BACK DOOR Newsletter on East

BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

March 2001 News, Articles & Reports:

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Bahasa Indonesia:
Maret 2001 ACFOA: Partai-Partai Dan Kelompok-Kelompok Politik Di Timor TimurTéks [150KB] added June 29
"Timor-Timur kini tengah memasuki tahap akhir yang penting dari proses transisi menuju kemerdekaan penuh. ... Tetapi sekarang partai-partai boleh menduduki ‘centre stage’ untuk memainkan peranan penting mereka dalam suatu proses demokrasi. Ini adalah suatu kemajuan yang positif dan sehat di mana kelebihan seseorang tidak menjadi faktor yang melemahkan. ... Berapa banyak partai yang akan bertanding dalam pemilihan? Siapa pemimpin partai-partai tersebut dan bagaimana mereka dapat dihubungi? Seberapa berbeda partai-partai ini dibandingkan dengan yang sebelumnya? Apa ide-ide dan kebijakan mereka terhadap pembangunan di Timor Timur, kebijakan luar negeri dan sebagainya?" Pat Walsh, Badan Bantuan Luar Negeri Australia

Mar 31 Reut: Ramos-Horta replaces Gusmao as Timor leader  News added Apr 1
"Nobel peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta, foreign minister of U.N.-run East Timor, will take over as head of the territory’s de facto parliament, the United Nations said on Saturday. He replaces independence leader Xanana Gusmao, who quit last week over internal squabbling which he said was hampering the tiny territory’s push for independence." Reuters

Mar 30 STL: CPD-RDTL’s Antonio Aitahan Matak Wants Proof  News from ETimor added Mar 31
“We are not accepting the accusations made against us by Ramos Horta, Mari Alkatari and Lu-Olo that we are linked with the TNI. Prove it! If they can’t prove the allegations then we will take them to court ­ both nationally and internationally,” Antonio Aitahan Matak, General Co-ordinator of CPD-RDTL

Mar 29 Tempo: US President urged not to support Indonesian military  News added Apr 3
"About 30 [Indonesian] women activists held rally at the US Embassy on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan here today. They asked President Bush not to support the Indonesian military (TNI) in any form, including supporting education program for TNI officers in the US. The demonstrators also asked the US government not to lift military embargo imposed since the East Timor referendum, until TNI is no longer involved in the power play." Tempo

Mar 29 RDP: Timorese leader Gusmao criticizes use of aid funds  News added Mar 30
"An ironic Xanana Gusmao told the donors’ representatives that if ministers in Sergio Vieira de Mello’s [head of UNTAET, UN Transitional Administration in East Timor] government left the country less often and visited the districts in the interior of East Timor instead, listening to the people’s complaints and aspirations, then the level of trust would be different.  Xanana said that the people would feel the funds were being used properly." Antonio Veladas

Mar 29 RA: Allies back Gusmao's decision to quit East Timor assembly  News added Mar 30
"The civil society needs more his time and work rather than the national council. So he wants to continue to bring the people together to really reflect on the constitution so that it can be a legitimate one, reflects the peoples’ wishes, spirit and soul as he puts it, so his time is better used elsewhere rather than in the national council." Agio Pereira

Mar 28 BBC: Gusmao resigns as East Timor leader  News added Mar 30
"I feel, as president of the National Council, that any attempt to overcome the deadlock is in vain due to the lack of willingness [of Council] members, ... As I refuse to be part of a politically irresponsible process, I hereby tender my resignation,” East Timor independence leader Jose “Xanana” Gusmao

Mar 28 GLW: Indonesian troops out of Aceh!  Article added Mar 30
"We must force the Australian government to end all military ties with Indonesia. While the training of Indonesian special forces by the Australian military was put on hold following the rampage by the TNI and its militia groups in East Timor after the 1999 independence referendum, Canberra continues to train members of Indonesia’s regular army in Australia. It is likely that the Australian government will offer increased military cooperation as a “goodwill” gesture when Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid visits Australia in April." Pip Hinman, national secretary, Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET)

