Subject: AFP: Two killed in East Timor clash
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 08:55:26 +0000
From: Tapol <plovers@gn.apc.org>

Received from Joyo

Two killed in East Timor clash

DILI, East Timor, Jan 4 (AFP) - Two men were killed and five wounded in East Timor when supporters of a referendum on the future of the troubled territory clashed with an armed militia backing autonomy, a source said Monday.

Militia members at a security post in Ainaro district fired into a mob of about 100 people late on Sunday after warning shots were ignored, the source here said.

The head of the East Timor military information service, Captain Agus Nukasa, said autonomy supporters had complained of harassment and terror by those who backed a referendum for the former Portuguese colony which Indonesia annexed in 1976.

They said several houses in the area had been burned, forcing them to establish an armed civilian militia set up with the help of the military, Nukasa said.

The militia established five security posts which apparently irritated the referendum lobby, he added.

Security authorities were still investigating the violence.

Jakarta has offered wide ranging autonomy for East Timor which it invaded in 1975.

The scheme is being negotiated between Indonesia and Portugal under the auspices of the UN secretary general who has been sponsoring peace talks on East Timor since 1983.

The United Nations and most states still view Lisbon as the official administrator in East Timor.

The autonomy scheme is opposed by many East Timorese who believe a referendum was the only way out of problems there.

East Timor's influential jailed rebel leader Xanana Gusmao has said an autonomy would only be acceptable for about 10 years after which a referendum should be prepared.


Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 1420 80153 Email: plovers@gn.apc.org Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh, 1973-1998

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