Subject: AP: East Timor Activist Says U.N. Should Send Troops For Vote
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 09:14:10 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo:

March 21, 1999

East Timor Activist Says U.N. Should Send Troops For Vote

Dow Jones Newswires

MACAU (AP)--An independence activist from East Timor said Sunday that Portugal should demand that the United Nations send troops into its former colony to ensure a fair vote on the political future of the territory now occupied by Indonesia.

Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, who is here on a five-day visit ahead of Macau's reversion to Chinese rule in December, has also been confronted with questions about another piece of Portugal's old empire.

East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in 1975, a year after Portugal hastily pulled out of the colony after four centuries of occupation, but the United Nations still considers Portugal to be the legitimate administering power in East Timor.

Sampaio was to meet later Sunday with Manuel Tilman, an East Timorese activist based in Macau who has cautiously applauded a recent agreement between Portugal and Indonesia that will allow for balloting to determine the political future of East Timor.

Tilman, like others fighting to get the Indonesians out of East Timor, says the United Nations must send in troops to keep the voting clean.

Tilman also wants Sampaio to promise more humanitarian help from Portugal, such as sending doctors, teachers and legal experts to the mountainous territory of 800,000 people, most of whom are peasants living at the subsistence level.

"We need to build social stability, as much as military and political stability," said Tilman, a secretary for the National Council for East Timor Resistance, an umbrella group of several pro-independence movements.

In the U.N.-sponsored agreement about East Timor's vote on its future, Indonesia said it would let go of the territory if its people want to govern themselves.

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