 1958 treaty that banned their use for “aggressive purposes.” And the human and legal rights of the people of East Timor, their rights to life and to self-determination, were violated every day of the quarter-century of occupation." Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator, East Timor Action Network

Jul 17 Brereton: East Timor: Selective and Partisan Publication of DFAT Records  Release added July 20
“It is a matter of record that Mr Downer accepted Indonesian Foreign Minister Alatas’s denials that the Indonesian military were orchestrating militias in East Timor. He did so at a time when the Australian Government knew from its own Defence Intelligence reports that this was a deliberate strategy to sub-contract out violence against pro-independence supporters. ... It is also a matter of record that the Australian Government actively argued against pressing Jakarta to accept the early deployment of peacekeepers.” Laurie Brereton MP, Shadow Minister For Foreign Affairs

Jul 17 BBC: TNI to crackdown on plans for independent West Timor  News added July 18
“If the plans are still only a matter of discourse then I will make no comment, but if an NTR [Independent Timor] is declared in NTT [West Timor], I will demonstrate no tolerance. I will wipe them all out! ... If this concept of forming an NTR violates the unity and sovereignty of Indonesia then this will be dangerous ... Have those proposing an NTR both from East Timor and Kupang thought this out properly? Plans like this will cause NTT to lose face with the rest of Indonesia” Nine/Udayana Military Area Commander Maj-Gen William da Costa

Jul 17 AAP: US given 'extra E. Timor info'  News added July 18
"The book provides some insight into Australia’s position on the unfolding and escalating violence perpetrated by the Indonesian military (TNI) and its militia proxies. It also exposes some behind-the-scenes efforts to convince Indonesia to stop it. But it fails to precisely describe when Australia knew the TNI was funding, arming and organising the militias. The book said Australia knew of such evidence, but not that it had the evidence. It says that by mid-1999 it was obvious the TNI was encouraging the militias to intimidate people to stop them from voting." Karen Polglaze

Jul 17 ABC: Australian report links Indonesian military with Timor militia  News & release added July 18
"The study, written by Australian diplomats, says the Indonesian military supported the violence of the East Timor militia with weapons, money, transport and strategic direction. It says Indonesian special forces set up a second chain-of-command to deal with the militia. ... A senior Foreign Affairs official says the book shows that Australia must be worldly wise and see that assurances from Indonesia’s military are not always reliable." Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Jul 16 Aust: Tony Kevin: Timor has Downer in full spin  Article added July 18
"But Australia’s role through 1999 is profoundly disturbing. To what extent did we wrong-foot Wiranto’s group into launching stupid and murderous actions that would ravage East Timor and shame Indonesia? Did we understand beforehand that the price of East Timorese independence could be widespread bloodshed or did we really believe that we could wing it, with minimal collateral death? Did we deceive ourselves or did we recognise that our real policy was that the end justified the means: that this window of opportunity had to be grasped, whatever the risks we took with East Timorese lives?" Tony Kevin, visiting fellow, school of Pacific and Asian studies, Australian National University

Jul 16 JSMP: Militia member convicted of UNAMET staff murder  News from ETimor added July 17
"A former member of Team Pancasila militia was today found guilty of murdering a UNAMET local staff member and FALINTIL supporter in Atabe village, Ermera district on the day after the popular consultation in which nearly eighty percent of East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia. ... This is the first case involving the killing of an East Timorese who was in part targeted for his role in working with the UN mission that supervised the ballot on 30 August 1999. Many other local staff were similarly attacked in the violent aftermath." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 16 Free East Timor Japan Coalition letter to the Defense Agency  Letter added Aug 4
"At this time we ask that you reexamine the proposal now being considered to send Self Defense Force troops to East Timor. ... In recent years the Japanese Government has eschewed forthright debate on the constitutionality of the Self Defense Forces and has instead sought to gain recognition-by-default of the SDF through having it participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations, in which context it is treated just like the armies of other countries. On the other hand, moves to set up a specialized organization, separate from the SDF, to deal with aspects of refugee relief, cease-fire and referendum observation in conflict areas have been pushed into the shadows where they have ground to a stop. For the government to act in this way is to jeopardize the rule of law that constitutes the very foundation of any democratic state; this is suicidal." Free East Timor Japan Coalition

