Subject: WT Press Summaries 1 - 11 March 2002

West Timor Press Summaries 1st March - 11th March 2002

NTT X ? NTT Eks pres; PK ? Pos Kupang; ST ? Surya Timor; RT ? Radar Timor; SP ? Sasando Pos

Friday, 1 March 2002

NTT X: Hundreds of Nusa Cendana University students staged protest at the Provincial Parliament Building yesterday. They demanded an immediate revision of provincial budget proposal. The demonstration was done peacefully. Police members were at the site to secure the place during the demonstration.

NTT X: Udayana Military Chief, Maj. Gen. Willem da Costa told Antara yesterday that for the refugees who protest of running out of food stock, the best solution for them is to return home to East Timor. Military Chief disagreed with the refugees' demand for the government to continue giving assistance since they are not special citizens who would be given assistance all the time while the locals have to strive to earn for living.

RT: Military Chief, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa stated that stern measures will be taken against refugees who create disturbances around the camp. He informed that he would give instruction to activate night patrols with motorcycles to prevent the disturbances. He regretted reports of thefts around the camps in Tuapukan and Noelbaki, Kupang.

RT: Military Chief, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa took seriously the statement of three refugee leaders recently who blamed him for breaking the promises. He will check the data of returnees and if it were true as they claimed that they had helped big repatriation, he would pay the reward. Military Chief, Willem da Costa acknowledged to have promised these refugee leaders a reward amounting to Rp. 20 million each if they are able to return at least 1000 refugees. He defied of having broken his promises since some of the refugee leaders had received the rewards. A number of refugee leaders such as Nemencio de Carvalho had received the reward although he could not returned the refugees as agreed. As it was reported previously, three refugee leaders from Ainaro; Dejito das Neves, Dominggus Alves, and Ermedio de Carvalho accused the Military Chief recently for having broken his promises not giving the rewards although, they had helped big number of returnees back to East Timor.

RT: A reconciliation meeting among people of Liquica scheduled to take place on 4 March 2002 could fail to materialize since two key leaders to attend the meeting are among the 17 people whose crime cases had already been submitted by High Court of Dili District to UNTAET 's supreme court. Pedro Sausa, the Chief of refugees' delegation in the meeting told the press recently. The two mentioned refugees' leaders are Manuel Sousa and Tome Diogo.

Saturday, 2nd March 2002

PK/NTT X: Security disturbances in the province is predicted to increase following the situation of refugees running out of food at camps in this coming month. Udayana Military Chief, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa stated this in a dialogue with District Authorities, NGO members, community and religious leaders in Atambua on Friday (1 March). To brace for any disturbance, TNI will establish posts near the camps and will activate patrols. Maj. Gen da Costa, stated firmly that he would not allow the refugees to justify their hunger to steal from the people and to oppress the government. He would take stern measures including shooting at them. Deputy Speaker of Belu, Blasius Manek requested TNI to beef up security at the border bracing for any unwanted situation. A number of sub-district heads attending the dialogue called on the Government to be consistent with its plan to dismantle the camps. They revealed that people in Belu had been weary of the refugees' behaviours including clearing the protected forests and the security disturbances so far.

NTT X: According to Deputy of Monitoring and Evaluation of UNTAS (Refugees' organisation in West Timor), Joao Bosco on Friday (1 March), based on the monitoring conducted by UNTAS, currently only the refugees in Noelbaki camp that has run out of food. He reported of children suffered from a number of diseases during this rainy season and no procurement of health services by the government as promised.

Monday, 4th March 2002

PK: According to, Head of Public Relationship section of South Central Timor district administration, Drs. Oberlin Muni on Friday (1 March), district government had already distributed 10 tones of rice for the victims of natural disasters in the district in villages of Tetaf, Bena, Oebelo, Tineke, Kuanfatu and Tuafanu.

RT: A reconciliation meeting between scheduled to take place today (4 March 2002) in Batugade failed to materialize since most of the invited participants refused to come to the meeting. The 78 refugee leaders of Liquica in West Timor refused to attend the meeting since they were disappointed with UNTAET, which, they considered, did not respect the presumption of innocence of the 17 human rights alleged violators whose cases were brought up to District Court of Dili on 8 February. Approaches are now being made among refugee leaders to relocate the venue of the meeting from Batugade to the free zone areas between Batugade and Mota Ain, said a refugee leader, Pedro de Sousa.

Tuesday, 5th March 2002

NTT X: Udayana Military Chief, Maj. Gen, Willem da Costa stated that the demand of the people in Belu to get compensation from Central Government of the cleared forest by refugees is difficult to be fulfilled since the country is facing financial difficulty. However, he would make a written report to the President about the voice of people in Belu. Deputy Speaker of Belu, Blasius Manek, during a dialogue held in Atambua recently demanded the central government to pay compensation for the cleared protected forest by the refugees. Military Chief added that if District Government has fund to reforest the cleared land, he is willing to support the activity by deploying his soldiers stationed at the border to help the government.

