Media Monitoring
Summary of News on East Timor as Reported by the Media

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Headlines

Summary

  • Nabbed, The Muggers Of Xanana's Wife (Suara Timor Lorosae/27/4/01)
    Civpol, working together with the Timor Lorosae Police Force, have arrested several people who are strongly suspected to be involved in the stabbing and robbing of Kirsty Sword Gusmao, the wife of CNRT President Xanana Gusmao. Also arrested were people suspected of stabbing Australian activist Elaine, who was in East Timor teaching English to student groups. "The time difference between the two incidents was not great. Police have arrested several people in connection with the incidents and we are carrying out our investigations. When we have completed our investigations, we will inform the press," said Luis Carillho, the Civpol spokesperson, yesterday.

    According to Carillho the people were arrested not at the crime scenes but were picked up in other areas. "They will not be able to get away from our team which is fully professional and very well-equipped to deal with all kinds of crime," said Carillho. The CivPol spokesperson said the people who committed the stabbing and the robbery were lazy people who wanted to get rich quick. "They refuse to find jobs and are reluctant to work hard. They are amateur criminals, not professional ones," added Carillho.

  • Criminal Acts Have To Be Condemned (Suara Timor Lorosae/27/4/01)
    The criminal acts against Kirsty Sword Gusmao the wife of CNRT President Xanana Gusmao and an Australian activist must be condemned by the Timorese people. The Assistant Dean of the Technology Faculty of the National University of Timor Lorosae, Victor da Conceicao Soares, said this yesterday. He told the STL that this was a sign that organized crime was rearing its ugly head in the country. But he said there were no political motives behind the criminal acts and all that was sought after was money and jewelry.

    The deputy dean said in order to fight criminal cases such as these, more jobs need to be created for young people. He said there was too much cash circulating in the capital Dili so much so that the pursuit of money, by whatever means, has become an obsession for many young people.

  • David Ximenes: Criminals Are Terrorists (Suara Timor Lorosae/27/4/01)
    The Head of CNRT Security David Dias Ximenes warned yesterday that criminals could scare away foreign investors from the country. David Ximenes likened these criminals to terrorists. "They don't want to help develop the country, they are not ultranationalists so it can be concluded they are terrorists economic terrorists, political terrorists," he told STL.

    Because of that, he advised the Timorese people to closely observe this group of people. "Just observe them closely and if you know they up to no good, inform the authorities," said David Ximenes. The CNRT Security Chief said these people did not have any political motives. "They are not political people. Rather they are just frustrated, bored young people who are resorting to crime to keep themselves occupied," said David Ximenes.

  • New Panel Set Up To Seek Input From Civil Society On Truth (UN News/26/4/01)
    The National Council of East Timor today set up a 15-member panel that will help to gather input from civil society as part of an ongoing effort to establish a "truth commission" on human rights violations committed during the territory's 25-year struggle for independence. According to the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), the setting up of the new Special Committee follows yesterday's endorsement by the Council of a draft regulation on the establishment of a Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation. The panel will study the regulation and conduct public hearings to consult with those members of civil society and political parties who have not already given direct input into it. UNTAET said. The Committee will present its report to the National Council on 28 May.

    In other news, the East Timor Transitional Cabinet today endorsed amendments to three regulations governing East Timor's judicial system, designed to improve the cohesiveness and efficiency of the judiciary and make better use of international judicial expertise to accelerate capacity building efforts. The amendments, which will now be referred to the National Council for consideration, are also intended to give the Court of Appeal supervisory powers over the district courts and to give the Transitional Judicial Services Commission broader disciplinary leverage

  • AGO Covers Up Wiranto's Involvement (TEMPO Interaktif/27/4/01)
    Jakarta - Some Indonesian NGOs - including Kontras (Commission for Missing Persons & Victims of Violence), YLBHI (Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute), and ELSAM (Institute for Policy Research & Advocacy) - suspect that the Attorney General's Office (AGO) has tried to cover up Wiranto's involvement in violating human rights in East Timor after the 1999 referendum. The AGO failed to place Wiranto's name on the list of 12 suspects that would be submitted to the Human Rights Ad Hoc Court.

    "The National Commission on Human Rights, represented by the investigating commission on human rights violations (KPP-HAM), had reported some TNI high ranking officials, including Wiranto, " said the coordinator of Kontras working committee, Munarman, today.

