Subject: SCMP: Militia leaders plead for international protection

South China Morning Post Thursday, October 26, 2000


Militia leaders plead for international protection


Four East Timorese militia leaders have sent a second letter to the United Nations, the Pope and governments pleading for international protection and accusing their colleagues in the Pro-Integration Armed Forces (PPI) of threatening their lives.

The letter, dated October 21, is entitled "Another Desperate Plea for Legal and Security Guarantees and International Protection".

It claims that some militia leaders are being paid by "special interests (you know who)" to betray the movement which fought for East Timor to stay integrated with Indonesia.

Joanico Cesario, Cancio Lopez de Carvalho, Domingos Perreira and Nemecio Lopez de Carvalho, the signatories of the letter, also wrote on October 14 that they feared being killed by Indonesia's armed forces (TNI), and wanted to trade secrets for safety. They said leaders of the related Union of Timorese Warriors (Untas) had terrorised them for writing the first letter, specifically blaming Untas secretary-general Filomeno de Hornay, Untas deputy political affairs officer Mario Viera and PPI commander Joao Tavares.

"They threatened to ban us from Untas. We believe that these Untas officials were given money and facilities to threaten us," the letter reads.

"We know that there are certain parties with special interests (you know who) who financed the activities of Mario Viera and Joao Tavares, who have sold out the idealism and besmirched the spirit of our struggle.

"We also confirm that we will no longer surrender our weapons to the security forces because we feel we are being treated unjustly and inhumanely," the letter states.

Given the threats, the letter writers ask the President of the United Nations Security Council to take action against 25 named leaders of the pro-integration movement if "anything should befall us".

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