Jul 16 KY: 2 Japan GSDF officials to visit E. Timor  News added July 17
"Two Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) officials will shortly visit East Timor to collect information on the state of security in the territory, Japan’s Defense Agency said Monday. ... The two are also expected to gather information about PKO in East Timor, given agency chief Gen Nakatani’s desire to study plans to dispatch personnel of the Self-Defense Forces in the event of new PKO there." Kyodo

Jul 16 STL: National Council Officially Dissolved  News from ETimor added July 17
"The Transitional UN Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello on Saturday officially dissolved the National Council." Suara Timor Lorosae

Jul 14 LH: "Youth Front for a War Crimes Tribunal" calls for U.S. govt disclosure  News from ETimor added July 14
"On 4 July 2001, approximately 200 activists gathered in front of UNTAET headquarters for a rally demanding that UNTAET support an international tribunal for East Timor. ... Among its demands, the group [Youth Front for a War Crimes Tribunal] called upon the United States government to fully and publicly disclose its role in supporting Indonesia's crimes against the East Timorese people and to actively support the creation of an international tribunal for East Timor." La'o Hamutuk

Jul 13 HT Lee: Speech at Canberra launch of "A Dirty Little War"  Speech added July 17
"Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has welcomed Milosevic’s detention but when it comes to our dealings with Jakarta, the Jakarta lobby of the Department of Foreign Affairs, DFAT is still calling the shots and pulling the strings. It is therefore time for the Australian Government of whatever political persuasions to cut those strings and take a tougher stand with Jakarta by calling for and making sure the International War Crimes Tribunal for East Timor is established. It is only than that the ghosts of Balibo, Maliana, Suai, Liquica, Lospalos, Viqueque, Atsabe, Alas, Same, Dili and all the killing fields of East Timor, can finally be laid to rest." HT Lee, Australian press photographer in East Timor Sep 1999

Jul 13 JSMP: Team Alpha militia members testify to Kopassus links  News from ETimor added July 14
[Includes links to info on KOPASSUS & Team Alfa militia - BD]
"In the first trial involving crimes against humanity being heard by the Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court, several Team Alpha militia members have testified this week to their strong links with KOPASSUS, the Indonesian military special forces. They confirmed that as militia members they were trained and armed by KOPASSUS to fight FALINTIL." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 13 AP: UN Official Calls For War Crimes Tribunal For East Timor  News added July 14
“If there’s no progress toward bringing to justice the people responsible for the crimes ... there should be an international war crimes tribunal,” Peter Galbraith, political affairs minister in the U.N. administration in East Timor

Jul 12 STL: 201 Muslims choose to be Timor Lorosae citizens  News from ETimor added July 17
“We have stated our intentions earlier that we wanted to be citizens here. During the time of Interfet, Pak Xanana had been here to visit us and we stated our intentions to him then. We had 201 people in the mosque who wanted to treat Timor Lorosae as their new country,” Arham, the spokesperson for residents in Alor Mosque

Jul 12 STL: Luis Carrilho: The law does not recognize ‘public figures’  News from ETimor added July 17
"All people are equal in the eyes of the law and no one is above it, regardless of whether he or she is a renown public figure, ... I understand that he [Dr Sergio Lobo] is an intellectual and a medical doctor. But I stress that no one is above the law ­ and the same applies in Timor Lorosae, ... The judiciary is independent and it will not bow to pressure from any institution or influential people.” Civpol spokesperson Luis Carrilho

Bahasa Indonesia:
Jul 12 NGO Forum / Rede Feto: Tokoh Masyarakat Ditahan Lagi Untuk Kekerasan Rumah Tangga  Pernyataan Pers (added Juli 13)
"Kasus ini akan dijadikan preseden untuk kasus-kasus kekerasan rumah tangga berikutnya dan untuk semua kasus yang melibatkan pejabat masyarakat tinggi ... Sistem pengadilan kita harus memperlakukan semua orang dengan cara sama.” Filomena Reis, Staf Advokasi di NGO Forum Timor Lorosa’e

