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.

—————————————————————

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

var sc_project=1947563;
var sc_invisible=1;
var sc_partition=17;
var sc_security=”f80e2d0d”;

html hit counter

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

Diary of events 22-9-2006 to 31-9-2006 Loro_Mato and Fatahada

A month ago, before I went to Lautem, I checked Fatahada area of Dili, there were many houses damaged, but some were repairable. When I got back all the houses previously damaged had been attacked again, most unrepairable now, some burnt others with doors broken, I guess with hatchets. I’m talking about some really good thick wooden doors also some with roofs and walls broken.. Will try to take some photos today.

On Comoro Road, at the entrance to Loro Mata, an estimated 100 young men, I guess with average ages of 25 gathered from Friday till Sunday, (that’s from the 22nd September) they were wearing black uniforms and I am told they belong to the PSHT & KERA SAKTI marshal arts groups, harassed and fought the people in Loro Mata the whole weekend. They were fighting anyone who tried to go in or get out of Loro Mata. The Australian police arrested a couple of them, and told the rest to disperse several times, they did disperse but the police did not take weapons off them. When the police left, the gangs came back – actually I am told they were there yesterday and this morning as well. I’m told they were from Aimutin, Hudi Laran, Manleuana and Fatuhada.

I was in Loro Mata for part of the Sunday afternoon, ADF came in but did not harass anyone while I was there (maybe because I was there)

Went along to Loro Mata on Tuesday to see how things were, while I was speaking to family at the bottom end a soldier from the ADF ran past, we were sitting outside. Then a jeep and an army transporter came down, also more foot soldiers. I asked, ‘is there a problem,’ they said they were chasing a man in an orange tee shirt, because they thought he had a knife. Had we seen him, said, ‘ no, we only saw one of your guys running past.’ They milled around for quite a while then went, (maybe an hour) some police came down, the said more or less the same.

I then went to visit family higher up, while there a friend from the top of Loro Mata came and said his taxi had just been set on fire by a gang. Some of us walked up to have a look, on the way up met a couple of people carrying belongings, they said, ‘ “we are refugees now, our houses have just been burned”. When we got to where the taxi was burnt we could see there were also two houses burning, some locals were trying to put the fires out but the houses were pretty much gone. (Not the house where the taxi was burnt, but that house had been attacked, broken glass everywhere, roof damaged etc.)

The houses were burnt around 2.30 the same time we were speaking to the ADF at the bottom of Loro Mata. Australian police came in again but too late to do anything, however a young child, about ten told me he had witnessed the whole thing houses – he knew who had burnt the houses and the taxi – I told the Australian Police. They asked the child to go with them to identify the people, the child naturally said no. I said, ‘if he goes with you he will be open at the very least to a beating.’ – Police said, ‘oh, well there is nothing we can do”, I commented – ‘it is those men over there’ – again they said unless he comes with us we cannot do anything.

One house burnt in Fatahada today as well, also fighting in Colomera, and attacks at the IDP camp outside the airport. Am also told there has been fighting at the bottom of Fatahada – when I say fighting I mean people running away from people who are attacking them.

Not sure if I sent you a report of the ADF going into the displaced peoples camp at the airport, they arrested six people, and beat two people up, this was the weekend of 9th September. A deputation of displaced people went to see Ramos- Horta at the airport, he had been abroad, can’t remember where, the deputation went to ask him why they were attacked by thugs then attacked by the ADF, he was little help saying he, there was little he could do. This made the television news.

It is now Thursday 28th, sorry for the delay but its quite difficult here at the moment.

Back to the report.

On Wednesday morning, 27th September, went back to Loro Mata, a lot of people living at the top end (mainly people from Baucau and Vique-que) were leaving for the districts. Borrowed a camera, so took some pictures of the houses that had been burnt, also the taxi. Went to see family. I was told that the people whose homes were burnt yesterday, and the brother of the owner of the taxi that was burnt had been arrested by the Australian police. No one knew why – was told that two people had been trying to retrieve their belongings from their homes when they were arrested, the other person was arrested while eating his breakfast. I was also informed that someone had been abducted by men from Aimutin.

Phoned the two liaison officers who asked me to meet with them just before i went to Los Palos, (they told me to ring them if there were problems and they would try to help). They were as good as their word and did come to help. Told them the problem, they went with Augus, the brother of the man who was reported abducted, to check on what had happened – I had to go to a meeting. One liaison officer, nicknamed Scooter, said he would phone me with information, he did. Turned out the brother had not been abducted, but had been badly beaten by the men from Aimutin, all his papers were stolen. Someone had phoned the Australian Police and they came and took him to hospital. The liaison officer told me, he had received treatment and was now at the detention centre. The liaison officer said, ‘don’t worry he has not been arrested we are trying to find his papers.’ Apparently a lot of people had been arrested and they were checking papers, unfortunately the papers have not turned up to date.

This morning (Wednesday) I took pictures of men (about 25 years old) waiting at the top of Fatahada to stop buses – apparently they stop the buses and ask people to get off, because they (the gangs) say they are from Loro Sae, the people who are forced of the bus are then beaten up. I also took pictures of a house in Fatahada, where youth and men were congregating – I was told they were the people responsible for the recent burnings..

