A curious incident in Dili

João Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at SPAMmail.telepac.pt
Sat Nov 20 08:42:26 MST 1999

Yesterday, Xanana Gusmão attended a meeting in Dili with the appointed
head of the transitional UN administration (UNTAET) Sergio Vieira de
Mello. There was also a farewell ceremony to Ian Martin, the scotsman
who directed the UN task force that superintended over the referendum.
The meeting was all smiles and the demands of the CNRT for participation
in the transitional structure were met. There will be a Superior Council
of Transition, with paritary participation of members appointed by the

Xanana now lives in Aileu, to the south of Dili, where the headquarters
of FALINTIL are located and an embryo of east-timorese self-rule is
developing. To go to Dili, he refused the escort of the international
force (INTERFET) and was accompanied by an armed FALINTIL detachment.
This is technically a break with the agreement reached with the
australians, under which the FALINTIL are supposed to remain confined in
camps. CNRT sources say this was meant to "mark positions before the
INTERFET who have been taking provocatory measures". Last thursday, a
group of FALINTIL soldiers on their way to Aileu were detained by
international forces.

On top of that, one of the FALINTIL soldiers actually tried to deny
entry in the meeting to the australian commander, general Peter
Cosgrove. Cosgrove was forced to physically engage with the soldier to
force his way in.

João Paulo Monteiro

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