“Banyak orang Timor percaya bahwa kekerasan rumah tangga adalah masalah pribadi dan tidak patut disidangkan di hadapan umum, ... Kejahatan adalah kejahatan, baik dilakukan di jalan atau di rumah." Laura Abrantes dari Jaringan Perempuan Timor Lorosa’e

Jul 12 NGO Forum / Rede Feto: Public Figure Detained Again for Domestic Violence  Release July 13
“This case will set a precedent for future cases of domestic violence and for any cases that involve a high-level official, ... Our legal system must treat all people equally.” Filomena Reis, Advocacy Officer, East Timor NGO Forum

“Many East Timorese still believe that domestic violence is a private issue and is therefore not fit for a public courtroom, ... A crime is a crime, whether committed on the street or in one’s home.” Laura Abrantes, East Timor Women’s Network

Jul 12 NTnews: Timor Gap - Revenue cf Royalties  Letter to Ed added July 13
"The Timor Gap agreement just signed has been presented by Australian politicians and much media as extemely generous to East Timor, (with) ‘concessions’ by Australia. The reality is it is only generous by East Timor to Australia. After all, by International Law, East  Timor owns 100% of the resource. East Timor gets 90% of the ROYALTIES for Bayu Undan, NOT 90% of the REVENUES as so many commentators have wrongly stated. Most of  the revenues will go to the American oil companies and to Northern Territory business." Rob Wesley-Smith, australians for a free east timor, Darwin

Jul 11 Bano: A Peace Zone: An Option for the Future of the Timor Enclave  Report added July 11
"Declaring Oe-cusse a peace zone is the best way to facilitate resolution of the enclave’s isolation. Accordingly it should be the first option pursued by the future East Timorese government. Such a declaration must become a legally binding guarantee included in the national constitution soon to be formulated. However, such a legally binding guarantee would lack strength without a treaty between East Timor and Indonesia on Oe-cusse." Arsenio Bano, Executive Director of the East Timor NGO Forum

Jul 11 GLW: Who gains most from New Timor gap treaty?  Editorial added July 13
"The corporate media have started a new scare campaign over the prospect that East Timor's new constituent assembly, due to be elected in August, may seek changes before ratifying the treaty or impose at some future date a higher fiscal regime upon companies operating in the Timor Sea. If a future East Timorese government chooses to make such changes, this is an entirely justifiable and reasonable action to take." Green Left Weekly Editorial

Jul 10 STL: Fr Martinho Gusmao: No figure more central than Xanana  News from ETimor added July 18
“When Fretilin signed the National Unity Pact, the crowd just applauded. ... The emotion was because Fretilin was the party that fought to free Timor Lorosae in the former CNRT, ... Bishop Belo is behaving like a political figure, while Xanana is taking more of a moral stance, ... In our society we can go on talking about democracy. But for democracy in Timor Lorosae, I will choose Xanana Gusmao.” Father Martinho Gusmao, President of the Baucau Diocese Youth Commission

Jul 10 JSMP: First crimes against humanity trial begins  News from ETimor added July 11
"The first trial involving crimes against humanity, known as the “Los Palos” case, finally began yesterday after several delays. ... He [Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes, Jean-Luis Gillisen (Belgium)] said that it was an important moment not just for the East Timorese people, but also for the international community as the victims of the crimes alleged include all of humankind. The Special Panel takes part in the building of international justice, thereby helping the international community to end impunity for the commission of atrocities, he said." Judicial System Monitoring Programme news service

