Subject: INFID statement on East Timor
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 08:36:32 -0400
From: raimata@worldnet.att.net

INFID is a forum consisting of NGOs from various regions of Indonesia. This statement was issued on the occasion of the "Forum Indonesia XXI" which was held by INFID in Yogyakarta, April 8-10, 1999.


Violence and Terror Will Ruin a Peaceful Resolution to the East Timorese Problem

Yogyakarta, 10 April 1999

Since late 1998, a wave of violence, terror and intimidation against East Timorese civilians has risen ever higher. On April 7, 1999, in the city of Liquica, civilians were shot. The government stated that five were killed in the attack by the pro-integration militia that launched by Besi Merah Putih with support from ABRI and the police, while local social leaders stated that at least 25 individuals were killed. The exact number is difficult to determine before there is an investigation that is independent and complete. Apart from the question about the certainty over number of victims, we are certain in considering this incident as a massacre because the attack was carried out against unarmed civilians who were taking refuge in a church complex.

This brutal action is one out of no less than 53 cases of violence, terror and intimidation since late last year. Based on the data collected by humanitarian organization, the total number of victims up to April 9, 1999 is listed as: more than 40 fatalities, 22 wounded as a result of shooting or attack by other weapons, 77 victims of torture, and 8 victims of arbitrary arrest, and 3 disappearances, and 2 women raped. More than 10,000 people were forced to flee their homes and live in very difficult conditions. The security forces that are supposed to protect the civilians from attacks are, in almost all cases, took no action whatsoever. Not only that, the police forces and ABRI were involved in violent acts that resulted in fatalities.

This wave of violence has increased primarily after the Indonesian government through the Foreign Minister Ali Alatas announced that there was a possibility of a "second option" for the East Timorese people if they refused the offer of wide-ranging autonomy. As is well known, the government repeatedly stresses the worry that there will be a "civil war" if the autonomy offer is refused. This worry has been confirmed by the pro-integration militia who has made it explicit through the mass media that they will make East Timor a "bloodbath" if autonomy is rejected.

The violent actions against the civilians basically disrupt the efforts to search for a resolution to the East Timor problem that is peaceful; it carries all the achievements of negotiations back to point zero. In this context, the security forces share responsibility in allowing, even supporting, the occurrence of violent acts, and further, in helping create a "civil war" in East Timor.

Considering the various problems listed above, we:

1. Condemn the violent acts, intimidation, and terror against the residents of East Timor, all the while claimed to be a part of the effort to "uphold the unity and integrity of the nation", as well as condemn the use of the symbols of our nation, such as the Red and White, for activities that directly contradict the spirit of the nation itself.

2. Demand a thorough investigation by the UN Human Rights Commission of all cases of violence claimed to be "clash among residents" or "civil war."

3. Demand a withdrawal of ABRI troops and disbandment of all armed militia groups, and demand the presence of a UN authorized peacekeeping force that can take concrete steps to stop the violence, terror and intimidation against the civilians.

4. Demand an end to all violent acts against civilians both by pro-integration and pro-independence groups, and support all attempts toward a peaceful, just and thorough resolution to the East Timor problem

This is a collective statement from all of the undersigned.

Yogyakarta, 10 April 1999

(signed) (signed)

Binny Buchori, Executive Secretary
Zoemrotin K. Soesilo, Head of Steering Committee

Participants of Forum Indonesia XXI 08-10 April 1999 in Yogyakarta

1. Lembaga Studi Agama Filsafat (LSAF), Jakarta
2. Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Indonesia, Jakarta
3. Yayasan Annisa Swasti (Yasanti), Yogyakarta
4. Yayasan Lembaga Konsumen Indonesia (YLKI), Jakarta
5. Akatiga, Bandung
6. Gita Pertiwi, Solo
7. Yayasan Patra Pala, Yogyakarta
8. Yayasan Lembaga Konsumen Sulawesi Selatan (YLK Sulsel)
9. Forum LSM Aceh, Aceh
10. Urban Alternative Development Strategy (UADS), Bekasi
11. Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Jakarta
12. Yayasan Suara Nurani, Tomohon
13. Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI), Jakarta
14. Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Bandung
15. Forum Kerja LSM Irian Jaya (Foker LSM Irja), Jayapura
16. Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), Jakarta
17. Yayasan Geni, Salatiga
18. Kelompok Studi dan Pengembangan Prakarsa Masyarakat (KSPPM), Parapat, Sumatera Utara
19. Solidaritas Perempuan (SP), Jakarta
20. Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI), Jakarta
21. Jaringan Kerja Lembaga Pelayanan Kristen (JK-LPK), Jakarta
22. Wahana Informasi Masyarakat (WIM), Medan
23. Forum LSM DIY, Yogyakarta
24. Flower Aceh, Banda Aceh
25. LPPS-KWI, Jakarta
26. Yayasan Buruh Membangun (YBM), Jakarta
27. Institut Sosial Jakarta, Jakarta
28. Bina Swagiri, Tuban
29. Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum dan HAM Indonesia (PBHI), Jakarta
30. Yayasan Bimbingan Kesejahteraan Sosial (YBKS), Solo
31. Institute of Development and Economic Analysis (IDEA), Yogyakarta
32. Yayasan Lapera Indonesia, Yogyakarta
33. Yayasan Komunikasi Massa PGI (Yakoma PGI) Jakarta

INFID International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development
Jalan Mampang Prapatan VI/39 Jakarta 12790 Indonesia
Tel 62-21-9107050 (Hunting) Fax. 62-21-7985347 E-mail: infid@nusa.or.id

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