Australian troops fire on refugee camps in Dili area

Translation from .

Refugee camps have become like lakes, with tents which are pervious to the rain, dejection spread around the camps and total indifference from the Timorese government as with the UN, are all the origin of a wave of revolt that the Australian Military are repressing violently, including firing with automatic weapons.

The camps in Metinaro and Comoro are the ones which find themselves in most desperate conditions and who have showed their dissatisfaction after the government sent tarpaulins instead of tents to shelter the thousands of Timorese who continue in the displaced camps.

The scarcity of food is also a cause of protests from the Timorese. The promise from the high authorities regarding the dispatching of foodstuffs, rice, has passed as nothing but this, simply a promise.

A member of the Commission of the Comoro Camp has denounced the brutality with which the Australian Soldiers attacked the protestors, pointing out that there are two persons who have been wounded by “bullets, and have been transported to the hospital.”

The same member of the Comoro Commission has also announced that the leader of the Metinaro Camp has been taken into custody, stating that tomorrow they will be going to the National Parliament to explain fully the situation which has occurred, demand the release of the Metinaro camp leader and “complain of the extreme violence with which the Australian Military against defenseless Timorese.”

Australian Forces Search F-FDTL Members’ Vehicle

Dili, Suara Timor Lorosae. Tuesday 2 October 2007

The car search which occurred suddenly took place in front of the Malilait shop on Aitarak Laran Road. According to the direct observations of the Timor Post journalist, the Australian Forces travelling in a military car and a Pajero with Toyota written large on it, used long firearms to order the F-FDTL members who had been sitting in their vehicle to alight from the vehicle so that the Australian Forces could search it.

The Australian Forces did not find either firearms or any other weapons in the vehicle, in which the fully uniformed F-FDTL soldiers had been in. The car search took nearly fifteen minutes. It appears that the Australian Forces decided to search the vehicle because they were suspicious it might have been used by civilians carrying firearms and other types of weapons.

F-FDTL Members Annoyed

Meanwhile, the F-FDTL members who were subjected to the car search by the Australian Forces were unhappy and annoyed to the point of being angry due to the action by the Australian Forces in searching the vehicle in which they were travelling.

The F-FDTL member who was the driver at the time questioned why the Australian Forces were using a civilian vehicle to undertake such operations, and why the F-FDTL could not use civilian vehicles as they had been: “Ah, why can they (referring to the Australian Forces) use a civilian vehicle, and we are unable to do the same?” said the F-FDTL member regarding the Australian Forces.

We observed directly that the actions of the Australian Forces were seen by the F-FDTL members as being wrong , because they proceeded with the car search even after having clearly seen that they were dressed in full F-FDTL uniforms.

This incident was able to be peacefully resolved after the Acting Commander of the Military Police, Abel Ximenes personally attended the scene of the car search to negotiate with the Australian Forces to desist from further search action.


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