May
01
1999

East Timor on the Wires

AP, Reuters transmit Indonesia's official version

When the Indonesian government announced in January that it would consider cutting East Timor loose if people there refused its autonomy proposal, reports started surfacing that tensions between pro-Indonesia and pro-independence East Timorese had reached a critical point. Reuters wrote (3/10/99): "President B.J. Habibie...startled the world by suggesting independence as a 'second option' if autonomy were rejected, touching off fighting between pro- and anti-independence Timorese factions." The Associated Press reported soon after Habibie's announcement (2/16/99) that "pro-Indonesian activists have warned of the possibility of civil war among rival East Timorese factions if Indonesia withdraws troops from the territory." The wire […]