Subject: AFP: East Timor council member resigns over arrival of army plane

Agence France Presse February 7, 2000, Monday

East Timor council member resigns over arrival of army plane DILI, East Timor, Feb 7

An East Timorese member of the territory's governing council resigned Monday in protest at the landing of an Indonesian armed forces plane carrying church aid.

Joao Carrascalao told AFP his resignation from the National Consultative Council took effect when the Indonesian plane landed shortly after noon to deliver humanitarian supplies.

"Yes from that momnent that an Indonesian armed forces plane landed in East Timor with the consent of UNTAET (the UN transitional Authority in East Timor)," Carrascalao said.

An UNTAET spokesman said earlier that the humaitarian mission had been arranged by East Timorese and Indonesian religious and human rights groups.

"This is not something organized by UNTAET, said UNTAET spokwesman Manoel de Alemeida e Silva.

Carrascalao alleged that the landing violated a united position of the National Concil for East Timorese resistance (CNRT) headed by Xanana Gusmao.

"Our common position was to delay the landing of the plane until it could be in the framework of the visit of President Gus Dur (the nickname for Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid who is scheduled to visit East Timor on February 24)," Carrascalao said.

Silva said the humanitarian mission had the support of Wahid.

David Ximenes, a senior CNRT official said Indonesia's president was trying to help East Timor.

"We are (former Indonesian president) Suharto's enemies, not the enemies of Gus Dur. He tried his best to help us. Now he has sent sime supplies for us. Maybe it is good for us.

"We will need Indonesia in the fuiture as a neighbour. Why only for one airoplane should we distrub the relationship," Ximenes said at the CNRT office Ximenes would not directly say whether Cararascalo's allegation that the CNRT was united in opposing the landing was untrue, but he said: "I know that my president will not refuse it," referring to Xamana Gusmao.

Carrascalao's reaction to the issue, he said, was "emotional."

I know that Mr. Joao Carrascalao loves his country, loves his people.

The plane was carrying medicines, food, books and pencils, the latter to help classes get started in the territory's burned-out schools.


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