On Monday 7 June, the district head of Dili, Mr. Domingos Soares, announced that Eurico Guterres, one of the most notorious of the pro-integration militia leaders, has been appointed to head the civil defence corps (PAM Swakarsa) of the Dili administration.
As is widely known, Eurico Guterres is head of the Dili-based Aitarak (Thorn) militia. He is also Deputy War Commander of the militia command known as Milisia Pro Otonomi (MPO). His appointment as head of the civil defence corps has been welcomed by Colonel Timbul Silaen, chief of police of East Timor who heads the force entrusted under the 5 May Accords with responsibility for security in East Timor during the UN Consultation. Moreover, several hundred members of Aitarak are also to join the Dili civil defence corps.
Eurico Guterres stood on the steps of the Governor's House in Dili on the morning of 17 April this year and called on his men to go out and slaughter pro-independence activists. Within hours, at least twelve people had been killed at the house of Mr. Manuel Carrascalao, including Mr. Carrascalao's son.
Point (3) of your Memorandum of 4 May 1999 regarding security for the consultation calls for "the prompt arrest and prosecution of those who incite or threaten to use violence against others."
The Indonesian police force have made it clear that they intend to use this civil defence corps composed of militia members for policing duties. This contravenes Point (1) of the Agreement on Security for the Popular Consultation signed by yourself and the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal which states that "(T)he absolute neutrality of the TNI and the Indonesian Police Force is essential." The Aitarak militia are in the forefront of the pro-integration campaign. They propagate their views not only in words but also by killing pro-independence leaders and activists. It is inconceivable that these known murderers have been given a role in safeguarding security. If they were assigned, for example, to guard registration centers, few East Timorese, who have come to know these killers well, would turn up for registration.
We therefore urge you, under the terms of the Accords entered into by Indonesian and Portugal on 5 May and your own Memorandum on Security Matters:
1. To call for the arrest and prosecution of Eurico Guterres and other members of the Aitarak militia for incitement and involvement in the killings that were perpetrated in Dili on 17 April.
2. To call on the civil authorities in Dili to revoke the appointment of Eurico Guterres as head of the Dili civil defence corps and protest to the chief of police, Colonel Timbul Silaen, for endorsing the appointment. We believe that these actions would be in the best interests of securing a peaceful environment for the holding of a free and fair ballot, and we turn to you to put a stop to this outrage.
Yours Sincerely, /s/ Charles A. Scheiner United Nations Representative
Cc: Security Council Member States Media
IFET Member Organizations
Australia-East Timor Association Australians for a Free East Timor Brisbane East Timor Office (Australia) Campaign for an Independent East Timor (South Australia) East Timor International Support Centre (Australia) East Timor Relief Assn. (Australia) Friends of East Timor, West. Australia Hobart East Timor Comm. (Australia) Canadian Action for Indonesia and East Timor East Timor Alert Network (Canada) National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT, East Timor) Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (Fiji) East Timor Group of Committee of 100 (Finland) Agir Pour Timor (France) Association Solidarité Timor-Oriental (France) Gesellschaft fur Bedrohte Völker (Germany) Watch Indonesia! (Germany) East Timor Roundtable (Hong Kong) Indian Society for Human Rights Forum Solidaritas Untuk Rakyat Timor Lorosae (Indonesia) E. Timor Ireland Solidarity Campaign Latin American and Mediterranean Coalition for East Timor (Italy) Free East Timor - Japan Coalition East Timor Information Network (Malaysia) International Platform of Jurists for East Timor (Netherlands) Norwegian Cooperation Council for East Timor and Indonesia Asia-Pacific Coalition on East Timor (Philippines) A Paz é Possivel em Timor Leste (Portugal) Commissão para os Direitos do Povo Maubere (Portugal) Movimento Christão para a Paz (Port.) Paz é Justica para Timor Leste (Port.) East Timor Scotland Support Group Instituto de Estudios Políticos para América Latina y Africa (Spain) Östtimor Kommitten (Sweden) TAPOL (U.K.) British Coalition for East Timor East Timor Action Network (USA) International Secretariat, Parliamentarians for East Timor
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