Mar 28 GLW: Timor war criminals remain free  Article added Mar 30
"The establishment of an international war crimes tribunal for East Timor faces opposition from Indonesia’s main Western allies also, who have repeatedly stressed their preference for Indonesia to conduct its own trials. ... if such a tribunal was established, why should it not investigate the actions of those states who condoned, aided and abetted Indonesia’s illegal occupation of East Timor, and who have consistently lied about the extent of their involvement?" Jon Land

Mar 28 LUSA: Francisco Xavier do Amaral Announces New 'Third Way' Party  News added Mar 30
"He [Francisco Xavier do Amaral] has repeatedly been linked to the radical party CPD-RDTL (Popular Defense Committee - Democratic Republic of East Timor), which indicated he was the group’s top official for education and culture in its founding document." JBC, Lusa

Mar 28 LH: Sexton: Update on ET NGO Forum: Rushed Constitutional Process  Letter & News added Mar 29
"As you have likely already seen, things are moving very quickly on this issue, and not in the direction we had hoped. ... With the news of the defeat in yesterday’s NC vote, the working group is trying to think strategically about where we can go from here. Unfortunately, there seems to be little room to argue alternatives." Pamela Sexton, La'o Hamutuk: The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Mar 23 LH: Job announcement for La'o Hamutuk in East Timor  Request added Apr 7
"With this job announcement, we are actively seeking international (non-East Timorese) as well as East Timorese applicants (from within East Timor and overseas). Women are particularly encouraged to apply. ... La’o Hamutuk staff persons work collaboratively with other staff and advisory bodies to develop and implement the organization’s work plan. Together with the organization’s Board of Directors, they are responsible for coordinating some of La’o Hamutuk’s main activities." La’o Hamutuk - The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Mar 27 STL Bishop Belo: Planned and Democratic Economic Development Needed  News from ETimor added Mar 28

Mar 27 STL: April 6, Peace Campaign To Be Launched In Dili  News from ETimor added Mar 28

Mar 27 STL: The Fate Of The People In A Political Arena  Editorial from ETimor added Mar 28

Mar 26 About HR: US Court Goes After Architect of ETimor Terror  News with background added Mar 28
"The East Timorese have been seeking to hold accountable those responsible for the great suffering inflicted upon them by Indonesia’s invasion and occupation of their country. They are especially concerned that, barring the creation of an international tribunal, the Indonesian military leaders who gave the orders will escape justice. The lawsuit and hearing provide a forum for the East Timorese to tell their stories and to have a court officially acknowledge and rule on one of those responsible." John Miller, East Timor Action Network (ETAN)

Mar 26 STL: Bishop Basilio: People Beginning To be Frustrated With UNTAET  News from ETimor added Mar 28

Mar 26 TP: Horta: Timor Lorosae Will Be In ASEAN  News from ETimor added Mar 28

Mar 23 AP: Pro-Jakarta Militias Vow To Continue Fighting ETimor Government  News added Mar 24
"At the moment we are in a cooling down period. We will wait for the United Nations to leave before we go back in," Cancio Lopes de Carvalho, former commander of a pro-Indonesian armed group

Bahasa Indonesia:
Mar 23 CNRT: Kirsty Sword Gusmão Beserta Keluarga Perempuan Yang Diculik Milisi Akan  Release added Mar 24
"Isterinya Presiden CNRT-CN akan berangkat ke Geneva besok bersama bibinya Juliana dos Santos, seorang perempuan berusia 15 tahun yang diculik dan ditahan di Timor Barat sejak tahun 1999. Di Geneva Kirsty Sword Gusmão akan menghadiri suatu konperensi yang diselenggarakan oleh UNHCR dengan tema kekerasan terhadap kaum perempuan. Bersama dengan Ny. Domingas Santa Mouzinho, Ny. Sword Gusmão juga bermaksud untuk menyampaikan suatu pernyataan mengenai situasi Juliana pada Komisi PBB untuk Hak Azasi Manusia."  Sarah Niner & Lurdes Bessa, CNRT