Jul 9 SMH: Rescuing the hostages of Timor's bitter fortunes  Comment added July 12
"The fate of the 70,000 East Timorese refugees in camps in the west does not command headline treatment in Australia. Their fate is, however, of direct humanitarian concern to Australia, given their exile is a direct consequence of Australian and other international intervention in East Timor in 1999. We have been content to bathe in the reflected glory of the achievements of the Australian Defence Force. We must be equally prepared to engage vigorously in the complex and less glamorous diplomacy needed to secure the return of those displaced." Kevin Rudd, Federal MP [Australia] and chairman of the opposition party’s policy committee on national security and trade and a former diplomat

Jul 9 STL: National Unity Pact signed  News from ETimor added July 11
"The long-awaited National Unity Pact was at least signed by 14 political parties last night. Only two parties opted to stay out of it ­ the National Party of Timor (PNT) and National Republic Party of Timor Leste (Parentil). ... Political parties that signed the National Unity Pact will be bound by 14 clauses. The most important clause is that all parties must accept unconditionally the results of the UN-supported popular consultation on 30 August 1999, whereby the Timorese overwhelmingly voted to separate from Indonesia. ... Also, all the political parties, in the pact, agreed to refrain from violence ... " Suara Timor Lorosae

Jul 9 STL: Bishop Belo: Timorese people must be agents of peace  News from ETimor added July 11
“For the past 24 years, there have been tears and suffering and, now, we no longer want it, ... We have experienced a long war experiencing extreme suffering. Now when it is over, we have to promise ourselves never to fight again or use violence,” Dili Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo

Jul 8 Pacto Unidade Nacional Nian  Text added Sep 1
"Pacto Unidade Nacional Nian: Hatene tiha ona katak iha necessidade atu hamoris no kuda dame no hakmatek iha ita nia let hanesan alicerce fundamental ida hatu haburas Timor Lorosae; Hare ba principios lulik sutar makna nian nebe maka hetan provação huso convencão ba dala uluk iha tinan 1998 iha Piniche Portugal; Hatene tiha ona katak iha necicidade atu kuda iha ita nian let respeita malu no fiar malu; ... " APODETI Pro-Refrendum; ASDT Associação Sosial Demokrata Timorense; FRETILIN Frente Revolucianário de Timor Leste Independente; KOTA Klibur Oan Timor Aswa’in; PD Partido Demokrático; PDC Partido Demokrata Cristão; PDM Partido Democrático Maubere; PL Partai Liberal; PPT Partido de Povo de Timor; PSD Partido Social Democrata Timor Lorosa’e; PST Partido Socialista de Timor; PTT Partido Trabalhista Timorense; UDC/PDC União Democratica Cristão; UDT União Democrática Timorense. [Partidu ida-idak tau asinatura sira-nian iha lia-kotun. Maibé PARENTIL no PNT la tau asinatura.]

Jul 8 PD: Manifesto & speech of Partido Democratico  Full text added July 12
" ... the Democratic Party, want to remind and appeal to all of you to contribute your strength, knowledge and experience to the political party that you have chosen. The Democratic Party respects your freedom of choice and its doors are wide open to every citizen of Timor Loro Sae. If you want democracy and the new political alternative you are welcome to join PD!" Fernando "La Sama" de Araujo, President of Democratic Party (PD)

Jul 7 ABC: TNI used media strategy to disguise militia links  Interview transcript updated July 14
" ...  it was ... in some ways a very slick PR operation. ... By simply focusing on saying that it was the militia who were destroying Dili, or the militia who were responsible for the majority of the destruction, which was simply not the case, it was very methodical carried out by TNI soldiers [Indonesian military] and you could see that. The militia simply wouldn’t have had the infrastructure trucks, planes, ships to carry out such a large-scale deportation of you know, a third of the population basically." John Martinkus, Australian journalist and author of  “A Dirty Little War - an eyewitness account of East Timor’s descent into hell"

