The Guardian April 21, 1999


Terror in Dili

"The paramilitary assassins working with ABRI (the Indonesian Army) 
killed Pedro Nunes, a member of the Provincial Legislative Assembly in Dili 
at 1500hours; 30 people wounded as a result of this attack in Ermera. ABRI 
are now surrounding Dili, the capital of East Timor. Its militia group, 
(referred to as "MAHIDI") coordinates with ABRI to attack selected suburbs 
in Dili ..."

This grim report was sent out on Sunday, April 11. It was clear at the time 
that the situation in East Timor had been deteriorating by the minute. The 
report warned that the ABRI/MAHIDI group was meeting next door to the 
residence of Manuel Carrascalao, former Indonesian-appointed governor of 
East Timor. Six days later, the dire warnings from East Timor turned into 
grim truth  Mr Carrascalao's 17-year old son was killed in his home. 

Rampaging mobs terrified the population in Dili, attacked and burnt houses. 
It is estimated that at least 20 people have died in the attacks, with 
dozens abducted and possibly executed. 

It has become crystal clear that the Indonesian Government has no intention 
of allowing a referendum on the future of East Timor to take place. The 
terror facing the East Timorese people is compounded by the pitifully weak 
stand of the United Nations which seems ready to call off a referendum 
which does next to nothing to enforce security against the Indonesian army 
and the death squads.

The United Nations has failed to implement its own resolutions on East 
Timor. It has never recognised the annexation of East Timor but has failed 
to act against Indonesia's aggression. It is time to immediately sent a UN 
peace-keeping force to East Timor to achieve peace and the rule of law.

Continuing its collaboration with the Indonesian Government the feather-
duster protests of successive Australian governments is also encouraging 
Indonesian actions which have the objective of continuing Indonesia's 
occupation of East Timor.

The military support, sales of arms and ammunition to Indonesia, and joint 
exercises with Indonesia's military have in effect condoned Indonesia's 
occupation of East Timor.

The Indonesian army armed the militias  but who supplied the military 
equipment in the first place? 

The situation in East Timor now is comparable to the time of the annexation 
of East Timor and the subsequent slaughter of its people.

Talking to The Guardian CPA General Secretary Peter Symon called for 
the immediate withdrawal of Indonesian troops from East Timor, the 
disarming of the terrorist militias, the stationing of a UN peace-keeping 
force in East Timor and the conduct of a referendum by which the East 
Timorese people can freely vote for either autonomy within Indonesia or 
complete independence.

"The policies of successive Australian governments have contributed to the 
situation" said Mr Symon. "Australian government policies have been a 
disgrace and have for many years bolstered the military fascist Government 
of Suharto. Even now, the Australian Government is not willing to really 
change policies and support the people for a change."

* * *
Rally for East Timor Hyde Park War Memorial 12 noon Monday, April 26. Sponsored by East Timor Solidarity Organisations

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