|Subject: JP: E.Timor monitoring team reports
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 09:51:02 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Jakarta Post 02 August 1999
Monitoring team reports intimidation
JAKARTA (JP): A private team monitoring the process of a direct ballot for Aug. 30 in East Timor said that overall, the registration process was running smoothly but, intimidation was still being reported in a number of places.
The Independent Committee of the Ballot Monitoring (Kiper) said in a report made available here over the weekend that the scale of intimidation was found to be "light" to "severe".
Kiper was set up recently by several individuals inside and outside East Timor to monitor the United Nations-sponsored direct ballot.
Claiming to have 300 volunteers, it lists prominent scholars on its board as well as activists. Among others, members of the advisory council include Australia-based researcher on East Timor George Junus Aditjondro, sociologist Arief Budiman, the National Commission against Violence of Women's chairwoman Saparinah Sadli and Dili Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo. Abdurrahman Wahid, leader of the influential Nahdlatul Ulama organization, is also an advisor.
Kiper will observe the ballot in East Timor's 13 regencies apart from those in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar and Ujungpandang, South Sulawesi.
Bonar Tigor Naipospos, who leads the Solidamor organization which has been among those campaigning the East Timor issue, is Kiper's chairman.
Kiper's report states that intimidation was found to have come from civilian and military personnel and from proautonomy militia, particularly outside the capital.
Among the registration glitches, Kiper noted a lack of understanding and a lack of socialization of requirements.
"One important problem is a lack of freedom from fear," despite conditions agreed to at UN Headquarters in an agreement between Portugal and Indonesia regarding the ballot, Kiper said.
The ballot lacks a crisis center to where people can report complaints, Kiper said.
Another difficulty was the distance between residences and registration centers, Kiper added. "For the elderly, disabled or ill, (registration) is a problem, while registration officials of the UNAMET (UN Mission in East Timor) are generally passive," Kiper said. (anr)