I stayed in Loro Mata on Thursday night, on Friday 29th September we were woken at about 6.00 a.m. by the alarm signal, Loro Mata was again being attacked. Ran up to the top, there were quite a few youth and men at the Comoro Road entrance to Loro Mata, there were also men outside the house in Fatahada.(the house I took a picture off on Thursday) – I am told these are not people who normally live in Fatahada but are from Aimutin, Manleuana – the village of Bobonaro has been mentioned. Took pictures of the men, also took pictures of some men sitting in the tree at the top of Fatahada. They at first tried to to cover their faces, but by the time I took the last picture, took about 5, they were shouting at me “we would like to see your DVD” They started to come towards me, decided it was prudent to move.

Had already phoned the ADF, about 30 mins previously, no sign so phoned the liaison officers (the time by now was 6.30) they told me they were on a job, but would phone and ask for a squad to come out quickly – they did and the ADF turned up. They were polite and took information from the Timorese and myself, they toured the area in their vehicles, not on foot. When they came back they confirmed that there were men at the top of the road who seemed to be up to no good, but again they said they could not arrest them without proof. However, they told me they would be patrolling the area the rest of the day, would I tell people from Loro Mata they would be treating everyone the same, so if they were seen to be fighting they would be arrested as well.

I agree with this up to a certain point, problem is in all the bario’s and displaced peoples camps, people feel that they are not been protected by the international force, so many have now started to try to defend their own homes. indeed in some cases their lives. We have this right in the west, but apparently not here – understand if people are defending their homes it is difficult for the international forces to see who is threatening and who is defending – so not sure what the solution is – possibly better protection from the int. force.

Myself and others have suggested a visible presence inside the bario’s and IDP camps would help. This would mean that the int. force would get to know the people, it would also mean if someone from outside entered and caused a problem the force would know. – Ian Martin agreed this was a good suggestion, but that was about 3 months ago and nothing has been put into place yet.

Stayed in Loro Mata on Friday night again, no problems in Loro Mata on Saturday – it was a really nice peaceful day – Nug confirms Fatahadu was the same. Not sure if there were problems elsewhere, will try to check tomorrow.

Talking to friends till late so decided to stay in Loro Mata on Saturday night. There is a self imposed curfew in Dili, people do not walk around after 6.00 p.m., no buses after this and few taxis, you either go home before dark or stay with friends.

It seemed peaceful when I got up about 6.30 this morning, by 7.30 smoke was rising from the top of Loro Mata. Some of us walked up to have a look, I took the camera. Fretlin Central Committee building was burning, there was an earlier attempt, around May to burn it but it was not very successful, this time it has been more successful. Took a couple of photos, the Australian Police arrived, told them people witnessed who burnt this building. They said unless the witness was prepared to go with them and point a finger, they could do nothing – stalemate. I was then asked to move. Said I would move but take photos further along – they said no I was interfering with police business and they threatened to arrest me.

Not sure how taking photos of a burning building and saying you can take them the police to the people responsible for causing the fire is interfering with police business – maybe someone can look up the legal precedent on this for me.

Told by Nuk, he is now living in Fatahada, that a warning signal was sounded this morning in Fatahada and some marshal art group started to attack people living there.

The family who run the co-operative canteen at HAK also have a new house in Fatahada, they have not moved in yet, but tell me it was attacked 3 days ago. They are from Baucau – they have decided at the moment to continue sleeping in the tent outside the canteen.

Today I interviewed Vicente, from Baucau. His house was burnt in Loro Mata on Wednesday. He told me many people have now left the area and are in Dom Bosco or have gone back to the districts. He said he sleeps on the beech or at a friends house. Vicente told me one of the men who responsible for burning his house is Jaime from Bobonaro. Vicente said Jaime used to be a friend and come for coffee, so he asked Jaime ‘why did you help to burn my house’, Jaime replied, ‘ I am sorry my friend I now belong to a marshal arts group, they told me to burn your house” (think the marshal arts group is KRSI the one mentioned above, but was just given the initials)

Vicente was a guerrilla fighter in the hills and jungle during the occupation.

I asked if it was okay to give his name, he said yes he wanted people to know his story.

In solidarity Lidia lidia.tindle@googlemail.com

var sc_project=1947563;
var sc_invisible=1;
var sc_partition=17;
var sc_security=”f80e2d0d”;

html hit counter

Fretilin HQ burned down -eyewitness report

Talking to friends till late so decided to stay in Loro Mata on Saturday night. There is a self imposed curfew in Dili, people do not walk around after 6.00 p.m., no buses after this and few taxis, you either go home before dark or stay with friends.

It seemed peaceful when I got up about 6.30 this morning, by 7.30 smoke was rising from the top of Loro Mata. Some of us walked up to have a look, I took the camera. Fretlin Central Committee was burning, there was an earlier attempt, around May to burn it but it was not very successful, this time it has been more successful. Took a couple of photos, the Australian Police arrived, told them people witnessed who burnt this building. They said unless the witness was prepared to go with them and point a finger, they could do nothing – stalemate. I was then asked to move. Said I would move but take photos further along – they said no I was interfering with police business and they threatened to arrest me.

Not sure how taking photos of a burning building and saying you can take them the police to the people responsible for causing the fire is interfering with police business – maybe someone can look up the legal precedent on this for me.

Lidia lidia.tindle@googlemail.com