[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 145 (1999), Part 15]
[Pages 20935-20936]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


  (Mr. McGOVERN asked and was given permission to address the House for 
1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I was in East Timor at the end of August. 
I met with the government and military officials, with U.N. monitors, 
religious and community leaders. I traveled to the countryside. When I 
left East Timor, I called for the immediate formation of a U.N. 
peacekeeping force because everyone feared violent retaliation after 
the vote.
  Now their worst fears have been realized. I had dinner in the home of 
Bishop Belo. Now his home has been burned to the ground. I have talked 
to people in Dili and Jakarta. Their eyewitness reports make your blood 
run cold.
  This is not anarchy. This is not civil war. This is the deliberate, 
planned slaughter of a people.
  The United States and the international community must help restore 
order and security by immediately deploying an international 
peacekeeping force.
  The United States should suspend all aid to Indonesia, including 
multilateral aid, until the violence is ended and the people's safety 
is guaranteed.
  Seventy-eight percent of the people of East Timor voted for 
independence. Their courage and commitment to freedom should not be 
rewarded with death. The time to act is now.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time I would enter additional material into the 

 Statement of U.S. Representative Jim McGovern on the Current Violence 
                    in East Timor, September 7, 1999

       U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) called upon the 
     Clinton Administration today to suspend all U.S. assistance 
     to the Government of Indonesia until such time as the 
     violence in East Timor has ceased and the safety and security 
     of the East Timorese people can be guaranteed. Rep. McGovern 
     has also pressed the White House to support the immediate 
     deployment to East Timor of a multinational peacekeeping 
     force to help restore law and order. The following is Rep. 
     McGovern's statement:
       ``I recently traveled to East Timor as part of a 
     congressional delegation that included Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) 
     and Jack Reed (R-RI) to assess the conditions leading to the 
     August 30 referendum. Based on our interviews with officials 
     in East Timor and Jakarta, and what we had witnessed on the 
     ground in East Timor, I called for a United Nations 
     Peacekeeping force to be deployed in East Timor during this 
     difficult transition period. Throughout East Timor the people 
     we talked with were deeply concerned about violent 
     retaliation following the vote. Their fears have now been 
     confirmed in the most horrific way.
       ``Over the past several days, I have been in discussions 
     with many of the people I met with in East Timor, some of 
     whom have recently been evacuated off the island. They 
     describe burning and looting in Dili; attacks against unarmed 
     civilians, including women and children; attacks against U.N. 
     workers and the International Committee of the Red Cross; the 
     rounding up of people who have taken refuge with the Catholic 
     Church and transporting them to unknown destinations. The 
     fate of these people is unknown, and the worst is feared. In 
     most instances, eyewitnesses report the collaboration or 
     direct assistance of the Indonesian police and military in 
     these actions.
       ``I urge the United States to support Australia and other 
     nations calling for the immediate deployment of a 
     multinational peacekeeping force to restore order to East 
     Timor and an end to the violence. The Government of Indonesia 
     has clearly been unable or unwilling to provide security to 
     the East Timorese people and should agree to the immediate 
     deployment of such an international force to assist Indonesia 
     in meeting its responsibilities and international commitments 
     under the May 5 Agreement it signed with the United Nations 
     and the Government of Portugal.
       ``I further urge the Administration to suspend all U.S. 
     bilateral assistance to the Government of Indonesia until 
     such time as the United Nations certifies that order has been 
     restored and safety to the East Timorese people guaranteed. 
     Time and again, the Government of Indonesia has pledged to 
     guarantee security of the East Timorese people. Time and 
     again, the U.S. has stated that there will be severe 
     consequences should the Indonesian Government fail to live up 
     to its commitments. They have failed to do so. It is time for 
     the U.S. and other countries to begin demonstrating what 
     those consequences are: a loss of all international economic, 
     military and development support. I ask the U.S. to take the 
     lead in urging other nations to suspend their assistance to 
     Jakarta and for the international financial institutions to 
     freeze all loan disbursements on current projects in 
       ``Over 78 percent of people of East Timor voted for 
     independence. Their courage and faith in democracy and the 
     international community should not be rewarded with death and 
     destruction. Every hour is costing lives in East Timor. The 
     international community and the United States must act now.

