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East Timor reconciliation movement faced resistance in Lautem

MateBEAN - December 5, 1997

Dili – Lautem local government harassed the activity of the new East Timor Reconciliation Movement (GRPRTT). The movement itself was the initiative of ex-local parliament member, Manuel Carrascalao and Maria Quintao.

The Bupati (regent) of Lautem, Edmundo da Concecao E Silva collected condemnation statements from pro-integration factions. The bupati and local military authorities were also influenced pro-integration local youth organi-zations to resist GRPRTT. Among them is AMPI (Indonesian Young Generation of Development), FKKPI, (Armed Forces Daughters and Sons Forum) Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth), Pemuda Panca Marga (ex-criminal organization) and Kosgoro (Golkar's cooperative organization).

A local journalist told MateBEAN that the new organization had spread all over East Timor, especially among the youth. They raise a sensitive but valid question: Why Indonesia invaded and occupied East Timor.

A rivalry between Manuel Carrascalao and Abilio Jose Soares ended when Jakarta appointed the Armed Forces-backed Soares, as the Governor of East Timor. It leads into the forming of Group 7, formerly pro-integration acti-vists, and now became anti-integrationist. Then the Group 7 formed the GRPRTT and went popular among the East Timorese youngsters.

Manuel Carascalao is the elder brother of Mario Carrascalao, formerly the governor of East Timor and now Indonesian ambassador in Rumania. He showed his dissatisfaction after he saw gross human rights violations in East Timor since ABRI came to occupy. He became more disappointed after the authorities replaced his closest friends' position in the local government. They are all critical towards Indonesian policies in East Timor.