NTT X: A team of central government audit agency (BPKP), led by Drs. Permadi and accompanied by a number of government officials, arrived in Atambua on Saturday (2 March) to begin its data collection and observation of the real number of refugees in Belu district. The team met with District Administration Secretary, Drs. Joachim Lopez and Satlak PBP Belu. Permadi informed that the team would make report to the People's Welfare Minister after the mission. He is hopeful that the situation will remain conducive for the team to visit other districts in West Timor.

RT: Tens of refugees came to the provincial government office yesterday (4 March) to hear the follow up of demands they revealed last week. The refugees were led by Muhasir Hornay and wanted to meet with the Assistant of Social Welfare section of Provincial Administration, Ir. Th. Salean. According to spokesperson of the Provincial Administration, the refugees wanted to hear the result of talks between Provincial and Central Government about the demands they made last week. They also urged to get the answer of the demand they made towards Provincial Government to facilitate them to Jakarta to meet with the President. Kosapilawan stated further that the provincial government would only convey the demands to the Central Government but the decisions will be up to the central government later. Muhasir Hornay, also demanded the government to prove that the settlement houses are now available for the refugees so that for those who opt to stay would soon relocate to the settlement houses.

Thursday, 7th March 2002

PK: Head of Provincial Transmigration Department in Kupang, Ir. Joseph Setyohadi stated on Tuesday (5 March) that the office has targeted to build 1,200 settlement houses in 2002 allocated for locals and East Timor refugees.

RT: As witnessed by Antara, 56 members of central government audit agency (BPKP) conducted a door-to-door census at refugee camp in Haliwen in Atambua yesterday. The census was conducted well without any disturbance. Camp coordinators were reportedly supporting the census. Members of Military and Police of Belu are present at camp during the census. Leader of the team, Permadi stated that since the deadline of the census is approaching, only big camps are going to be visited. Next census would be conducted at Tulamalae camp in Atambua.

Friday, 8th March 2002

RT: A coordination meeting between Satlak PBP of Belu (Coordinating Unit for Disaster Management and IDPs/Refugees at District level) was held yesterday in Batugade. Satlak PBP requested UNHCR, IOM and UNTAET to pay attention to the health service for those who had returned. Chief of Satlak PBP Belu, Lt. Col, Didi Sudiana also requested East Timor authorities to improve control over the East Timorese who travel to West Timor and arrange for passports.

RT: Reconciliatory delegations from Cowa village in subdistrict of Balibo, East Timor returned to East Timor on Thursday (7 March). The entourage had been visiting the refugees since 3 March meeting the refugees at camps in Belu. One of refugees at camp, Rosalina Maia stated that with the visit every refugee at camp now know the real situation back home.

Saturday, 9th March 2002

RT: Provincial Police Chief of East Nusa Tenggara in his press release on Friday (8 March) hailed the East Timor refugees for willing to accept the government's decision to stop all the assistance as of 31st December 2001. By accepting the decision, refugees have proven that they have self-pride of not begging for assistance all the time. He stated that there has not been any security disturbance throughout the areas in West Timor as it was feared before when the government stopped the assistance.

RT: Village head of Manusasi, Filipus Sau told Radar Timor in Eban that the people of Manusasi would disagree if the tactical military coordination line made by INTERFET and TNI before would be used as the borderline of the two countries. The people disagreed since, should the tactical military line be used, most of the village areas would be within East Timor's territory. Manusasi village is adjacent to Pasabe of Oecusse, East Timor.

Monday, 11th March 2002

NTT X: Pedro de Sousa, an East Timorese community leader, called on the East Timorese refugees in Belu not to be influenced by the human rights violence trial to be conducted on 14 March. He said this in Atambua on Saturday (9 March) during talks with the refugees at camps. He admitted that many of the refugees from Liquica are worried with the postponement of the reconciliatory meeting among the people of Liquica due to the convening of the trial on 14 March. A refugee, Anonio de Aroujo stated that many of the people living in camps are worried the ongoing reconciliation talks among the people of Liquica would be influenced since former District Head of Liquica, Leoneto Martins, is among those to face trial.

RT: Sister, Irmagardis of Jesuit Refugee Service informed that reconciliation meeting among the people of Bobonaro is to be held on Tuesday, (12 March) in Batugade. There will be 280 people to attend the meeting, she added. The meeting is facilitated by Satlak PBP of Belu, UNHCR and JRS.

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