|Subject: AP: E. Timor Activist Appeals For Help For
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 14:35:48 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
June 14, 1999
E. Timor Activist Appeals For Help For 45,000 Displaced
LISBON (AP)--There are some 45,000 displaced people in East Timor in urgent need of food and medicine, a prominent East Timorese pro-independence politician said Monday.
Fighting among groups promoting and opposing independence groups in East Timor has spiraled in the past few months ahead of a scheduled Aug. 8 referendum on whether the territory will gain autonomy within Indonesia or become independent.
"They are in an area where they have little chance of surviving if they don't receive urgent help in food and medicine," Manuel Carrascalao told Lisbon radio TSF.
Speaking from the Indonesian capital Jakarta, Carrascalao said around 50 displaced had died from hunger and disease in the past few days.
The displaced are scattered around the areas of Liquica, Maliana and Ermera in the former Portuguese colony, Carrascalao said, quoting sources inside East Timor.
"They've taken refuge in the bush and they don't have the courage to return," Carrascalao said. "If they return, we already know what happens."
Carrascalao's adopted son was killed by militiamen during a bloody raid on his home in Dili, the Timorese capital, April 17. He flew to Jakarta for safety reasons later that month.
East Timor has a population of around 800,000. Indonesia invaded the half-island territory in 1975, after Portugal abruptly ended its overseas rule.