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Indonesians stalk East Timorese in Australia
13 September 1999
By CHRIS GRIFFITH
12 Sept 99
INDONESIA last night looked set to buckle under international pressure and accept a peace- keeping force in East Timor.
General Wiranto, the head of Indonesia's armed forces, yesterday indicated a startling reversal - although Australia's role was still in doubt.
A senior aide to President BJ Habibie said Indonesia should have the right to choose which countries were involved in peace-keeping.
In other developments yesterday:
Indonesian agents were revealed to be stalking East Timorese in Australia and threatening to murder their families back in Timor. Brisbane's East Timorese community said a sophisticated Indonesian spy network in Australia was passing on intelligence to the Indonesian military.
Australia was condemned for training many of Indonesia's most feared military chiefs.
As well, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta has called on the ASIO to investigate Indonesian diplomats believed to be behind the spy ring.
East Timorese living here have reported threats to the lives of their families in East Timor.
Co-ordinator of the Ipswich East Timor community, Januario Cardoso, said yesterday he was threatened twice last week after criticising the Indonesian military.
And the wife and daughter of an AusAid- sponsored East Timorese student in Melbourne are missing, believed dead.
The director of the East Timor Human Rights centre in Melbourne, Ana Noronha said the student received a phone call the day after militia abducted his family.
"A man spoke in Bahasa Indonesian, without an accent, saying in a sarcastic tone: 'I hope you are feeling well now'," she said.
Mr Ramos-Horta, speaking exclusively to The Sunday Mail, said the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra and its consulates in Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin were "full of military intelligence people, keeping an eye on the East Timorese".
"They take pictures of demonstrators, Australian and East Timorese, and they keep a black list of everyone," Mr Ramos-Horta said.
Spokesman for the Brisbane East Timor community Joe Teixeira said it was common for protesters to be photographed.
"They've been very active spying on the East Timorese community in the past and I wouldn't be surprised if it were escalating," Mr Teixeira said.
He said he had been unable to contact his cousins and uncles scattered across the Indonesian archipelago during the past three weeks.
"We're dealing with a totally immoral regime here, the sort of people who kill 82-year-old nuns," Mr Teixeira said.
The revelations follow threats allegedly made by an Indonesian embassy official against Gold Coast exporter Peter Crawford last week.
He was warned: "The Indonesian secret police's tentacles extend far outside of the boundaries of Jakarta and Indonesia". A Queensland Police spokesman said all threats should be reported to Australian police.
Phone calls to the Indonesian embassy in Canberra last night were greeted with the recorded message: "Memory is full. Answer functions are turned off."
(The Sunday Mail)
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