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TIMOR TODAY 05/10/99

TIMOR TODAY 05/10/99

For full text and pics…

(note. the news editor will be in Timor for the next couple of days so news will not be updated)


a) Xanana Gusmao, commander of Falintil, the national resistance army of East Timor and leader of the Timorese people. (AP Photo/Gael Cornier)

b) An Australian peacekeeper stands by with Lafu, a fourteen year old East Timorese boy, in the East Timor village of Balibo. Lafu traveled several days from the East Timor enclave of Oecussi, within West Timor, through militia checkpoints, sometimes posing as a militia in order to reach peacekeepers in order to deliver a letter to United Nations from his people. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft/Pool)


1) Xanana: Falintil must be part of Timor security force 05/10/99 (AFP) Gusmao once again rejected the idea of disarming his guerrilla force as proposed by Interfet, and voiced support for its integration in the new security structure of East Timor. "I am the commander-in-chief of Falintil, Interfet will have to negotiate with me," he said before leaving for Dublin, Ireland, at the end of a two-day visit to the Portuguese capital.

2) INTERFET wants to disarm FALINTIL 05/10/99 (AP) In the village of Cairu, 50 miles southeast of Dili, a contingent of Gurkha soldiers from the peacekeeping force asked the local Falintil leader to order his men to hand over their weapons. With journalists watching, the Falintil leader responded he would do so only if the Gurkhas established a permanent presence in the village as protection from marauding militiamen.

3) INTERFET Tells Resistance To Give Up Guns 05/10/99 (Reuters) ‘When the platoon commander required them to surrender their arms it became very tense indeed," Cosgrove said. "A young man made a difficult call and I had to back him up because there could have been bloodshed right at that time."

4) "Brave little boy" runs the gauntlet to get a message to the UN 05/10/99 (The Age) A 14-year-old East Timorese boy called Lafu with a miraculous tale of survival has been found by Australian troops on a beach near Balibo carrying an urgent appeal to the UN to save his people living in the enclave of Oecussi.

5) ‘Peacekeepers too cautious, aid too slow’ -Falintil commander 05/10/99 (South China Morning Post) The international peacekeeping force is being too cautious in dealing with the remnants of the militias which ravaged East Timor, the commander of the pro-independence guerillas said yesterday.

6) Indon army’s torture photos keep the agony alive. 05/10/99 (Sydney Morning Herald) Among the many photographs, sold by an Indonesian in Darwin in late 1997, was Alberto, dead on a stone slab in a darkened room. His hands were bound and bloodied. There were deep wounds to his back and stomach. Electrical wires were close to the body.

7) US still training Indonesia’s Kopassus killers 05/10/99 (Boston Globe) NORWICH, Vt. - Students at private military school linked to ‘most feared, most abusive’ special force. Quietly tucked away in the hills of Vermont, Norwich University, the only private military college in the country, has continued to educate and train future members of the Indonesian army, even as President Clinton has effectively frozen all relations with that country’s military in the wake of the violence in East Timor.

8) Humiliation, profound consequences loom as UN abuses inquiry begins 05/10/99 (Jakarta Post) The United Nations is dispatching this week its first human rights experts to East Timor. Lawyer and human rights activist T. Mulya Lubis says the move will have profound consequences for Indonesia.

9) 58% of E.Timor refugees wish to return home 05/10/99 (Jakarta Post) JAKARTA (JP): More than 58 percent of some 250,000 East Timor refugees sheltered in East Nusa Tenggara want to return to their homeland, the government and the United Nations’ High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) says.

10) Australian lawyers dismiss Indonesia’s diplomatic threat 05/10/99 (AAP) Australian lawyers involved in the investigation into human rights abuses in East Timor are not perturbed by Indonesia’s threat to break off diplomatic ties with Australia.

11) Militia and TNI prepare for war 05/10/99 (The Age) Mr Eurico Guterres, leader of Aitarak militia, said in an interview that Kopassus, the Indonesian Special Forces, were backing their military operations, which would include sniper attacks.


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