Monthly Archives: October 2006

Incidents with ADF and Australian police in Loro Mata and Comoro

22nd October, the ADF and the Australian Police went to break up a demonstration in Comoro. The demonstration was because one man from Baucau and one man from Los Palos had been killed by thugs a few days earlier. The bodies were both mutilated badly. The families made two coffins, they were placed in the middle of the road, they said they wanted the Prime Minister or someone from the government to come and explain why their families were killed by thugs, and why the ADF and the police harassed them and did little to stop the fighting. A soldier from the ADF told them to go home, one lady Julieta Belo said to one of the soldiers. ‘You are not stopping the fighting, and you are not neutral, our people are being killed, you should go home’ She was told by a member of the ADF, that she was under arrest. She said the soldier grabbed a hold of her hair and dragged her away from her family, she was frightened and tried to free herself by kicking at the soldiers legs.

The soldier then dragged her to the floor and held her down by placing his foot on her body. Her clothes were torn in the struggle. She was taken to the detention centre.

Eventually Antero Lopes came to speak to the demonstrators, when he was told of the incident he said he would have Julieta released, she was released one hour later.

Loro Mata 22rd October, rubber bullets were fired by the ADF directly at people living in this barrio when they tried to defend their homes from attack by thugs. In the same incident tear gas was thrown near people, including small children (1 to 5 year old) who were running away from the thugs and the military. I was present at the incident, many people including myself suffered from the effects of the tear gas.

Loro Mata/Fatahada 24th October, rubber bullets were again fired at villagers.

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Attacks in Dili.

Over the last few days fighting has occurred all over Dili – in most of the biros and IDP camps.

The airport was closed because of the fighting yesterday Wednesday, 25th October.

Today a taxi carrying two young men was stopped at a road block on the beach road. The men, one from Los Palos one from Baucau, but living in Loro Mata, were abducted. I have reported the incident to the police liaison officer who say they will try to find out where the men have been taken. The two men were on their way to college.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Timorese to travel to and from Loro Mata and Comoro to school and work.

Lidia Tyneside East Timor Solidarity – Dili lidia.tindle@googlemail.com

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The position of the FALINTIL-FDTL on the Report by the UN’s Independent Investigation Commission

== unofficial English translation=

REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE

FALINTIL-FDTL

General Headquarters

Office of the General Chief of State of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA)

Press conference

The position of the FALINTIL-FDTL on the Report by the UN’s Independent Investigation Commission

The conflict in our country is a political conflict which covers two important objectives:

* The fall of the Government, the dissolution of the Parliament and the establishment of a government of national unity.
* Until recently, acts of systematic violence occurred sporadically throughout the country, but with a greater incidence in Dili, with the objective of destabilising the government and making it unviable.
* The Independent Investigation Commission has published its report analysing the facts and the circumstances which became the basis for this conflict, however they failed to put it in the political context.
* As a way to contribute to a quick return to peace in our country, the Armed Forces declare:

A. We thank the IIC for concluding their report at this timely moment and for confirming no massacre ever took place at Rai Kotu.

B. To complement the Commission’s mission, we propose the creation of a Parliamentary Investigation Commission by the State, with the mission of determining the objectives, the strategies, and the intellectual and moral perpetrators who were behind the crisis and hold them responsible.

C. We reaffirm our position in cooperating with the East Timorese justice.

D. We present our deepest condolences to every East Timorese who became a victim of this conflict, starting with our own colleagues within the Armed Forces, the National Police and the children of our dearest people.

E. We apologise to every East Timorese for the offences and damages caused, directly or indirectly, by us in the process of this crisis.

F. We are grateful for the confidence deposited in the Armed Forces by our people, and specially, by our political leaders in carrying out our roles during the crisis.

G. We appeal for the cooperation of all East Timorese so that we can put an end to the crisis which engulfed our country, bringing us much harm and pain, insisting in the unity of our people, to guarantee our supreme interests, as a People and a Nation.

For one People and ne Nation!

Baucau, 25 October 2006

The FALINTIL-FDTL Command

The General Chief of State

Taur Matan Ruak
Brigadier General

Peace Campaigner Attacked update

I have been to see Nito. He is doing well, still cracking jokes. Nito was hit in around the right shoulder blade, but their is no internal damage.

He told me that the family home in Becora was attacked at about 11.00 in the evening by a lot of thugs. He managed to get out but then realised that his sister and the children were still inside. several of them went back in – to get the others out – that is when he was hit. Nito said it took the international police over an hour to respond to the emergency call, and it was a further hour before he was taken to hospital, by friends who had been phoned and came with a car.

I will be visiting again on Sunday and will pass friends good wishes.

In solidarity Lidia – Tyneside East Timor Solidarity – Dili.

Peace Campaigner Attacked

I email with further bad news. Last night at 11.30 my friend Nito (Antero) was hit in the back with a ambon arrow. It was removed last night and I am glad to say Nito is recovering in hospital. I spoke to him this morning and he was well enough to joke, ‘the Indonesians couldn’t get me but the Timorese did.’

