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Forceful counter demonstration

MateBEAN - June 29, 1998 (posted by ETISC)

Indonesian military along with the Governor Abilio Jose Osorio, forced civilian population, civil-servants and young boys to hold a counter demonstration during the time of Europe Union Ambassadors Delegation visit. All companies and businessman have to provide their cars, without exception for the transportation of demonstrators. The plan for the counter demonstration has been prepared for several days.

On Wednesday, 24 June 1998, Governor Abilio Jose Osorio invited all the Chief District of East Timor for a meeting in his office to present the plan of counter demonstration. The Governor ordered them to bring all civil-servants and civilian population in the demonstration. The first meeting began at 7.30 AM until 2.00 PM. The second meeting took place at the evening with the groups of Gardapaksi, Tim Alpha, Rajawali and Halilintar.

Thursday, 25 June 1998, the Chief of District of Dili, had another meeting with all the headmen of Dili city. There was also the Chairman of Local House of Representative. The headmen were forced to mobilize their respective population to involve in the counter-demonstration. The headman of Comoro, Vitorino is the only one who accepted the plan. All of others strongly rejected to take part, by the reason of the demonstration should create disorder and bloodshed. The civil-servants are also strongly refused to participate, but they are threatened of dismissed from their jobs and loosing three months of the salary.

Friday, 26 June 1998, at 7.30 AM all are forced to gather in the Governor office for the necessary instructions of the Governor, concern with the counter-demonstration, during the European Union Ambassadors Delegation (British, Austria and Dutch)visit on 27 June 1998. The counter demonstration is organized to reject referendum demanded by the students and the majority of East Timor people and support an autonomy status for East Timor suggested by Indonesian Government. [In a July 2 press release by the East Timor International Support Centre, the organisation expressed concerned that the military is using counter demonstrations to intentionally create conflicts in order to justify a new crackdown and/or to give the impression (as has been explicitly stated by Indonesian Foreign Affairs minister, Ali Alitas) that a referendum would result in a major social conflict - James Balowski.]