World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Pro-Jakarta radio station fights campaign of fear

Pro-Jakarta radio station fights campaign of fear

Wed, 31 Jan 2001 08:41:47


* Pacific Media Watch Online: http://www.pmw.c2o.org * Post a comment on PMW's Right of Reply: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/egbook/257949.gbook

[A town lives in the shadow of militia threats and frets about its fate when its protectors depart. Herald correspondent MARK DODD reports from Maliana.]

A community radio station is being used to counter propaganda from pro-Indonesia militia groups and convince thousands of refugees who fled

East Timor or were deported after the 1999 independence vote to return home.

Maliana, one of the areas worst affected by post-ballot violence in East

Timor, is a few kilometres from the refugee camps across the border in Indonesian West Timor, where as many as 25,000 of the town's residents live in squalor.

The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) district administrator, Mr Gianni Deligia, says of a pre-ballot population of 94,403 people, only 70,318 have returned.

"We are missing about 25,000 people from the district. That is about a quarter of the refugee population on the other side who come from this district," Mr Deligia told the Herald.

The local radio station and a daily newspaper form part of the UNTAET campaign to woo Maliana's former residents back across the border by countering the militia claims that it is unsafe to return.

The district's close proximity to Indonesian West Timor, recent militia infiltration and the bloody legacy of army-backed militias have made security the biggest concern for the community and its leadership.

"It is clear the militias are attempting destabilisation and infiltration to disrupt the elections and impose their will again," said deputy district

administrator Joao Vicente, an East Timorese.

Australian peacekeepers were responsible for security in Bobonaro district but local people worried about what might happen after they and the UN civilian police left, Mr Vicente said. "The militias will still be here when the UN leaves East Timor. When the UN leaves they [militia] think East Timor will be very weak and they will be able to recover their political advantage."

Their fears are real. Bobonaro suffered severely at the hands of the Indonesian police, army, militias and their backers from the intelligence services and special forces.

Once a thriving country town with some of the best infrastructure in East Timor, it was a deserted, charred ruin when Australian troops entered in

October 1999.

The pro-independence umbrella group, the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), says at least 200 people were murdered between January and September 1999.

CNRT officials and UN human rights investigators say at least 64 people were murdered during a 24-hour killing spree between September 8 and 9. The dead included 18 people butchered in the Maliana police station where they had sought protection from the militia.

Thirteen people who managed to escape were caught and shot, among them the local CNRT chief Manuel Mayalhaes.

The district is preparing for parliamentary elections, scheduled for August 30, which will result in a fully independent East Timor and the withdrawal of UNTAET.

Already one political party, a breakaway faction of Fretilin, has been involved in violent clashes in the district.

RDTL, a Portuguese acronym for Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (East Timor), is accused of receiving cash from Indonesian sources to support the cause of integration, according to the East Timor independence leader, Mr Xanana Gusmao.

RDTL's ability to organise in remote rural areas has taken many East Timorese and senior UN political officials by surprise.

Mr Deligia said: "They have been very dynamic in the last two or three months. There have been a series of small incidents appearing on an almost daily basis."

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby.

(c)1996-2000 Copyright - All rights reserved.

Media Watch at: E-mail: niusedita@pmw.c2o.org Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, c/o Journalism, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji New website: www.pmw.c2o.org

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news