quarta-feira, 13 de setembro de 2000

Basilio - Interview with SBS: Dateline

Interview: Basilio Araujo, former East Timorese militia spokesman
Wed, 13 Sep 2000

Summary:Mark Davis spoke to Basilio Araujo, the former spokesman for the pro-Indonesian militia.

Transcript:MARK DAVIS: Basilio Araujo, the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, has named your associate Eurico Guterres as the leader of the gang that murdered the UN workers in Atambua. Is he correct in making that accusation?

BASILIO ARAUJO, FORMER MILITIA SPOKESMAN: Well, I think that accusation is not correct, and I think I can understand the type of Foreign Minister. He is one person that usually only wants to make bombastic statements and tentative statements.

Regarding Eurico, I think on Wednesday morning, when he tried to call me from Kupang, he called me about 10 in the morning, and I think 10 o`clock, it takes about 6 o`clock from Kupang to Atambua, so if Alexander Downer accuses that Eurico is behind that incident, I don`t think that is true.

Who was responsible for those killings, and should they be prosecuted?

BASILIO ARAUJO: Well of course. I myself, I condemn any violation that has happened personally, and I think that whoever he is or she is, they have to be punished. But the problem is now, we give it to the police, we toss it to the police - they are the ones who are in charge of trying to find who the suspect is.

If Guterres is charged with these most recent killings, or indeed with the killings that occurred last year, what will the reaction of you and other integrationists be?

BASILIO ARAUJO: Regarding the killings - again, I say that we help the authorities, we leave it to the authorities. Here in Jakarta, we have the prosecutor`s office who is in charge of trying to investigate who is the culprit, so we`ll have to wait and see their jobs, the progress of their jobs in 2-3 weeks time.

You very openly supported the killings that were happening last year prior to the referendum. Are you concerned of the result of prosecutions yourself?

BASILIO ARAUJO: I do not accept the allegation that I am behind those killings. I was one of the leaders of pro-integration, I was the spokesperson for the organisation. We have some factions there - we have the political wing, the military wing and myself, I represented of the political wing. I spoke for them, but that doesn`t mean that I was the one who is giving the orders for them.

Regarding my involvement, of course, I will leave it to the prosecutor`s office. If they think I have some involvement, of course I can be punished, and I`ll be ready to be punished anytime, anywhere in this world.

Did the UN workers in Atambua, did they deserve to die?

BASILIO ARAUJO: Well of course, I myself, I never and I will never go on to admit any kind of such a violation, but I myself was really involved in negotiations with international organisations in Atambua as early as November 1999, in trying to cope with the problem of the refugees in West Timor. But at the time, they didn`t want to involve us. I told them, "If you not want to pay serious attention to the problem of refugees, in seven months to come or in eight months to come, you will see criminals."

These criminals are your associates - they`re not really coming from the refugees at all, are they? They`re the same figures you were working with in East Timor last year.

BASILIO ARAUJO: We`ll have to wait for another week to see whether they are really the group that belongs to the militia or not.

We saw hundreds of people of dying last year; we`re seeing more dying today. Will this carnage ever end?

BASILIO ARAUJO: I think you only saw the killing last year. I saw the killing in 1975, and those who killed our fathers in 1975 have never been punished. So I see this as actually a discrimination, which I say to Kofi Annan when he was here in Jakarta - that in case he wants to solve the problem of East Timor peacefully, he doesn`t have to be discriminatory. Otherwise, he will not be able to solve the problem of East Timor comprehensively and peacefully in the future.

We have to leave it there, Mr Araujo. Thanks for your time.