Sun, 05 Sep 1999

Xanana calls for int'l troops

JAKARTA (JP): East Timorese proindependence leader Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao called on Saturday for an immediate international military intervention in his homeland to prevent bloodshed.

"We foresee chaos. We foresee a new genocide in East Timor. We foresee total destruction in a desperate and last attempt by the Indonesian generals and politicians to deny the people of East Timor their freedom," Xanana said from his special detention house shortly after the United Nations gave proindependence East Timorese victory in Monday's ballot.

"We deem any form of military intervention necessary and urgent from now on," he told a packed media briefing.

He said Indonesia's rule in East Timor ended on Saturday with the announcement of the ballot result.

Xanana, who was jailed in 1992 for leading a rebellion against Indonesia, alleged that many Indonesian soldiers infiltrated East Timor wearing civilian clothes.

This would not be a civil war in the strict sense of the term, he said, adding, that instead, Indonesian forces would order East Timorese to kill their own.

Xanana is the front-runner for president of the new independent East Timor.

His tirade against the Indonesian Military and government came as President B.J. Habibie's administration was preparing for his release in fulfillment of an Indonesian pledge as part of the deal signed with the United Nations in May.

Xanana refrained from laying the blame entirely on Gen. Wiranto, the Indonesian Military (TNI) commander.

"At the end of the day, Gen. Wiranto is not the head of the military. Either Gen. Wiranto is not able to control his men, or he does not want to," he said.

TNI was widely criticized for its failure to control the pro- Indonesia militia, which launched a terror campaign against the East Timorese population before and after the ballot.

Meanwhile, Jose Ramos-Horta, the second-in-command of the East Timorese resistance after Xanana, also called for international financial pressure on Indonesia to ensure it honored its commitments to East Timor.

"Indonesia only understands the language of force," Ramos- Horta told Portugal's SIC television.

"The multinational institutions and financiers must put pressure on Indonesia to avoid the conflict from continuing," said the cowinner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize.

Ramos-Horta stressed that most of the militias responsible for the violence in East Timor were recruited from outside the territory, on the western part of the island and from Jakarta.

Ramos-Horta also offered an olive branch to East Timorese who voted against independence in Monday's ballot.

"They have not lost, they have a won a country. Those 21 percent who voted for autonomy, they must stay on in East Timor. They are the children, the sons and daughters of East Timor." (emf/emb)