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TIMOR TODAY 04/10/99

TIMOR TODAY 04/10/99

For full text and photos see… http://www.easttimor.com/

PHOTOS

a) An East Timorese boy stands near an Australian soldier as he gathers scattered documents during a patrol searching for bodies in Dili Friday, October 1, 1999. The Australian-led peace force entered East Timor on Sept. 20 to try to quell a rampage by pro-Indonesian militiamen, backed by the Indonesian army, furious at the territory's overwhelming vote Aug. 30 for independence from Indonesia. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)

b) Australian soldiers shield their eyes from the wind as helicopters depart after deploying troops in Balibo, East Timor along the West Timor border Friday. ( Al Green, Australian Defense Force/Reuters)

c) An East Timorese boy covers his nose after two bodies, placed in a metal cabinet, were discovered inside a burned out shop in central Dili, Saturday, Oct. 2, 1999. Scores of bodies have been found in East TImor's capital Dili in recent days and many have been left uncollected. (AP Photo/Darren Whiteside, Pool)

NEWS

1) Escaped refugee tells of killings in West Timor 04/10/99 (Reuters) BALIBO, East Timor - An escapee from the refugee camps in West Timor said on Sunday that pro-Indonesian militias were hunting down East Timorese men there and killing them. In the town of Balibo, near the border with West Timor and a former stronghold of pro-Jakarta militias, troops with the multinational force sealed off a bloodstained house in which they suspected sex crimes had been committed.

2) Interfet seals East/West Timor border crossings 04/10/99 (AFP) BALIBO, East Timor - The multinational force in East Timor has deployed nearly a thousand troops along the border with Indonesian-controlled West Timor and sealed all crossings, officers said Saturday. The troops were airlifted into positions along the border on Friday, they said. The move follows threats by pro-Jakarta militias now based in West Timor to attack the Australian-led force.

3) Peacekeepers patrolling Dili silently stalk a small hotel 04/10/99 (New York Times) Crouching in double file, halting on whispered commands, the military patrol, part of the Australian-led international peacekeeping force now cautiously gaining a grip in East Timor, moved cautiously through the night, its weapons at the ready.

4) East Timor fighters urge faster delivery of relief aid 04/10/99 (Kyodo) CAI RUI, East Timor - By: Timothy Johnson East Timorese pro-independence fighters urged U.N. humanitarian agencies Sunday to speed up the delivery of food and shelter materials to needy East Timorese refugees before the rainy season begins here later this month.

5) Fears for the ‘disappeared’ 500,000 04/10/99 (The Australian) HUNDREDS of thousands of East Timorese have simply disappeared off the face of the earth and humanitarian agencies are desperate to find them. Only 35,000 people have returned to the capital, Dili, following the pro-Indonesia rampage in the wake of the August 30 autonomy vote.

6) UN to airlift refugees from West Timor 04/10/99 (The Age) A stumbling block to an airlift has been a repeated request by Indonesian officials for advance lists of names of refugees who want to leave. Amnesty International has said it was trying to get the Indonesian Government to drop the request, fearing that those on the list could be targeted by the militia.

7) Australian minister defends hot pursuit tactics 04/10/99 (AFP) SYDNEY - Australian soldiers had the right to defend themselves, even if that meant crossing the border into Indonesian West Timor, Defence Minister John Moore said Sunday.

8) Militia vows to keep East Timor Indonesian 04/10/99 (AFP) JAKARTA - Leaders of pro-Jakarta militia met on Sunday in West Timor, vowing to continue their struggle to reclaim East Timor for Indonesia, a report said.

9) 6,500 Indon military personnel said ready to join militia 04/10/99 (BBC) Atambua: Some 6,500 Indonesian military and police personnel have expressed a wish to join the Integration Fighters Force (PPI) in order to keep East Timor in Indonesian hands.

10) Indonesian military turns 54, with image shattered at home and abroad 04/10/99 (AFP) JAKARTA - "TNI’s image is presently at its worst, because of their own efforts to keep the posh, special role they have played in the country’s politics for decades," said Hendardi (Eds: one name), the executive director of the Indonesian Association for Legal Aid and Human Rights.

11) Bali pleads for Australian tourists 04/10/99 (AFP) PERTH - Tourist officials from the Indonesian island of Bali claimed Sunday Australians had nothing to fear on the holiday resort. Jonathon Harris, spokesman for a group seeking to stimulate the Bali tourist trade, said although news from Timor had been negative, Australians had no reason to fear for their safety.

REPORTS

12) Inquiry into East Timor. Tabling statement for interim report. 04/09/99 (Australian Government) The situation in East Timor has unfolded in a dynamic and dramatic way this year, sometimes changing almost daily. Although some of the evidence taken in the Committee’s inquiry will stand the test of time, other parts of it, which relate to current events, date very quickly. Consequently, the Committee believes it is vital to report now on some issues while the Committee’s evidence remains current.

13) East Timor challenges Asean’s boundaries 04/10/99 (ETISC) Canberra’s relations with Indonesia are at a 35-year-low and the keystone of its foreign policy lies shattered. Australian taxpayers have been asked to bear a $2-billion increase in defence spending and there is growing suspicion from other Southeast Asian nations about Australia’s motives.

14) Dr Dan Murphy on serious health problems in East Timor 04/09/99 (Tapol) On 27-28 August, Dr Dan Murphy paid a brief visit to London. After having spent nine months working as a doctor in Dili, he had just been refused entry into East Timor by the Indonesian authorities and was on his way to Washington to seek support to get the Indonesian exclusion order reversed. Now with Interfet operating in East Timor, he is back ‘home’ with the East Timorese.

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