The Nation, Thailand
WHETHER OR not a UN peace-keeping force is the answer to East Timor's worsening situation, there is little doubt that the UN cannot afford to ignore the writing on the wall. Jakarta has showed a refreshing willingness to respect the wishes of the East Timorese people even if they amount to secession, but the writ of the all- powerful Indonesian armed forces evidently still runs large. International opinion must respond to the danger signals before it is too late.
Khaleej Times, UAE
IT IS imperative that the Indonesian military keep completely out of this political process. What is worrying is that, surreptitiously, the military will arm those who want East Timor to continue to be a part of Indonesia, so that they can "convince" the voters with their weapons if they fail to do so by reason. It would be far more advisable and prudent for those like General Wiranto to leave the East Timorese to decide their future without blandishments, threats or arms.
Hong Kong Standard, China
THE SITUATION is clearly deteriorating. At the very least, this suggests the existing Indonesian military command in East Timor is ineffective and must be replaced. Such a move would go a long way to shoring up international confidence in Jakarta's intentions. A willingness by Jakarta to support Bishop Belo's proposal and accept United Nations civilian human rights monitors would go much further.
Sydney Morning Herald