Jul 6 Público: Aglionby: Austrália e Timor Chegam a Acordo Sobre Petróleo  News added July 23
"Díli recebe direitos sobre 90 por cento das reservas de Timor Gap. Timor Leste recebeu ontem um salva-vidas de muitos milhões de dólares ao chegar a um entendimento com a Austrália sobre a divisão das reservas de petróleo e gás no mar que divide os dois países. Após 15 meses de duras negociações, acordou-se que Timor Leste receberá 90 por cento dos resultados da exploração e a Austrália os restantes dez por cento. Isto poderá traduzir-se entre 4 mil milhões e 5 mil milhões de dólares (880 a 1100 milhões de contos) durante 20 anos, a partir de 2004. A Austrália, por sua vez, deverá receber quatro ou cinco vezes esse montante com a refinação de todo o petróleo e gás, uma vez que não se espera que Timor Leste consiga desenvolver os meios para o fazer." John Aglionby

Jul 6 Público: Henriques: O Fim do Timor Gap  News added July 23
"Timor Leste receberá 90 por cento dos resultados da exploração e a Austrália os restantes dez por cento. Isto significa para Díli entre 880 e 1100 milhões de contos, garantidos durante 20 anos. Mas a Austrália não fica pior. Vai receber quatro ou cinco vezes esse montante, uma vez que tem sob o seu controlo a refinaria de todo o petróleo e gás proveniente das reservas. "O novo acordo sobre o Mar de Timor é um bom negócio para Timor Leste e um negócio ainda melhor para a Austrália", escreveu Galbraith (num artigo conjunto com Mari Alkatiri, que detém a pasta da Economia) no diário australiano "Sydney Morning Herald"." Francisca Gorjão Henriques

Jul 6 AT: Timor Gap: East Timor not counting its pennies yet  News added July 7
"Tim Anderson, a research officer with the Sydney-based group Aidwatch, cautions against over-optimistic views that East Timor will gain significant income without putting further pressure on the oil companies. “What we would like to see examined is how the costs of production are determined and accounted for. After 10 years of the treaty’s operation, it should be possible to assess whether the cost accounting system is working,” he says." Asia Times

Jul 6 TP: Angela protests Timor Gap Agreement on behalf of National Council  News from ETimor added July 7
“We do not know the details of the negotiations and how the oil and gas resources are really being split. All this while we have been kept in the dark ­ there were only one or two people making the decisions. Once again the people of Timor Lorosae have been sold out, ... We are not yet a definitive country, and we cannot give that right to bind the country to an outsider,” Angela Freitas, a National Council member from the Trabalista Party

Jul 6 Guard: East Timor signs lucrative oil deal  News added July 7
"In addition to its 10% share of the upstream royalties, Australia is likely to make four to five times that figure from refining the oil and gas, ... “Ninety percent is great,” Mr Galbraith said. “I think it’s the best deal we could have gotten. Obviously, I think we were entitled to 100% of the upstream [royalties], but to get that would have meant going to court and, with the time delay, we would have lost out.” Australia was granted a 50-50 split when East Timor was under Indonesian rule, partly, it is thought, in return for recognising Indonesian sovereignty over the territory, which lasted for 25 years until 1999. The Australians initially wanted to maintain that ratio, but soon realised that their claim had little legitimacy." John Aglionby, The Guardian south-east Asia correspondent

Jul 6 SCMP: Oil, gas deal 'favours Australia'  News added July 7
" “The new 90/10 split looks good on paper but there is a very arcane science in determining what is a barrel of oil, how by-products are defined, whether shipping is taxable, whether tax should start at the pipe or in the air and so on. You could argue that the Australians have given them [East Timor] 90 per cent of nothing,” said a source close to the negotiations." Vaudine England in Jakarta

Jul 5 AID/WATCH: The World Bank in East Timor  Briefing added July 14
"The World Bank - fighting poverty or supporting profiteering?: ...
The conditions attached to World Bank loans (eg. privatisation, less restrictions on foreign investment, lowering import taxes, removal of subsidies, restricted public investment, minimise labour and environmental controls) are all designed to encourage further private-for-profit investment in, and trade with, the developing country. An important assumption in all World Bank operations is that there can be a "happy marriage" between (1) development programs that will benefit poor people, and (2) profitable opportunities for giant multinational companies. Conflict between these two goals tends to be ignored." Tim Anderson for Aidwatch

