Uttalande vid
demonstration 24/4 1999

Box 70341
Tel. 08-33 62 47
Postgiro 1 81 92-5

April 23, 1999

Indonesian Embassy
Singelbacken 12
115 21 Stockholm

Mr. Ambassador,

All reports from East Timor tell about a dramatic increase of violence during the past few weeks and a high death toll. Particularly alarming are the massacres by para-military groups, which according to available data are armed and supported by the Indonesian military, in Liquisa on April 6 and in Dili on April 17. On both occasions, at least 30 people were killed. These brutal acts have been condemned by the world community.

The violence severely threatens the agreed ballot on autonomy for East Timor scheduled to be held in July this year, although a ceasefire agreement was signed on Wednesday this week between pro-independence groups and the militias. Even if the agreement will be respected, there is reason to believe that in the present state of tensions a ballot could easily be manipulated. In fact, the recent rise in violence entirely contradicts the hopes raised by the Indonesian government's announcement in January that East Timor could be granted independence after the June parliamentary elections if a majority of people reject autonomy. The hopes are also betrayed by the fact that Xanana Gusmão and many other political prisoners from East Timor have not yet been released.

Given these circumstances, we urge you to forward the following demands to your government:

  • To immediately disarm the para-military groups on East Timor
  • To immediately withdraw Indonesian troops from East Timor and to allow personnel from the UN to monitor the withdrawal
  • To immediately and unconditionally release Xanana Gusmao and all other political prisoners from East Timor
  • To allow a fair and free ballot on self-determination for East Timor to be held