Nito moved from Bebonuk to Becora, because Bebonuk was constantly being attacked, but it was in Becora, near his families home that he was hit.

Many of you know that Nito was working with GPPAC (an organisation trying to heal comunity divisions), other friends working with the organisation have had problems, Danny had his house burned, the same weekend the Fretilin Conference Room was burned – Danny lived in Loro Mata. Another friend was dragged off his bike and attacked by men from Aimuten on his return from the peace conference in Occuse.

The week before the UN report came out six people were stabbed in Dili, it seemed quieter this week but now this.

I will be visiting Nito later this afternoon and will let you have further news.

In solidarity Lidia Tyneside East Timor Solidarity – Dili

Complaints and abuses by International Forces

A report on Human Rights Abuses and complaints against the International Forces in East Timor mainly in Dili and Lautem.

Click on this link:

http://tets.sdf-eu.org/html/adf.html

Lidia Tindle lidia.tindle@googlemail.com

Independent Commission Report

The long awaited Independent Commission Report is out, not saying anything people did not know, apart from Mari Alkatiri might have know that Lobato was giving guns to civilians, also says Mari should not have ordered the troops out without discussing it with others – yea, like he had time – personally I think it is insane, if deserters are rampaging around Dili shooting and attacking people, attacking and burning property, seems reasonable to call the troops out especially when the police have run away. All western countries would be able to do this. Problem was Xanana called them back which is how Major Alfrado was able to inflict so much damage. Report recommends that investigations continue on whether Mari Alkatiri is culpable of a criminal act, and that Alfrado, who the ADF and Aussie police “apparently” do not know the whereabouts of should be arrested.

Xanana has got away with a slap on the hand, all the stuff that points to him working with Alfrado has been dismissed, the report says that he was divisive when he split east and west up but did not mean to cause this trouble. It also says he should have used proper channels, for example when he disagreed with Mari and Tau Matan Ruak (commander of the army) when they discharged the deserters. No recommendations for continued investigations into whether he was working with Alfrado. In the meantime Alfrado hunts freely with his Aussie. mates in some of the western distircts of East Timor. Report makes a small mention of Mari Alkatiri offering to take the deserters case to a tribunal and offering to pay there wages for a few months.

The report talks about the petitioners and friends shooting and attacking at the palace and then going to Tasi Tola and of a fight in Cormoro. No mention is made of the fact that petitioners and friends rampaged elsewhere in Dili, for example in Kia Coly, I know as Narciso house was attacked and we had to run from machete wielding thugs. Also not mentioned is that 2,000 people from all over Dili sought refugee in F-FDTL MP camp in Kia Coly and that many stayed, including myself stayed there for 5 days because the deserters were still causing problems.

Mari is the fall guy – oh well that’s a surprise – really unexpected that an UN report points the finger at him. The report is on the Internet if you want to read it fully. http://www.ohchr.org/english/

In the meantime in Loro Mata one house burnt last night and ADF continue harassment of the people living there, despite a conversation I had with ADF on Sunday when they said they had no idea that the people living in Loro Mata had been attacked so much – showed them all the houses that were burnt last week, said there was a rumour that Loro Mata would be completely burnt out by the end of October. They agreed that it looked like the houses were being burnt one by one – got some good photos of the destruction in Loro Mata and Comoro Market – and said they would try to stop people attacking. Different set of soldiers in this week who think stopping people attacking means searching people who live in the remaining houses in Loro Mata and have just come back from work, or are going to work – in other words people going about their lawful business.

In another case a friend, a teacher, was dismissed from her position because she was overheard speaking Fataluku on the telephone to her sister. The persecution of the Loro Sae people continues. (or of what Xanana has termed Loro Sae, again it is forgotten that eastern and western districts were all Loro Sae, West Timor is Loro Mono.

Lidia Tindle from Loro Mata, Dili lidia.tindle@googlemail.com

IDP camp at Oxfam attacked

The fighting in Dili continues. On Sunday only one house was burned in Loro Mata, but gangs were waiting at the top of Loro Mata and Fatahada to attack anyone going in or out. Attacks on the IDP camps continue.

This morning people again left Dili for the districts, many people from Los Palos still working here, sent furniture back. They say if people come to burn their houses, okay welcome, they will just sleep on the floor and then run if someone comes to burn their house.

This morning there was fighting in Colmera and at the IDP camp lower down, ‘The Garden’. One man was stabbed in Colmera, not sure if it was fatal, police and ADF had the area cordoned off. They told me they were expecting further attacks. Looked up the street and saw a gang at the top, they looked ready to move down towards the IDP camp again.

IDP camp in Oxfam grounds was stoned from about 2.00 o’clock till 4.00 p.m. Oxfam itself was also stoned. I was asked when I came in , ‘are they still stoning outside’. A friend who works at UN headquarters across from Oxfam, was radioed not to use the main entrance when he returned from lunch because gangs were fighting in the area.

The self imposed curfew continues, people start making their way home about now – however attacks occur on a regular basis during daylight hours, not sure if they increase at night.

Lidia Tyneside East Timor Solidarity – Dili lidia.tindle@googlemail.com