Subject: NTT assembly calls for withdrawal of 744 battalion

Bali Post, 1 August 2000 Kupang, Members of the East Nusatenggara regional assembly, DPRD-NTT, have called on the Indonesian army to pull the 744 Infantry Battalion out of NTT. This battalion formerly operated in East Timor. The call came in the wake of the killing of Bernard Loddo 22, on Sunday. Loddo died after being set upon by members of the battalion. The killing occurred during an explosion of violence by members of the battalion in the streets of Kupang. They were reacting to the death of a member of the battalion who was stabbed by a hooligan in the city.

Two members of the assembly, deputy speaker Rev Dr Nico Wolly and Arief Rachman who heads the PPP fraction, said that the battalion must be removed from the province. Rachman said that the TNI leadership should respond to the grievances of the population of Kupang who are having to put up with brutalities by members of the battalion who used their anger about the death of one of their members to spread panic and fear throughout the city.

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