Jul 5 SMH: The Timor Gap  Editorial added July 7
"The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, says it is “generous”. The Northern Territory Chief Minister, Mr Burke, calls it “extremely generous”. The assumption is easily made that Australia has given something away ... It is wrong, however, to assume Australia has neglected its interests. ... Even under the final revenue sharing formula Australia stands to gain greatly. The 90:10 split applies only to the JPDA; an 80:20 split applies to the Greater Sunrise field. Apart from about $1 billion in direct revenue over the next 20 years - compared with East Timor’s expectation of more than $7 billion - Australia will benefit substantially from the agreement’s provision for a pipeline to Darwin." Sydney Morning Herald

Jul 5 RDP: Timorese leaders say oil revenue must be spent wisely  News added July 6
"Until a system is set up to ensure that the money, these resources, will indeed benefit the whole population and not just some bank accounts, it will be a good idea to take great care. And above all we must develop a transparent, solid, effective system to absorb this money and spend it positively to develop the whole country." Mari Alkatiri, East Timor’s Minister for Economic Affairs

Jul 5 AFP: Unseemly row breaks out before Timor Gap treaty signing  News added July 6
"The Economics Minister in East Timor’s interim administration, Mari Alkatiri, has threatened to boycott the signing ceremony if the Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory, Denis Burke, attends. Alkatiri accused Burke of staging rival negotiations by inviting politicians from Timor’s embryonic parliament, the National Council, to attend talks that undermined the official Timor negotiating team." AFP

Jul 4 AFR: Dili sees three powers as vital to its future  Article added July 18
"It will be the ironic fate of independent East Timor to have its key international economic and security relationships with three countries responsible for much of its historic suffering: Portugal, Indonesia and Australia. As a poor country facing long-term international dependency, it is already looking to these countries for the economic and security assurances it needs to establish stable foundations for development and progress after independence." Geoffrey Barker

Jul 4 GLW: New party in East Timor faces election challenge  Article added July 12
"In the lead-up to the elections, the PST [Socialist Party of Timor] has launched a new political manual designed to give a basic introduction to the party for new members. The 15-page publication sets out, and answers, “frequently asked questions” about the PST: its structure, its program on social, political and economic issues. The PST has put forward 75 candidates for the Constituent Assembly election, 19 of whom, including its top candidate, are women. In a surprise move, the list does not include its high-profile general secretary, Avelino Coelho da Silva. Coelho said he would be focusing his attention on other areas of the party’s activities." Vanya Tanaja

Jul 4 East Timor - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 2  Report added July 6
"Two weeks ago, three days of heavy rain led to flooding in inhabited areas of Los Palos [in the eastern part of East Timor] ... the number of affected people has increased to 2508 people (513 families) who are in need of some kind of assistance, ... Most immediate emergency needs have been met" UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Jul 4 DJN: Australia The Main Winner From East Timor Pact -Timor Minister  News added July 5
"Australia stands to gain most of the economic benefits from energy production in the area, he [Galbraith] said. ... Galbraith rejected repeated assertions by Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer that Australia wanted to be and was generous in striking the agreement. The agreement isn’t about generosity, he said. “The Australians did what we did, which is they bargained very hard on behalf of their own national interest,” he said in an interview on Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio." Ray Brindal, Dow Jones Newswires

Jul 4 Brereton Press Release On Timor Gap Agreement Release added July 5
“This is a very welcome development which will afford East Timor the opportunity to achieve a much greater measure of economic self-reliance in place of aid dependency, ... In the meantime, we are committed to work energetically with the international community to ensure that East Timor receives the necessary foreign aid to ensure immediate humanitarian and development challenges are fully addressed. ... Petroleum and gas revenues from the Timor Gap will not begin to come on stream for several years, and strong Australian support for East Timor will be required for many years to come.” Laurie Brereton MP, Shadow Minister For Foreign Affairs, Australia

