Subject: SMH: UN fears sabotage of East Timor elections

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

Sydney Morning Herald March 17, 2001

UN fears sabotage of East Timor elections

By Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Seven suspected Indonesian spies have been detected in East Timor, prompting warnings by United Nations officials that saboteurs could try to wreck the territory's first democratic elections.

The discovery is revealed in a leaked internal UN security report that also warns of a campaign of subversion planned by a fringe East Timorese political party that has been linked to Indonesian intelligence agencies.

The security report, dated March 3-10 and distributed to senior UN officials, says the seven Indonesians posed as shipwrecked fisherman who landed on Atauro island, off Dili, shortly before a voter registration trial began there on February26.

Registration began across the rest of the territory yesterday, with the aim of compiling a full voter list for elections for a national assembly, tentatively scheduled for August 30 - the second anniversary of the territory's vote for independence.

The security report says the seven Indonesians "claimed they were fishermen but further investigation revealed that they had been observed entering the Indonesian mission near the Pertamina oil [depot] in Dili at the end of February".

"It is suspected that they had travelled to Atauro to monitor and report on the the pilot civil registration project."

The UN administration in East Timor buys bulk fuel from Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina oil company, whose Dili depot also houses Indonesia's diplomatic mission.

Tankers from Indonesia arrive about once a week to offload at the depot's jetty. No UN security is in place there, and tanker crew or passengers are free to come ashore unhindered.

An underlined sub-heading of the UN report, entitled Action Required, warns: "The Atauro-Dili sea lane presents an obvious route to Dili for saboteurs and, in view of increased threats to public security, merits increased attention from the security forces."

The report makes no mention of what action, if any, was taken against the seven Indonesians, and Indonesian officials in Dili could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The UN report also expressed concern about a planned campaign of "subversion" by a renegade political party, the CPD-RDTL, the People's Defence Committee of the Democratic Republic of East Timor.

UN police last week accused the party of planning to assassinate the independence leader Mr Xanana Gusmao and other senior East Timorese.

The UN memo says CPD-RDTL supporters had clashed with members of the East Timorese pro-independence Fretilin party on Atauro on February 22, the same time as the seven Indonesians were seen there. Last week, Mr Gusmao warned of links between senior RDTL officials and shadowy Indonesian army intelligence agents.

"All available evidence points to an escalation of subversive activity by CPD- RDTL and they will most likely continue to cause problems for the administration during the upcoming civil registration process," the memo warns.

The UN is also concerned about the links between CPD- RDTL and a fanatical quasi-religious sect comprising former Falintil pro-independence guerillas known as the Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) .

The memo said a male corpse found in Liquica on February26 was believed to be the first victim of a Sacred Family "hit list" targeting members of the National Council of Timorese Resistance, which Mr Gusmao leads.

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