Subject: Timorese leaders feeling left out by UN

also: Thousands attend mass for slain heroes of East Timorese independence

Timorese leaders feeling left out by UN

SYDNEY, Nov 12 (AFP) - The relationship between East Timor's leaders and the United Nations appeared to be becoming strained Friday with the UN accused of trying to marginalise East Timor's leading political group. The National Council for Timorese Resistance (CNRT) last month appointed a six-member commission to advise the United Nations transitional administration being set up in the devastated territory and expected to rule there for two to three years.

But a senior CNRT member said the UN refused to give the commission and its head, CNRT president Xanana Gusmao, office space in Dili and appeared to be ignoring their wish to play a role in the transitional administration.

"(The UN) is a new colonial power," said Mario Carrascalao, the leader of a CNRT contingent which accompanied a World Bank mission to East Timor this month. "That is what people are saying. I heard this in Dili many times."

"They want to marginalise the CNRT. That is a fact."

The CNRT was formed as an umbrella group for East Timor's pro-independence movement and includes former enemies and a diverse range of political views. Carrascalao, for instance, served as governor of East Timor under Indonesia from 1982 to 1992.

The organisation has been trying to plan East Timor's future and is working closely with the World Bank and other groups in assessing the damage wreaked by pro-Jakarta militia groups in the former Indonesian-controlled territory in the aftermath of an August 30 vote for independence.

But there have been increasing signs of tension between the CNRT and humanitarian agencies working to help rebuild East Timor.

Carrascalao said in Dili there had been a ten-fold increase in the price of vegetables and inflation was rampant as a result of western aid workers and journalists' free spending.

There is also a power vacuum in the territory, he said, which had it teetering on the edge of another descent into chaos.

"This is going to create the impression on the people that they can do whatever they want. There is no law, there is no nothing. There is a real anarchy," he said.

Carrascalao's criticism came as Gusmao, who made a triumphant return to the territory last month and is widely expected to become East Timor's first free president, lashed out at the UN and humanitarian agencies as he began a two-week tour of the territory.

Gusmao told journalists in Los Palos on Thursday that humanitarian agencies should leave if they did not want to work with the CNRT.

"If they don't want to coordinate with us, because we know very well what our people need, they can leave," he said.

He also said he was appalled the UN wanted 199 million US dollars from its donors to deliver humanitarian aid. His people could solve the country's problems with just 50 million.

"I'm appealing to the international community -- I don't agree with the character of the help," he said.

Gusmao said he had proposed to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that a 9,000-strong peacekeeping force, scheduled to replace the current International Force for East Timor, be smaller and used only to secure the borders.

The extra funds should be diverted to humanitarian aid, he said.

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Thousands attend mass for slain heroes of East Timorese independence

DILI, East Timor, Nov 12 (AFP) - More than 10,000 East Timorese attended a solemn mass Friday to honour some 200 compatriots slain by Indonesian soldiers eight years ago.

The open air mass held in the grounds of the Motael church spilled out onto the streets and waterfront boulevard in an immensely moving and powerful ceremony conducted by Nobel Peace laureate Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo.

"Today, we commemorate the youths who died in November 1991 and September of this year," Belo said, as the congregation listened with bowed heads, many clutching flowers they would later place on graves at the Santa Cruz cemetery.

Indonesian soldiers fired into a pro-independence demonstration at Santa Cruz on November 12, 1991, leaving over 50 people killed and as many missing, according to the Indonesian authorities.

Witnesses spoke of up to 200 deaths.

Belo also paid tribute to the hundreds of East Timorese slaughtered by Indonesian soldiers and militia after the territory's August 30 vote for independence.

"These heroic youths were strong and gave their hearts and lives to the country," Belo said.

"In September may youth died, but their bodies were dumped into the sea or thrown in the forest, left to be eaten by crocodile and pigs," he said.

But while Belo asked the people to pray for the fallen youths, he turned his sermon to the future, exhorting the youth to fight to rebuild their country.

"Your enemy today is a bad attitude, laziness and boredom. To reconstruct East Timor, you must first reconstruct your heart.

"East Timor needs you, you are our future," he said.

He called for justice, morality and hard work among the East Timorese people, saying must not sit back and rely on outside help to rebuild the country.

Speaking in the local Tetum dialect, Belo called on the mainly Catholic East Timorese to embrace all races and religions.

"Muslims, Portuguese, metizos, Chinese, they have all contibuted to this country too and we must receive them," he said.

He warned the people not to take justice into their own hands against militia who committed the atrocities in September, reminding them to hand the culprits over to international peacekeepers.

Friday's service took place under somber grey skies, appropriate to the mood of sadness, and remembrance for the victims of the November 12 massacre.

Among those at the early morning mass was Pedro d'Oliviera, 32, one of the witnesses of the massacre who survived a military bullet wound to his thigh.

"Even though I am sad, it is already past. It happened because we fought for independence," d'Oliviera said.

Following the mass, the more that 10,000 people marched and prayed in a procession from Motael church to the Santa Cruz cemetery.


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