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The killing must stop now!

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Media Release

Warren Snowdon M.P


Member for the Northern Territory


14 September 1999


The killing must stop now!


Federal member for the Northern Territory, Warren Snowdon, said today he had received information this morning confi rming that East Timorese refugees were still being executed in and around Kupang, Kefamenanu and Atambau in West Tumor.


“The killings must stop and they must stop right now,” Mr Snowdon said.


“The Indonesian leadership must know that they will be held to account for this,


“Let there be no doubt that the international community will hold Indonesia responsible for any human rights transgressions that occur between now and the time peacekeeping forces are able to enter Timor.


“The world community should not allow the Indonesian military to think that they can accept the need for international assistance to bring about peace and order in East Timor while they continue their campaign of murder and intimidation, and their violation of basic human rights.


“it is clear that the Indonesian armed forces, the TNI, have been responsible for coordinating the events that have occurred over the past ten days and that they continue to be responsible for what is happening on the ground in both East and West Timor.


“This morning we have been advised that in the camps around Atambau people are dying of thirst, hunger and disease and apparently malaria is out of control.


“People are contacting us from these areas pleading for relief to come quickly. Their families here are telling me they are willing to charter aircraft to lift them out, and are themselves pleading for the authorities to clear the way for this to happen as a matter of priority,” Mr Snowdon said.


On Sunday night Indonesian President Habibie said:


“We canno t wait any longer 1 we have to stop the suffering...too many people have lost their lives."


‘These are fine words. However, they are hollow if there is no action and if President Habibie doesn’t direct the military to immediately stop the wanton killing an d other human rights violations, and guarantee security for humanitarian relief efforts throughout Timor.


“What have John Howard, Alexander Downer and John Moore done about this problem? What assurance did they get from President Habibie, Foreign Minister Alatas and General Wiranto? The answer is obvious.


“The Government should forget the back-slapping and self-congratulations because a peacekeeping force has been belatedly accepted. Far from this being a great victory, the whole saga has been a policy disaster and many people have died and more will die as a result,” Mr Snowdon said.


Ends Contact: Tony Uaritos 084945 7400, 0417 804 878



rw  1999-09-16  10:48