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Scoop Today Special- East Timor Crisis Deepens

Scoop Today Special- East Timor Crisis Deepens

Sister Marlena – “I Cannot Tell Them No One Is Coming”

- Talking on Radio New Zealand this morning Sister Marlena in Dili East Timor says her house and her fellow sisters are providing refuge to 300 women and children refugees from surrounding neighbourhood. The East Timorese men have fled into the hills. Sister Marlena said the refugees were waiting for Western troops to arrive and rescue them. “I haven’t the heart to tell them no-one is coming”, Sister Marlena told Kim Hill. Q: “Do you feel as if you have been abandoned?” A: “Sort of”. Q: “What do you do?” A: “The women and the children pray all day.”

Militia Taking Hostages In Trucks As “Bargaining Chips”

- Reports are coming through from Dili East Timor this morning that the militias have been rounding up East Timorese refugees loading them onto trucks and shipping them to the West of the territory. New Zealand lawyer Andrew Ladley – who is working as a UN negotiator in East Timor - told Radio New Zealand this morning he believed the intention of the militias was to use the refugees as “bargaining chips” as they attempt to set up a separatist state at the Western end of the territory.

Violence Continues - Massacre In Dili

- Over three hundred people have been reported dead after mob rule takes over in East Timor following the historic vote for independence. Thousands of citizens are fleeing the rampaging pro-Jakarta milita who are torching buildings and killing and mutilating the bodies of East Timorese people. Kiwi Andrew Ladley reports that large groups of East Timorese are being rounded up and held, possibly to use as bargaining chips and hostages. Citizens are trying to hide in churches and medical clinics. On the road out of the capital, Dili, 100 human heads have been impaled on sticks at the side of the road and the church of the Dili Bishop Belo, where citizens were sheltering, has been torched and raided and his secretary killed. Two thousand staff and civilians have been marched from Dili's Red Cross Compound at gunpoint and walked to the beach. There is no word on their fate. The United Nations have agreed to withdraw half of their staff and Australia has ordered five hercules aircraft to remove hundreds of nationals from the area. Roads to the airport are blocked by the militia and an Australian clinic in Dili run by nuns has been surrounded and is being attacked. Four people inside have been killed and 20 injured, with one man "hacked to pieces". All inside fear they will be killed. Meanwhile the UN has agreed to send a delegation to Jakarta to pressure the Indonesian government to keep some kind of order. New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Don McKinnon said the move is overdue and the credibility of the UN is now on the line. The death toll is expected to rise as militia shoot people randomly and on sight.

APEC Implications - New Zealand In Box Seat To Facilitate Serious Dialogue

- New Zealand is in a perfect position to ensure the crisis in East Timor is fully discussed at next weeks APEC forum. As the host of the forum the New Zealand government can place whatever they like on the agenda. However this is not looking likely as current indications suggest the New Zealand government will have the issue discussed on the side of the forum. They will not summon the Indonesian ambassador to parliament to voice their concern and Defence Minister Max Bradford said New Zealand will not pull out of, or even suspend, military links and exercises with Indonesia.

The Aftermath - Evacuation And Massacre - Security Council Meeting

- An Australian airlift operation has begun to evacuate Australian nationals and "non-essential" UN personnel from the Indonesian territory of East Timor. In Dili hundreds are feared dead as rampaging militias have been active all night. At 9am NZT The UN Security Council began a behind closed doors meeting to discuss the rapidly worsening situation in East Timor.

Church Attacked – No Sanctuary Left In East Timor

- Caritas New Zealand spokesperson, Louise May, says that her organisation is extremely disturbed to hear the Bishop Carlos Belo's residence, which has been harbouring about 1000 terrified East Timorese, has come under attack from the rampaging militia and military. See… Church Attacked: No Sanctuary Left In East Timor [1] in the General wire.

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- LABOUR: Helen Clark again stressed today the need for Timor talks at APEC. See… Clark: APEC meeting must discuss East Timor [1] . - Indonesia should be warned that its international financial aid could be withdrawn if UN staff sheltering in compounds in East Timor are harmed by militia there, Alliance leader Jim Anderton said today. See… Financial aid for Indonesia linked to safety of UN [2] - ACT: ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley is urging Government to reconsider its intention to deploy 15 more civilian police in East Timor at the end of this month. See… Unarmed Police Should Not Be Risked In Timor Chaos [3] . - NZ CATHOLIC CHURCH: The Catholic Church in New Zealand is calling for the international community to intervene in the current situation in East Timor, which is fast deteriorating into genocide. See… Timor: Catholic Church Pleads For Intervention [4] .

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- Scoop Today - East Timor Special [1]

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