    In its report to the ad hoc court which was formed by the Supreme Court and the Justice and Human Rights Department, the AGO investigation team mentioned personnel allegedly involved in violating human rights in East Timor. The report does not mention the four highest ranking military officials that have been reported by KPP-HAM as being most responsibility for security in East Timor. The four are Wiranto, Johny Lumintang, Zacky Anwar and HR Garnadi. A source has confirmed that Wiranto is one of the suspects reported by KPP-HAM.

    "The AGO investigation team is playing a political game to protect the [four] personnel. It is really stalling the enforcement of human rights," Munarman said. In the report, the AGO investigation team only mentions officials at controlling level. Munarman said that these officials only conducted tasks in accordance with policies set by their commanders, and it is therefore those commanders that must take responsibility for the incidents in East Timor.

    Some NGOs demanded that the AGO confirm that its suspects list does not include high ranking officials. They suggested that the law establishing the Human Rights Court is not sufficient to stop the practice of impunity. "We are afraid that the same practice will be applied to other cases, such as the Tanjung Priok case," Munarman said.

  • Dili Minister Calls For Postponement Of August Elections (Lusa/27/4/01)
    East Timor's infrastructure minister, Joao Carrascalao, called Friday for the postponement of the territory's August constituent assembly elections, saying the Timorese needed more time to ease political and social tensions. Speaking at a seminar in Portugal, Carrascalao said that his people's mounting "frustrations" over the slow pace of UN-led reconstruction was so inflammable that "the smallest spark could set off a fire". Declining to specify an alternative date for the slated 30 Aug. balloting, Carrascalao pointed to recent acts of mob violence in East Timor as strong reasons for postponing the vote.

    He noted that the territory had been "literally destroyed" by anti-independence Indonesian violence in 1999 and that it would take "many years" before East Timor could "take care of its destiny alone." He urged former colonial ruler Portugal to maintain and strengthen its aid programs, calling special attention to the need for investment in the promotion and teaching of the Portuguese language, which Dili has chosen as an official language.

  • Architects Of Mass Murder (SMH/28/4/01)
    A secret report for the Indonesian Government makes it clear that its military directed the militia violence against East Timor's independence vote and that top generals approved of some of the worst atrocities. The 41-page report, by the Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations, sheets home ultimate responsibility to the then armed forces commander and defence minister, General Wiranto.

    The report, marked "Secret" and "Only for the Investigation Purposes of the Attorney-General's Department", has been obtained by the Herald. It details how the militias were trained, paid from government budgets, given modern firearms, allowed to use military bases and transport, and how the militias then worked closely with army and police units to track down, torture and kill independence supporters. Among examples detailed are:

    The massacre of unarmed refugees in the church grounds at Suai on September 6, 1999 which, it says, was directed by the local bupati (administration chief) Colonel Herman Sedyono, and local military commander First Lieutenant Sugito.

    The reprisal execution of six independence supporters, including three school teachers, at Bobonaro on 13 April 1999 by militias directed on the spot by district military commander Lieutenant-Colonel Burhanuddin Siagian and a senior militia leader, Joao Tavares.

    The massacre of at least 50 civilians in the Liquica church on 6 April by Besi Merah Putih militias, who fraternised with local army and police before and after the killings. A Police Mobile Brigade platoon stood by as the massacre took place. Army personnel helped hide the bodies.

    The operational commander of the systematic militia campaign was Major-General Zacky Anwar Makarim, ostensibly in East Timor to liaise with the United Nations mission running the ballot. The inquiry also cites:

    Reports sent by General Wiranto and the Bali-based regional commander, Major-General Adam Damiri, to the then security co-ordinating minister, General Feisal Tanjung, as indicating full awareness of the militia strategy. General Damiri is quoted telling General Tanjung that the Liquica massacre had made pro-independence youth "unable to act". He had told him a similar rampage by Aitarak militia at the Dili house of independence figure Manuel Carrascalao, whose son was among 15 killed, had made East Timorese "love the Red and White [Indonesian flag]" and realise that continued integration "had many supporters." It is believed only a few copies of the report are being closely held by the Indonesian Attorney-General, Mr Marzuki Darusman.

    On General Wiranto's role, the report does not include him on the list of 32 army and police personnel, civilian officials and militia members listed as suspects in crimes against humanity, including generals Damiri and Zacky Anwar. But it concludes that the "whole range" of wide and organised violations of human rights before and after the ballot was "fully known to and realised by the armed forces commander General Wiranto", who was also in charge of the Indonesian police at the time.

    "All the crimes against humanity in East Timor, direct or indirect, took place because of the failure of the armed forces commander to guarantee the security of the implementation of the two options [the ballot] proclaimed by the government," it says.