TRANSLATION FROM TETUM:
Suara Timor Lorosae, Dili 17 October 2009
INDONESIANS “THREATEN” TO CLOSE BORDER
PR Horta, Jose Luis, Minister for Justice Lucia Meet Urgently
Dili – Timor-Leste born Indonesian citizens living in
Atambua-Kupang-Indonesia, have threatened to set up checkpoints or
sweeps vehicles with Timor-Leste white registration number plates
because of the detention of the former Laksaur Militia Commander,
Maternus Bere who is still detained at the Indonesian Embassy in Dili.
“We will undertake sweeps (checkpoints) of cars belonging to Timorese
who travel in and out of Indonesia. This action will be taken
especially against the sons and daughters of FRETILIN leaders
including FRETILIN cadres who live near the border,” Francisco Soares
Pereira told STL by telephone Friday (15/10).
The former refugees decided this because they consider that some
FRETILIN leaders in Timor do not want to engage in reconciliation with
the Timorese militia in Indonesia as it relates to the Maternus Bere
case, which has not been resolved in Timor-Leste and becoming a
controversy between FRETILIN leaders and the AMP government led by
Prime Minister Kay Rala Banana Gusmao.
There has been a strong reaction from FRETILIN’s leaders and other
opposition leaders such as KOTA and PUN to the government’s decision
to transfer Maternus Bere from the Becora Prison to the Indonesian
embassy in Dili. Their reaction resulted in a censure motion being
presented but which failed to bring down the AMP government because
the majority in the National Parliament gave the AMP government their
vote of confidence for them to continue to govern until 2012.
The Timorese refugee leader also threatened to close, next week, as a
protest against the FRETILIN leaders who want to try Maternus Bere.
“Right now we are organizing a group in Atambua made up of nearly
24,000 people who will take action to close the border in Atambua and
Kefamenanu to Oecusse and put in place check points to search the sons
and daughters of FRETILIN leaders studying in Indonesia,” Francisco
Francisco said that the central government in Jakarta, Kupang and
Atambua have been informed of this proposed action so that they could
grant them the license or the permission to undertake this action.
He stressed that this decision take by them was as a result of
FRETILIN party leaders in Timor-Leste failing to give their support
for the policy by the government of Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao to release
Maternus Bere as an act of reconciliation pursuant to the agreement
foreshadowed in the Truth and Friendship Commission in Timor-Leste.
“This action by us is because the FRETILIN party is not giving its
support to Prime Minister Banana Gusmao who wants to engage in
reconciliation with Timorese in Atambua.
PR Horta holds urgent meeting
In the mean time in relation to this threat by Indonesian citizens in
Atambua, President of the Republic Jose Ramos Horta, Acting Prime
Minister Jose Luis Guterres and Justice Minister Lucia Maria Lobato,
held an urgent meeting at the Presidential Palace in Aitarak Laran to
try and find a solution to this problem.
This meeting was considered to be urgent and closed to the public, and
because of this we can’t give a detailed report on this issue.
According to information ascertained by this daily from Kupang, the
movement of public transport between Timor-Leste and Kupang, including
travel is occurring as normal despite the threat from Indonesian
citizens in Kupang.
“Right now public transport including bus travel is still occurring as
normal, despite their being information that Timorese refugees intend
to close the border because of the Maternus Bere case,” said a source
who did not want to be named.
According to him the T-L consultant in Kupang has also been subject to
serious threats from Indonesian citizens although there have been no