Observations and Recommendations: August 19-24, 1999 Fact-Finding Trip 
          to East Timor, U.S. Representative James P. McGovern

       Having just returned from a fact-finding mission to East 
     Timor (August 19-24) with Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jack 
     Reed (D-RI), I would make the following observations:
       (1) The May 5th Agreement on East Timor--signed by the 
     Governments of Indonesia and Portugal and the United Nations 
     Secretary General--puts forth the framework for elections in 
     East Timor that would decide whether East Timor would remain 
     a part of Indonesia (technically the vote is on supporting or 
     rejecting autonomy).
       The United Nations Mission on East Timor (UNAMET) has been 
     established to implement the agreement and the Indonesian 
     Government is responsible for ensuring the ballot can take 
     place in a peaceful and stable environment.
       (2) UNAMET has done an excellent job in creating a process 
     that will allow this plebescite to occur. Despite a smear 
     campaign being launched against them by pro-integration 
     forces, UNAMET has been objective and fair--and has 
     established a process that is credible.
       UNAMET has already postponed the vote twice--from August 8 
     to August 21 to August 30. It appears unlikely that it will 
     be postponed again.
       In the face of political intimidation and violence--mostly 
     by pro-integration forces--UNAMET nonetheless, registered 
     over 450,000 voters. People defied the intimidation and 
     registered in higher than expected numbers (over 100,000 more 
     than what the U.N. considered an ``acceptable'' level).
       (3) From discussions on the ground in East Timor with a 
     variety of parties, it seems unlikely that there will occur a 
     truly free and fair plebiscite. However, UNAMET's efforts 
     could very well lead to a vote that truly reflects the will 
     of the people in East Timor.
       Armed militias continue to operate with impunity. We 
     visited the town of Maliana on Saturday--only to learn that 
     the town is regularly swarming with armed militias. The U.N. 
     offices were recently attacked. In fact, a rock that was 
     hurled through a window is still lodged in a wall in one of 
     the offices. A number of local people have been killed, some 
     are reported missing and many are routinely threatened with 
     death if the election should result in a pro-independence 
       We met with the local police chief who, while assuring us 
     he will do his best to maintain security for the vote, 
     conceded that he could give no instances where individuals 
     associated with militias had been arrested--despite the fact 
     that militia activity is strictly illegal.
       It is also clear that the militias are a product of the 
     Indonesian military--and not of any community-based 
     organization. They exist to do the army's bidding--plain and 
     simple. If the military authorities wanted militia activity 
     to cease, it would.
       The police force, which has been technically charged with 
     maintaining security and has been given all the appropriate 
     support UNAMET, has been unwilling or unable to control 
     militia violence. By all accounts, police security simply 
     stand by and watch in the face of militia violence--and 
     refuse to go against the military. What is particularly 
     alarming is that this same police force is charged with 
     maintaining security in the post-plebiscite period.
       A visit by our delegation to Suai on Saturday revealed many 
     of the same problems as in Maliana. Armed militias, political 
     intimidation and threats of violence are all commonplace. In 
     Suai, a potentially explosive situation has arisen where over 
     2000 internally displaced persons (IDP's) are seeking 
     temporary sanctuary on the property of a local church. It is 
     clear that most of the IDP's are pro-independence and are 
     waiting in order to vote on August 30. Local authorities in 
     Suai had shut off the water supply to the church and have 
     also refused to allow food products to be brought to 
     displaced people by the UNHCR. Our delegation appealed to 
     local authorities to allow water and food to be brought to 
     these people--and we were told that would happen. Water was 
     restored, according to U.N. reports, later the next day.
       (4) On Saturday, Senator Harkin and I met with Indonesian 
     President B.J. Habibie. We

[[Page 20936]]

     expressed our gratitude for his public statements in support 
     of a free and fair vote in East Timor--but reported that our 
     recent visit demonstrated to us that conditions there were 
     still very disturbing. We urged that he take a more 
     aggressive role in demanding Indonesian military compliance 
     with the spirit of the May 5th agreement. We suggested a 
     number of military officers who should be replaced based on 
     their inappropriate behavior. He asked us to follow-up with a 
     memo--which Senator Harkin agreed to do before leaving 


       (1) The United States and the world community should 
     continue to strongly--and without equivocation--support 
     UNAMET. This is especially important to do now because 
     prointegration forces are smearing UNAMET in order to justify 
     ignoring the voting results if the decision is pro-
       (2) The United States should urge the U.N. and the 
     Indonesian government to allow a U.N. peacekeeping force into 
     East Timor immediately. It is clear that the Indonesian 
     police and military are not creating a secure environment, 
     which could be particularly dangerous in the aftermath of a 
     pro-independence vote. A number of U.N. and human rights 
     observers continue to worry about retaliation in the 
     aftermath of the election. Based on what I've observed, the 
     local police will not or cannot stand up to military-backed 
       (3) The United States and the world community must continue 
     to make clear that Indonesia's failure to live up to the May 
     5th agreement and provide security to the people of East 
     Timor before, during and especially after the vote will 
     result in strong consequences--both economically and 
     diplomatically. The Indonesian Government can show good faith 
     now by disarming the militias and arresting anyone with an 
     unauthorized weapon.
       The U.S. Congressional delegation met with:
       U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia J. Stapleton Roy and embassy 
       Xanana Gusmao, opposition leader.
       Major General Zacky Anwar--Indonesia Armed Forces (TNI) in 
     East Timor.
       Deputy Governor Sudharto of Dili, East Timor.
       Party Leaders of the National Council of the Timorese 
     Resistance (CNRT, the coalition of pro-independence forces).
       United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor team 
     members (UNAMET)--including Ian Martin, Special 
     Representative for the Secretary General for the East Timor 
     Popular Consultation.
       Roman Catholic Bishop of Dili, East Timor, Carlos Felipe 
     Zimenes Belo.
       Mateu Maiz, Mayor of Dili and spokespeople of the United 
     Front for East Timor Autonomy (FPDK), the coalition of pro-
     integration forces).
       Site visits to the western towns of Maliana and Suai in 
     East Timor.
       Indonesian President B.J. Habibie.

