Monitor; All the News of the World: International comment on escalating militia violence in East Timor

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The Independent Culture
THE DECLARATION of martial law must be suspected as intended more to gain time than resolve the crisis. Australia should end this dangerous period of uncertainty. It should declare its intention to move troops into East Timor if Indonesia doesn't restore order immediately and if, in that event, the UN Security Council fails to call together urgently a peacekeeping force.

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

THE IMMORALITY of Asean [Association of South East Asian Nations] is unbelievable considering they may eventually be inviting an independent East Timor to join [them]. It was from this region that we once heard so much about Asian values. Do those support accepting such savage butchery by a member state? It is time the Asean states got off their pedestal and joined the rest of the world in urging Jakarta to stop the slaughter by requesting the UN to send in a peacekeeping force. Inaction on their part will only invite foreign intervention which all of them profess to abhor.

Hong Kong Standard

IF THE public harbour suspicions of Indonesian Military's (TNI's) intentions with the martial law in East Timor, it is because it fits a pattern. Martial law gives the TNI a free rein. It could either end the violence or consolidate its hold on East Timor. In the course of the next two days, we hope TNI will disprove misgivings. Indonesia's reputation has already been tarnished by recent events. Here is a golden last chance to salvage some respect, pride and credibility.

The Jakarta Post, Indonesia

INDONESIA INSISTS it can solve the problem without international help. Although Australia is assembling a peacekeeping force, the UN has announced that it will not endorse it without Indonesia's agreement. Getting Jakarta's consent will require strong and immediate pressure, especially from the US, Australia and Japan. All three nations should announce that they are cutting off all military aid and sales. A united, powerful threat from abroad is likely needed to persuade them to end the killings. The New York Times, US

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