Mar 23 CNRT: Kristy Sword Gusmao & Kidnap Girl's Family to plead case in Geneva  Release added Mar 24
"[Ms Sword Gusmão and kidnap girl's family] hope that if Juliana can be returned it will offer a glimmer of hope to other women, their families and communities and believe that other East Timorese women being held in West Timor by militias in similar circumstances must also be returned." Sarah Niner & Lurdes Bessa, CNRT

Mar 22 LH: ET NGO Forum: Rushed constitutional process  Request & Letter updated Mar 29
"The [East Timorese] NGOs are demanding the establishment of a mechanism for thorough consultation throughout East Timor on the constitution, and for adequate time and resources to be allotted for this critical process. Clearly, this process is a crucial step in East Timor's struggle for self-determination. We ask for your immediate assistance in lobbying the UN Security Council through your national governments and in passing this letter to others." Pamela Sexton, La'o Hamutuk: The East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Mar 22 JRS: Refugees Going Hungry  Briefing added Mar 24
"The refugees in the camps are suffering great hunger. They have had no support from local aid groups since January and from international agencies since September last year, when they withdrew following the killing of UNHCR personnel by militias,” Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) West Timor

Mar 21 SMH: UN retreats on spying allegation  News added Mar 23
"The United Nations mission in East Timor admitted yesterday that an internal security memo accusing a group of shipwrecked Indonesians of being spies was untrue. ... Other concerns raised in the report are being taken seriously, including a warning that a lack of safeguards on the Atauro-Dili sea lane poses a security threat to Dili." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Mar 20 SP: Bishop Belo's conditions for return of pro-integration refugees  News from WTimor added Mar 31
"UNTAS [pro-integration group: ‘Uni Timor Aswain’] figures have called on Bishop Belo to retract the 13-point statement he recently issued regarding the conditions for return of pro-integration refugees. They want reconciliation with no preconditions." Sasando Pos

Mar 19 Watch Indonesia: German MP demands stronger committment for Human Rights  Release added Mar 29
"At the 56th UNCHR a one year deadline has been set for the Indonesian Government to accuse all those human right violators. Since then nothing has happened and the time limit has been exceeded. Because of that there is no other alternative but to establish an international ad-hoc court as soon as possible." Mrs. Leutheuser-Schnarrenberger, Committee for Human Rights and humanitarian aid of the German Parliament (Bundestag)

Mar 19 STL: Xanana Gusmao: CNRT To Be Officially Dissolved in June  News from ETimor added Mar 23
“In June, CNRT will close as its role will be taken over by the on-going political process ... I know that self-government will be difficult, therefore in my personal capacity as an ordinary citizen, I will cooperate with all sides to have dialogue to support the on-going process” Xanana Gusmao, CNRT/NC president

Mar 18 PUB: Extracts from an interview with Abílio  Interview added Mar 31
"Are you refuting, therefore, the accusation that you are financing the CDP-RDTL ? What I refute is being behind the alleged attempt on the life of Xanana Gusmão and other acts of violence. I do not deny that, should someone ask me for money and if I happen to have some, I would help that person." Abílio Araújo, President, Timorese Nationalist Party (PNT)

Mar 17 TP: The Dynamic Of ‘Quota Politic’  Editorial from ETimor added Mar 24
"We have spoken many times on women’s demand for a 30 % quota and do not want to say more. Except that, Timorese can emulate the example set by REDE (East Timor Women Network) yesterday at UNTAET headquarters. We welcome the day when the actions of interest groups or political groups are based on dialogue, debate and discussion. ... REDE has shown the correct political path for our country.  We hope that future political actions for democracy in our country will take into account this dynamism. This is the democratic model that needs to be created in our country." Timor Post Editorial

