19 October 2009

Media Release: FRETILIN confident of safety of Timorese in Indonesia

FRENTE REVOLUCIONARIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE FRETILIN Media Release Dili, 19 October 2009 FRETILIN confident of safety of Timorese in Indonesia

The Indonesian Government, through its Dili Embassy, today “strongly rejected” Dili newspaper reports of a planned campaign of checkpoints and searches of sons and daughters of FRETILIN leaders and members, and of the closure of the border. “This is welcomed by FRETILIN”, said
its parliamentary spokesperson, Jose Teixeira MP in Dili today.

“FRETILIN continues to have confidence in the Indonesian government authorities to uphold their law, which guarantees the safety of every person in Indonesia and to maintain lawful order, as the largest democratic nation in South East Asia.

“We condemn the tendency of some of our own politicians to exploit the vulnerability of our Timorese brothers and sisters living and studying in Indonesia, by involving them in our own internal sovereign matters. This is happening now with the case of the illegal release of an
accused prisoner by this AMP de facto government. We call on these political opportunists to cease this type of rumor peddling causing unnecessary alarm. The modern, democratic, law-abiding Indonesian government understands the legal issues that are at stake,” said Mr

Francisco Soares Pereira, a Timorese living in Indonesia, is reported to have told Suara Timor Lorosae by telephone last Friday: “We will undertake sweeps (checkpoints) of cars belonging to Timorese who travel in and out of Indonesia. This action will be taken especially against the sons and daughters of FRETILIN leaders including FRETILIN cadres who live near the border.”

However, today the Dili daily Timor Post reported that the First Secretary for Political Affairs with the Indonesian Embassy in Dili, Victor Josef Sambuaga, “strongly rejected information that Indonesian citizens, especially Timorese living in Atambua and Kupang, had closed the border between the two countries, and that they had set up checkpoints for sweeps of Timor-Leste citizens living in Atambua.”

(Timor Post, Monday October 19, 2009)

Sambuaga added that public demonstrations or actions such as this should comply with the law and have the authorization of the police. He explained, “We have met directly with the authorities responsible for this matter in Atambua and until now there are no indications that
these type of activities such as checkpoints and sweeps as have been reported, so because of this we can say they are merely rumors.”

Sambuaga assured all concerned that the Indonesian security forces are giving serious attention to important locations such as the border crossings in places like Mota Ain.

“We have every confidence in the Indonesian authorities to do the right thing. The statements by Mr Sambuaga reassures us greatly,” Mr Teixeira said.

For further information, please contact Jose Teixeira MP on +670 728 7080

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