November 14, 1994
DILI, Indonesia (AP) -- About 90 demonstrators were arrested Monday as soldiers clashed with pro-independence protesters for the second straight day in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, the military said.
The unrest in Dili, East Timor's capital, put the spotlight on Indonesia's human rights record as President Clinton joined a trade summit hosted by Indonesian President Suharto.
Witnesses said several hundred security police guarded government buildings Monday, and police blocked entrances to the university to stop outsiders joining a campus sit-in by about 500 students protesting Indonesian rule.
Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975, and annexed it a year later, after East Timor's former Portuguese colonizers left. Indonesia claims that East Timor's leaders chose to join, but the United Nations has not recognized the move. Resistance fighters have waged a guerrilla war from the bush.
The Timorese resistance in exile appealed to U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to send a special envoy and urged Clinton be firm with Suharto.
"The time has come for the United States to take a tougher stance,"
Jose Ramos Horta, leader of a Timorese resistance coalition in exile, told a news conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Ramos Horta earlier told The Associated Press that Dili inhabitants contacted by telephone told him Indonesian soldiers had detained 100-200 people and an undetermined number were taken to the Kopassos special forces station near Dili for interrogation.
He said he believed the detainees would be
"interrogated roughly, tortured, given electric shocks."
Human rights groups have accused Indonesia of widespread abuses in East Timor since the invasion, after which Indonesia sealed East Timor from the outside world. Estimates of the death toll in the resulting famine and military occupation range from 60,000 to 250,000.
Three years ago Sunday, soldiers opened fire on a peaceful demonstration in Dili's Santa Cruz cemetery in 1991, killing at least 50 people. Some reports said as many as 200 died.
Witnesses said the bloodied body of a Timorese man, apparently killed in Sunday's clash, was found in a street early Monday.
Ramos Horta identified him as Mario Vicente, a Timor merchant he claimed had been killed by Indonesian immigrants. The killing sparked off Sunday's riots and three Indonesians were killed in retaliation, Ramos Horta said.
The military said it knew of no casualties.
Stores, offices and schools in many parts of Dili remained closed Monday, a day after rioters smashed shop windows, set fire to cars and threw rocks at police.
Ramos Horta said the streets of Dili were "dark, deserted and very tense" at nightfall.
Police were guarding the house of the territory's spiritual leader, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, a strident critic of Indonesia who urged calm.
Maj. Gen. Adang Rutciana, eastern Indonesia's military commander, said the majority of protestors detained would be released after questioning.
Col. Kiki Syanakri, East Timor's military commander, said the military would concentrate on capturing protest ringleaders.