Mar 17 SMH: UN fears sabotage of ETimor elections  News added Mar 20
"The UN memo says CPD-RDTL supporters had clashed with members of the East Timorese pro-independence Fretilin party on Atauro on February 22, the same time as the seven Indonesians [suspected spies] were seen there. Last week, Mr Gusmao warned of links between senior RDTL officials and shadowy Indonesian army intelligence agents." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Mar 17 Lancet: Growing Pains of ETimor: Health of An Infant Nation  Report added Mar 19
"Let us not be tempted to build and develop modern hospitals that are costly and in which only half a dozen people benefit from good treatment. Let us concentrate above all on planning intensive campaigns of sanitation, prevention, and the treatment of epidemics and endemics for the whole population." Xanana Gusmão, de-facto President of East Timor

Mar 17 OPMT: Australian ESL teachers required to work with OPMT leaders  Request added Mar 17
"OPMT (Popular Women's Organisation of East Timor) leaders have expressed the urgent need for OPMT members to learn English so that women can better participate in the political development of their country. Alice Springs Friends of East Timor (ASFOET) has responded, [along with the NTEU & others] to sponsor properly qualified ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers to develop a course for both OPMT leaders and FRETILIN." Alice Springs Friends of East Timor (ASFOET)

Mar 16 LUSA: National Council Members Explain Rejection of Quotas for Women  News added Mar 20
"Members of East Timor’s National Council transition legislature justified Friday their rejection of quotas for women candidates on party election lists. ... Simultaneous to the press conference, a group of several dozen protesters from East Timor’s most prominent women’s rights organizations demonstrated in front of the Government Palace in Dili." JBC

Mar 16 LH: Salzer: News from La’o Hamutuk  Report from ETimor added Mar 19
"There is always so much happening here [in Dili], and we are often slowed down in our communications by still-regular power-outages. We hope to share more regular updates on our work. For now, we offer a run-down of what we have been up to since the start of 2001." Mark Salzer, La’o Hamutuk

Mar 16 CHART: Clearing House for Archival Records on ET  Initiative added Mar 17
"For the East Timorese, these records [of the dramatic, often tragic events in ET since 1974] include irreplaceable parts of their history, much of which has been lost due to loss of life and property destruction. The preservation of this material will fill critical gaps in their historical record and contribute to nation building in East Timor. ... CHART aims to promote the preservation of archival materials about East Timor for future generations of Australians and East Timorese." John Waddingham, initial national coordinator, CHART (Clearing House for Archival Records on ET)

Mar 16 CNRT/NCP: Gusmao: Speech at signing of the Electoral Regulation  Speech added Mar 18
"[This is the] English version of the speech of the Presdient of CNRT/CN and National Council (NC) at the signing of the Electoral Regulation for the forthcoming and first elections to be held on August the 30th this year. The original speech was said in Portuguese and translated into English by the Media Unit of CNRT/CN Presidency." Ines Alemeida, Head, Media Unit CNRT/CN

Mar 15 CNRT/CNP: Gusmão: O Regulamento Assinado pelo Dr Sérgio De Mello  Speech added Mar 18
"Intervenção do Presidente do CNRT/CN, Xanana Gusmão na ocasião da assinatura, pelo Dr Sergio Vieira de Mello, Administrador Transitório, do regulamento sobre a eleição de uma Assembleia Constituinte para a elaboração de uma constituiçâo para um Timor Leste independente e democrático" CNRT/Congresso Nacional Presidência

Mar 15 STL: Bishop Belo: Do not choose party that destroys Timor  News from ETimor added Mar 20
“I have met with Fretilin, UDT, and even with CPD-RDTL (Aitahan Matak, Fil Fernandes and Feliciano). I said to them that I would only support parties in Timor that work for peace, democracy human rights justice, social peace, tolerance. The church supports pluralism and democracy in East Timor." Bishop Belo

