Subject: east timor headlines/3Aug2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Friday 3 August 2001

1. Shooting of TNI soldier: Ramos Horta expresses his regrets
2. Calm election campaign augurs well for Timor Lorosae, says Indonesian mission chief
3. Bishop Belo On Megawati

1. Shooting of TNI soldier: Ramos Horta expresses his regrets (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page headline)

ETTA’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos-Horta Wednesday expressed his regret at the shooting last Saturday of a TNI soldier at the Timor Lorosae-West Timor border.

Speaking in New York before the UN Security Council, the Nobel Peace Laureate said the UN Peakeeping Force Commander Lt General Boonsrang Niumpradit had apologized for the shooting on behalf of the NZ Battalion which was patrolling the area.

The TNI soldier was killed when he was fired at by a New Zealand PKF patrol at the Tilomar-Suai area.

But Ramos-Horta told the Security Council that the TNI soldier was not killed deliberately.

“He wasn’t in uniform and the PKF thought he was a militiaman,” he said.

Ramos-Horta gave credit to Udayana Commander Major-General Willem da Costa for his efforts in normalizing the situation at the border.

“The two parties (Indonesia and PKF) must strengthen their ties in order to keep the border area secure and free from violence.

2. Calm election campaign augurs well for Timor Lorosae, says Indonesian mission chief (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page second lead)

The peaceful campaign carried out by all the 16 political parties since 15 July augurs well for Timor Lorosae said Kristio Wahyono, the head of the Indonesian mission here.

He said the international community now hopes that this peace and calm would continue till polling day on 30 August.

“This peace and calm was outside the expectations of many observers. This is indeed good news for the international community,” said Kristio.

The Indonesian mission chief said that the peaceful election campaign could also convince refugees in Indonesia-controlled West Timor to come home.

“The peaceful campaign period will convince the refugees in West Timor that everything’s alright back home. This will make them want to return home fast after the elections,” he said.

“With the security taken care by Civpol and PKF, I am confident the campaign period leading up to the announcement of the results will be peaceful,” added Kristo.

3. Bishop Belo On Megawati (Suara Timor Lorosae, front page 02 August)

Suara Timor Lorosae: The rise of Megawati as Indonesia’s new president is worrying a lot of people because she is viewed as a nationalist. How does her rise bode for relations between Indonesia and Timor Lorosae?

Bishop Belo: I am not a politician. But I have to observe from other sectors ­ from the community and the international sector. The international community is involved with Timor Lorosae, basically in seeing it emerge smoothly as the world’s newest nation. For that reason, Indonesia [under Megawati] will be cautious.

The Indonesian Parliament in October last year said Jakarta will no longer make any efforts to get back Timor Lorosae. I think Indonesian politicians will honor decisions made by Parliament. I am certain Megawati and her new deputy will respect the wishes of the Timorese people.

Suara Timor Lorosae: There are those who say Megawati is surrounded by too many generals. Some of these generals are connected with crimes against humanity in Timor Lorosae. Will they not influence Megawati?

Bishop Belo: These human rights issues would be put aside for the time being. But that doesn’t mean the truth won’t be out. Justice must be done. History will judge them. Already what happened in the 70s are being discussed. So the crimes against humanity in Timor Lorosae is still a priority.

Suara Timor Lorosae: Before the referendum you had met Megawati and Gus Dur. What was your assessment of Megawati and what do you think her views were on Timor Lorosae.

Bishop Belo: I only met her two times. She just smiled and was friendly. But smiles are not enough. There has to be firm action. Before the referendum she was know as the “Mother of Autonomy”. She has been too quiet. But I think her quiet nature is because she wants to reflect, think and take steps which are realistic. I think steps to take back Timor Lorosae will just not happen.

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