Subject: MI: W. Timor community demands repatriation of East Timor refugees

BC Monitoring Asia Pacific - Political

July 26, 2001, Thursday

Indonesian community demands repatriation of East Timor refugees

Media Indonesia, Jakarta, in Indonesian 26 Jul 01

Text of report by Indonesian newspaper Media Indonesia web site on 26 July

Atambua: At least 20 Belu District community members in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) have urged security personnel to conduct sweeping operations for standard military and home-made weapons still in the possession of East Timorese refugees. They claim the NTT community is living in a state of fear.

This statement was made by Frederick Andarda, Emanuel Lebo Leki and Ignatius Ikun, who were representing the NTT community, to Belu District People's Representative Council (DPRD) leaders in Atambua on Wednesday 25 July . This stemmed from an incident when Atambua homes and local shops were destroyed by refugees on Tuesday (24 July).

"The Belu community demand that security personnel conduct sweeping operations of refugees while also pushing the central government to repatriate them as they are ruining the lives of locals," said Frederick Andarda.

He added that when the refugees attacked the local village of Tini in Atambua, they did not only destroy shops and homes but also looted the locals' belongings. During the attacks refugees were seen carrying weapons.

This brutal behaviour by the refugees must be quashed as soon as possible and proves they are unable to live in the Indonesian community and are a threat to the unity of the nation.

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