                Carter Center Report No. 8 on East Timor

    carter center staff evacuates east timor; center joins call for 
    international intervention if indonesian government fails to act

       The Carter Center has been forced by militia attacks in 
     East Timor to evacuate its remaining three international 
     staff members from the territory. Their reports from Jakarta 
     of the events they witnessed just prior to leaving the East 
     Timor capital of Dili conclusively show complicity of 
     Indonesian forces, both police and military, with the armed 
     gangs terrorizing and displacing the local East Timorese 
     populace. This includes militias' efforts to drive 
     international observers, journalists, and U.N. staff out of 
     East Timor.
       This violent situation is not chaotic, but rather appears 
     to follow a plan, since Indonesian forces openly tolerate or 
     even support assaults and killing of unarmed civilians by the 
     militias. The Indonesian government has repeatedly pledged to 
     take steps to stop the violence and has sufficient forces in 
     East Timor to do so, but no action to stop the rampaging 
     militias is evident in Dili or elsewhere in East Timor. At 
     the very least, insubordination of military forces in the 
     territory to higher command officials is occurring. Immediate 
     changes in command and public issuance of orders to the 
     military to use force to stop the militias are required.
       If the U.N. ambassadorial delegation determines that the 
     Indonesian government is not prepared to reverse this 
     situation immediately, every step should be taken to get 
     President B.J. Habibie to agree to the introduction of armed 
     international peacekeeping forces.
       Carter Center observers, now stationed in Jakarta, have 
     confirmed the following incidents through direct observation 
     or reliable reports from eyewitnesses in East Timor:
       Since the vote results were announced on Saturday, armed 
     pro-integration militia members have erected roadblocks 
     throughout Dili and control the streets of the capital at all 
     hours of the day. Militia members are: terrorizing and 
     murdering unarmed civilians; intimidating, threatening, and 
     attacking international personnel; burning houses; and 
     displacing large numbers of people. Carter Center observers 
     have on numerous occasions witnessed militia members 
     perpetrating acts of violence in full view of heavily-armed 
     police and military personnel who either stand by and watch 
     or actively assist the militias.
       On Monday afternoon, Sept. 6, in Dili, reports were 
     received that thousands of internally displaced persons were 
     being taken from their places of refuge in Dili by police and 
     loaded on trucks headed for West Timor.
       Over the weekend, militia members attacked and burned the 
     offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the 
     residence of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bishop Carlos Belo, 
     and other places of refuge, forcing thousands of internally 
     displaced people sheltered in those places to flee.
       Carter Center observers contacted officials at one Catholic 
     mission in Dili that was sheltering several thousand 
     internally displaced persons. They said armed militia had 
     removed all young men from the compound on Monday evening. 
     Their current whereabouts and condition is unknown.
       Carter Center observers were attacked by militia at the 
     port of Dili as they attempted to evacuate the Carter 
     Center's local East Timorese staff on Sunday. After being 
     pursued through the city by armed militia and by Indonesian 
     police, the Center's international observers were evacuated 
     to Jakarta with the help of the Australian consulate and the 
     U.S. Embassy. Carter Center local staff are still scattered 
     in Dili and unaccounted for.
       International press and observers were forced at gunpoint 
     by Indonesian police to evacuate their hotels and residences 
     on Sunday and Monday and driven to the airport. A small 
     number of international journalists refused to leave and some 
     are now taking refuge at UNAMET headquarters.
       There has been almost constant automatic weapon fire around 
     and over UNAMET headquarters since Saturday evening. On 
     Sunday night several thousand internally displaced persons 
     sheltered in a school adjacent to UNAMET headquarters were 
     forced to flee into the U.N. compound after automatic weapons 
     with tracer bullets were fired over their heads. An estimated 
     2,000 people have now taken refuge in the U.N. compound.
       UNAMET has been forced to evacuate all eight of their 
     regional offices and on Monday evacuated a large number of 
     international staff from UNAMET headquarters in Dili. U.N. 
     vehicles carrying evacuees to the airport on Monday were 
     fired upon.