Mar 14 ETAN: U.S. law bars U.S. military aid and training for Indonesia  Info added Mar 23
"If President Bush, Secretary Powell, Assistant Secretary Wolfowitz, the Indonesian government or anyone else would like to resume U.S. military relations with the Indonesian government, they must either meet the conditions in the law or change the law by an act of Congress." Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator, East Timor Action Network/US

Mar 14 GLW: Tanaja: Debate over Constituent Assembly election process  Report added Mar 22
"The heated debate surrounding citizenship is an indication of the resentment that exists toward former East Timorese emigres by those who stayed in East Timor or in Indonesia during the liberation struggle. ... Another hotly debated issue is quotas for women. In its recommendations, the NC argued that 30% Constituent Assembly seats must be filled by women." Vanja Tanaja, Dili

Mar 14 Japan: NGO Joint Petition on UNCHR 57th session  Petition added Mar 17
"The Japanese government should also call for clarification, as part of any investigation into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in East Timor, of the responsibility borne by countries which provided financial assistance, weapons and diplomatic support to the Indonesian government and military, and were therefore indirectly involved in the massive human rights abuses perpetrated in East Timor." NGO Joint Petition on UNCHR 57th session

Mar 12 OTL: Sistema de saúde: sustentável no futuro?  Report added Apr 14
"O sistema de saúde actual corre o risco de ser pautado por metodologias e equipamentos inadequados à realidade timorense, sobretudo após a retirada dos técnicos e organismos estrangeiros. O desenvolvimento não tem de passar obrigatoriamente pela implementação de sistemas sofisticados de topo de gama. A preocupação deverá ir antes de encontro às reais necessidades e capacidades da população, de forma a poderem ser os timorenses a criarem as suas própria instituições e a definirem as suas prioridades. Provavelmente, os resultados seriam mais lentos e menos brilhantes a curto-prazo, mas com certeza mais sólidos e duradouros." Observatório Timor Leste

Mar 13 ETO: The health service: sustainable in the future?  Report added Apr 13
"The present health system is in danger of being hindered by methodologies and equipment that are quite unsuited to the Timorese context, particularly after the foreign technicians and agencies leave. Development does not necessarily have to involve implementing sophisticated state of the art systems. The focus should be on addressing the population’s real needs and building its capacity, so that the Timorese themselves are able to create their institutions and set their own priorities. This may mean that it takes longer to achieve results, and these might be less spectacular in the short-term, but they would certainly be more solid and long lasting." East Timor Observatory

Mar 13 TP: Support For Xanana Pours In  News from ETimor added Mar Mar 23
"Following the incident of 7 March 2001 in the Dili Gymnasium, several quarters have expressed their stand on the matter. Apart from strongly condemning CPD-RDTL supporters and regretting Civpol’s method of arresting the three political activists, there is full support for the leadership of Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao as President of CNRT/NC." Timor Post

English and Bahasa Indonesia:
Mar 13 E.Timor NGOs protest police predictions of violence  Letter & Commentary added Mar 17
"On February 8, and Australian news article interviewed the civpol Commander of Operations in East Timor who predicted violence
as the election process progresses, basing it on myths of East Timor having little experience with democracy and a culture of
violence. After a phone conversation in which the Commander confirmed that the interview does reflect his opinions, a coalition of East Timorese NGOs wrote him a letter on 17 February. As there has been no response to the letter for three weeks, the NGOs
have decided to release the letter to the public and the media." Charles Scheiner, International Federation for East Timor

Mar 12 TP: Fretilin Declaration: Do Not Commit Violence  News from ETimor added Mar 20
"In the last few days, the symbols of Fretilin, especially the RDTL flag, have been used by certain groups to create trouble and to deceive the people into carrying out demonstrations, violence and other undesirable actions." Lu Olo (president) and Mari Alkatiri (vice-president) of Fretilin

