Subject: RT: Jakarta responsible for Dili killings - Australia
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:17:55 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo:

April 17, 9:42 p.m. ET

Jakarta responsible for Dili killings - Australia

SYDNEY, April 18 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Sunday the Indonesian government was responsible for the increasing violence in East Timor following the latest reports of killings in Dili.

``I am very concerned at the way in which the situation has deteriorated and the Indonesian government cannot escape responsibility for at least some of that, if not all of it,'' Howard said in an interview on Australian television.

Hundreds of pro-Jakarta militiamen went on a rampage in the capital of East Timor on Saturday, injuring scores of people and torching several vehicles and houses.

A leading pro-independence activist Manuel Carascalao told Reuters his teenage son and several other people were killed when his house in Dili was attacked.

Howard said he would be contacting Indonesian President B.J. Habibie to express Australia's ``deep concern'' at the Dili killings and ``growing evidence'' Indonesian troops have failed to prevent the killings by pro-Jakarta militiamen.

``You would have to wonder whether these pro-integration militiamen are not getting some kind of permissive response from the Indonesian army,'' Howard told Channel Nine's Sunday programme.

``The rest of the world will expect the Indonesian army to show discipline and restraint and to promote stability and cooperation in East Timor,'' Howard said.

``Now the complete opposite of stability and cooperation is occuring at the moment, and it is of huge and immediate concern for the Australian government because this is a country on our doorstep,'' he said.

Howard said the increased violence was threatening the U.N.-sponsored autonomy ballot in East Timor scheduled for July.

``Its harder to see it being credible,'' said Howard, but added it would be unsatisfactory to postpone the ballot.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year, a move not recognised by the United Nations.

After a 23-year guerrilla war for independence, in January Jakarta offered East Timor a vote on autonomy or independence, but since the offer the territory has been racked by violence between pro-independence and pro-integration forces.

Back to April Menu
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu
June '98 through February '99