|=Subject: SMH: US puts pressure on Jakarta to stop
Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 09:00:06 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Sydney Morning Herald 01/05/99
US puts pressure on Jakarta to stop Timor killings
By MARK RILEY, Herald Correspondent in New York
The United States has issued a blunt warning to Indonesia to end the violence in East Timor, amid growing concern that continued killings may derail the territory's historic autonomy vote.
The Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific, Mr Stanley Roth, said the US was helping to apply "vast pressure" on Jakarta to haul its military into line and clamp down on the militia responsible for ongoing murders in Timor.
The US was particularly concerned that assurances being given by Indonesia on security were not being converted into action.
"It seems that what the Indonesian Government's stated policy directs is almost irrelevant," Mr Roth told a meeting of the Australian American Association. "It says it takes a hands-off view, that it will have a fair and open vote and that the military will not affect the outcome. That's fine. But the reality on the ground is different."
Mr Roth said there was strong evidence the Indonesian Army was allowing pro-Jakarta paramilitary groups to conduct their killing sprees with complete impunity, putting the autonomy vote at peril.
"The major challenge now for Indonesia is to get the situation under control and allow the East Timorese ... a fair vote, free of violence and intimidation."
President Clinton wrote to President Habibie last week outlining his concerns over East Timor and calling on him to do more to bring the militia to heel.
Mr Roth said the US was also keeping in constant contact with Australia, sharing information and ideas on a range of issues concerning Indonesia.
The Secretary of State, Dr Albright, planned to discuss Timor with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Downer, in the next few days.