Monitor: All the News of the World: Comment on the escalation of violence in East Timor following their referendum

ANALYSTS HAVE warned that Monday's ballot may not necessarily mean the liberation of the people of East from the strife and violence that have plagued them for more than two decades. Nobody knows for certain what the people's choice in East Timor is. But whatever that choice we hope Indonesia can prove to be truly helpful in guaranteeing a peaceful and orderly transition to a better East Timor. The moment of truth is near and there is no turning back. Should East Timor opt for independence, Indonesia should accept reality and bow out with grace and dignity.

Jakarta Post, Indonesia

THE VOTES of many East Timorese have literally been paid for in the blood of their brothers and sisters. Their reward might be the creation of the world's newest nation. Here is a humbling lesson for those in many countries, including Australia, where the right to vote in democratic elections is sometimes taken too lightly.

The Age, Australia

THE RESPONSE from those who might have the power to prevent disaster in East Timor has been tepid at best. Because its own credibility is at stake, the UN must see to it that democracy prevails in East Timor. If independence wins, outsiders have a duty to assist in the birth of a new nation. The UN can either prepare for intervention now or try to cope with a humanitarian disaster when war breaks out.

Boston Globe, US

THE SITUATION in East Timor may deteriorate to the point where outside intervention is necessary. But having insisted on retaining responsibility for East Timor's security for the next few months at least, Indonesia can't walk away from the problem when it suits its purposes. The success of the ballot and the safety of the East Timorese are in the balance. So is the credibility of a country which claims to have turned its back on the quasi-military dictatorship of the Suharto era. Indonesian troops must do the job they claim to have set out to do.

Sydney Morning Herald,

Australia

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