Jul 4 ACFOA: Well Done Downer On Timor Oil Treaty  Release added July 4
“This treaty gives the East Timorese an important independent revenue source for about ten years as they work toward self-reliance, ... The Government and Mr Downer have correctly interpreted the mood of the electorate by ensuring a positive outcome for the East Timorese through this new treaty as well as through the ongoing commitment of Australian government aid.” Jim Redden, spokesperson for the Australian Council for Overseas Aid

Jul 4 SMH: East Timor gets $7bn for its share of oil and gas in historic deal  News added July 4
“It will make the difference between being mired in poverty and having a chance to provide a better life for the people,” Peter Galbraith, East Timor’s chief negotiator

Jul 3 UN: Timor Sea arrangement approved by East Timor cabinet  Release added July 5
“This is the very first time the United Nations has participated in negotiating a treaty on behalf of a country. It will be up to the new elected Government of East Timor to decide whether it wants the treaty or not. I believe it is a good treaty, I think it is to the advantage of East Timor and so my recommendation would be that East Timor agree its terms,” Peter Galbraith, Cabinet Member for Political Affairs and Timor Sea

July 3 AUSGOV: Agreement on Timor Gap  Release added July 5
"The key elements of the Arrangement are: a revenue split of 90 per cent for East Timor and 10 per cent for Australia from petroleum development activities in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA); deferral of delimitation of a permanent seabed boundary without prejudice to Australia’s and East Timor’s rights or entitlements; maintenance of the contractual terms of the existing petroleum/gas projects (Bayu-Undan, Greater Sunrise and Elang-Kakatua); Australian jurisdiction over the planned pipeline from the JPDA to Australia; unitisation of the Greater Sunrise field (which straddles the JPDA and an area under Australian jurisdiction) on the basis that 20 percent of the field lies within the JPDA and 80 percent of the field lies within Australian jurisdiction; and the new treaty will have a duration of 30 years." Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer; The Minister for Industry, Science and Resources Senator Minchin; the Attorney-General Daryl Williams

Jul 2 OTL: Refugiados; um recenseamento inútil e perigoso  Report added July 11
"O recenseamento não atingiu nenhum dos seus objectivos: nem esclareceu o número de refugiados, nem os números dos que querem ficar ou voltar, nem deu a estes últimos a possibilidade de regressar a tempo para a inscrição no recenseamento eleitoral em Timor Leste, nem mesmo favorece a reinstalação na Indonésia visto que não distingue os que querem ficar dos que querem voltar logo que a situação o permita." Observatório Timor Leste

Jul 2 ETO: Refugee registration: futile and dangerous  Report added July 11
"The registration exercise did not achieve any of its stated goals: it did not determine the number of refugees, nor clarify the numbers wishing to stay / to return. It did not enable those wishing to return to get back in time to be included on the electoral roll in East Timor, nor has it facilitated resettlement in Indonesia, as it did not make any distinction between those wanting to live permanently in Indonesia and those just waiting to go back home as soon as the situation permits." East Timor Observatory

jui 2 OTO: Réfugiés : un recensement inutile et dangereux  Report added July 11
"Le recensement n’a atteint aucun de ses objectifs : il n’a précisé ni le nombre des réfugiés, ni le nombre de ceux qui veulent rester ou retourner, ni donné à ces derniers la possibilité de retourner à temps pour s’inscrire sur les listes électorales du Timor Oriental, ni même favorisé la réinstallation en Indonésie vu qu’il ne distingue pas ceux qui veulent rester de ceux qui veulent retourner dès que la situation le permettra." Observatoire Timor-Oriental

Jul 1 AETA: The Wahid Visit, Timor Gap and Beyond  Article added July 5
"So the Howard government is not showing some hitherto unimagined decency and compassion towards East Timor. They are only offering this higher proportion of revenue to avoid something much less favourable to Australia - a midline agreement, which could entail major Australian losses in ‘downstream’ developments. Another potential pitfall the Australian government wants to avoid is a midline agreement with East Timor creating a precedent that could somehow be used by Indonesia to try to re-negotiate its own maritime boundaries with Australia." Andrew McNaughtan, Convenor, The Australia East Timor Association (AETA)

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