Mar 12 TP: Garcia: International Women’s Day  News from ETimor updated Mar 20
"To commemorate International Women’s Day in East Timor, women’s organisations such as Et-Wave, Fokupers, OMT, OPMT and youth organisations joined in a long procession." Rosa Garcia

Mar 12 Age: Burchill: Not guilty on Timor? Explain this then  Article added Mar 13
"[the Australian Hawke and Keating governments] did as much as we possibly could to advance the East Timor cause within the environment as we faced it with the cards that we had" Gareth Evans

Mar 10 AU: East Timor's children of the enemy  Article added Apr 5
"Investigators and women’s organisations agree rape plagued both East Timor and West Timor following the ballot on independence in 1999, and in many cases constituted both a war crime and a crime against humanity. “A lot of rapes happened in the chaos,” Wandita says, explaining that women separated from their families were pounced on by marauding packs of men. But beyond that, she says, many of the rapes were planned, organised and sustained as a joint effort by the military and the militias. “There was obviously collusion,” she says." Sian Powell, Dili

Mar 10 ETAN: Memo to UN Commission on H. Rights  Memo added Mar 17
"At last year’s Human Rights Commission session, Indonesia’s representative Susanto Sutoyo expressed confidence that his government’s internal processes would satisfy the requirements of the international community. U.S. representative Micheal Dennis stated the U.S. sincerely hoped that at the next session of the Commission, it would be able to note further progress by Indonesia in bringing those responsible for human rights violations in East Timor to justice. Unfortunately, such progress has not occurred." East Timor Action Network/U.S.

Mar 10 ETAN: Re: US Government's Travel Warning on ET  Letter added Mar 17
"this recent edict from the U.S. government cannot go unchallenged. The U.S. State Department warns American citizens
travelling to East Timor to "exercise extreme caution" because "During the year 2000, East Timor witnessed a significant increase in all categories of crime, violent and non-violent" " Charles Scheiner, East Timor Action Network/U.S.

Mar 9 STL: Fretilin Not Behind CPD-RDTL  News from ETimor added Mar 20
"Their [CPD-RDTL] actions on Wednesday were criminal in nature. They are using the Fretilin flag without our agreement. And we have reminded them umpteen times to stop using Fretilin symbols, but to no avail,” Mari Alkatari, Fretilin Vice-President

Mar 8 FEER: Searching For Closure: the fate of those missing in ETimor  Article added Mar 4
"In the meantime, the Missing Persons Unit is struggling to make itself better known in East Timor. Its three officials are fanning out through East Timor to encourage local government administrators and village leaders to gather material to plug into the database. In early February, the unit received a major boost when Bishop Belo, the Catholic church's leading official in East Timor, endorsed its work and requested that all church officials in East Timor cooperate." Stewart Taggart

Mar 7 CNRT/CNP: A Threat on the life of the President  Press Conference summary of events added Mar 8
"Commissioner Costa e Souza [of CivPol] ended his report by stating that he has no doubt that this was a planned action designed to disturb the meeting between President Xanana Gusmão and the students and that given the level of violence it was also designed to threaten the life of the President." National Council of Timorese Resistance/Congresso Nacional Presidency (CNRT/CNP)

Mar 6 TP: Civic Education, Urgent?  Editorial from ETimor added Mar 10
"For us, the model that President Xanana used in the gymnasium is most effective.  It began "hot" and finished with Xanana embracing and crying. This is not to say that the model we are proposing is one of embraces and tears. What is most important is how to create dialogue and debate, during which the people are given unlimited time to freely argue without protocol or moderator ... " Timor Post editorial

Mar 6 STL: Gusmao: “I’m Not Dreaming To Be The First President of Timor Lorosae”  News added Mar 8

Mar 6 UPI: Army key to Indonesia's power  Analysis added Mar 18
"in East Timor in the late 1990s, TMI [Indonesian army] did not hesitate to equip and lead paramilitary forces that inflicted a reign of terror on a population seeking independence from Indonesia. ... When Habibie angered Wiranto and other army commanders by agreeing to a referendum over independence in east Timor, they retaliated by unleashing a wave of terror within East Timor." Martin Sieff, Senior News Analyst, United Press International

Mar 5 OTL: Partidos políticos e Forças pró-independência  Report added Mar 22
"Oito partidos apresentam-se sob a bandeira da independência. Dos cinco partidos criados em 1974, quatro foram levados a colaborar, mais ou menos, com o ocupante indonésio. A FRETILIN sempre se opôs à ocupação. Consciente da vantagem que adquiriu, a FRETILIN sente-se limitada na frente comum proposta por Xanana Gusmão, e quer partir à conquista do poder. Mas para alguns isso faz renascer a lembrança da guerra civil de 1974 e provoca apelos angustiados de Xanana Gusmão a favor da unidade nacional."  Observatório Timor Leste

Mar 5 ETO: Political parties and Pro-Independence Forces  Report updated Apr 27
"There are 8 parties behind the independence flag. Of the five parties set up in 1974, four eventually collaborated, to a greater or lesser extent, with the Indonesian occupiers. FRETILIN always maintained its opposition to the occupation. Aware of its present advantage, FRETILIN now feels restricted as part of the united front proposed by Xanana Gusmão, and wants to leave it to conquer its own territory. For some, however, talk of such a move only rekindles memories of the 1974 civil war and impels Xanana Gusmão to appeal for national unity." East Timor Observatory

Mar 5 AFP: Horta calls for UN tribunal in East Timor  News added Mar 8
"If Indonesia proves incapable of bringing the culprits to justice, we believe the UN Security Council will have no alternative but to create an ad-hoc tribunal for East Timor ... There can be no reconciliation without justice, we cannot declare an amnesty" Jose Ramos Horta, Foreign minister in East Timor's transitional government

Mar 5 SMH: Militia chief's new role confirms Indon army ties  News added Mar 8
"The information is alarming on two counts: it confirms that the militias and the Indonesian military intelligence apparatus are one and the same; it also goes some way towards explaining the difficulty for Jakarta in trying to disband the militias." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Kupang, West Timor

Mar 4 Simpson: The Truth About Timor  Letter added Mar 8
"The United States could help East Timor by declassifying documents that reveal its own role in supporting Indonesia's invasion and occupation since 1975. Those countries that turned a blind eye to East Timor's enormous suffering must also seek reconciliation with the Timorese, and with their own shameful pasts." Brad Simpson

Mar 2 TP: Bishop Belo: No Violence During Lent  Editorial from ETimor added Mar 17
"in many aspects, the history of East Timor is written in gold, with Christian and Catholic spirit and confidence that the people’s right to independence is sacred." Timor Post Editorial

Mar 2 SMH: UN lays down East Timorese refugee deadline  News added Mar 4

Mar 1 ETAN/US: Letter on women and upcoming election  Letter added Mar 4
"Although they have made many contributions to their society through the independence movement, literacy campaigns, and other community service efforts, East Timorese women remain one of the most marginalized segments of the population. ... We hope that UNTAET will, at the behest of the East Timorese society it serves and in keeping with the United Nations’ commitment to women’s empowerment worldwide, rule in favor of a requirement for at least 30 percent women candidates in the upcoming elections in East Timor." Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator, East Timor Action Network

Mar 1 NYT: Sexual Violence as Tool of War: Pattern Emerging in East Timor Article added Mar 3
"Mr. Senior [UN chief investigator of sex crimes] said the reports he had gathered suggest that some instances of mass rape coincided with massacres that occurred both before the independence vote — in April and May 1999 — and in the three weeks of destruction that followed the Aug. 30 vote. ... Ms. Alves [Timorese counselor] said it was possible that the rapes were part of the destruction of East Timor that investigators are now piecing together as an orchestrated scorched-earth policy commanded by Indonesia's military." Seth Mydans

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