ad info




TIME Asia
TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Entertainment
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia

TIME.com
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Asiaweek
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

 ASIAWEEK.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL


Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story

SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 VOL. 154 NO. 12

A Drive into the Dark Side
By ZAMIRA LOEBIS Becora

Heading east from Dili to the village of Becora, the highway is deserted except our little convoy--a military truck bearing two tons of rice, and two cars carrying military officers and journalists. Half a dozen Indonesian soldiers guard the sacks of rice, their rifles pointed into the surrounding jungle. Their wariness does not inspire confidence.

    ALSO IN TIME
Marching into Trouble
The multinational peacekeeping force that lands this week is entering a minefield--just the first on what promises to be a long road to independence

Eyewitness
In a terror-struck village outside Dili, the Indonesian army makes a show of taking food aid to hungry refugees

Descent Into Chaos
The brutal rampage that has paralyzed the half-island has also severely damaged Indonesia's reputation in the world (Sept. 20, 1999)

  RELATED STORIES
CNN
Breaking news from CNN

ASIAWEEK
East Timor's Agony
The former Portuguese colony descends into anarchy as pro-Indonesia militias go on a campaign of violence to thwart independence

One Reporter's Notebook
How journalists came under the gun too

  MESSAGE BOARD
Indonesia and East Timor

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, two young priests in white robes appear beside the road. After speaking briefly with the truck driver, the pair hop on their motorcycle and lead the way to Becora, where the rice is destined for pro-independence refugees hiding in the mountains near the village of Motaulun.

Reaching the bridge at Motaulun, the priests turn right toward the hills. The river below the bridge has run dry, matching the hot, dusty landscape. The few houses on the slopes nearby are deserted; two of them are on fire. There is no one to be seen, until the two priests stop, followed by the truck and cars behind them. People begin to emerge from the forest. Within minutes, two dozen--mostly men, with some women and children--stand near the truck, listening to the priests giving instructions in the Tetum language. Two men then come down the hill, carrying a wounded man, Martino Makno.

Makno, 30, says he was coming down to meet the truck, to help carry the rice uphill, when he was shot in the right shoulder "by a soldier in Indonesian military uniform." The right half of his body has gone numb; the bullet has lodged in the shoulder. The priests ask the officer in charge to bring Makno to the hospital at military headquarters to be treated. But the officer refuses, telling them to come to the hospital to get medicine. "It's going to be a total headache if I take him with us," the officer says. "The pro-Jakarta refugees will look for him, since he's clearly on their target list." He denies that Makno could have been shot by one of his men. "It's very easy to wear one of our uniforms," he says. "The shot would have killed him if it had been fired by an Indonesian soldier."

As troops unload the sacks of rice, more and more refugees appear--5,000 are said to be hiding in the area--and watch curiously as their compatriots are interviewed by TV crews. When one of the priests tells everyone in Tetum to take the rice to the mountains, the crowd goes wild as people start to fight over the sacks. The priest shouts for them to stop shoving each other, but no one takes notice. "Don't expect people's ears to listen when they're hungry," the other priest says helplessly. By then, the bare hills are lined with hungry faces.

Fortunately for the refugees, more food and medicine are on their way. On Friday some 20 tons of supplies were dropped from C-130 cargo planes, and the Red Cross had begun to fly supplies into Dili's bedraggled Comoro Airport. "We are going to send at least two planeloads of supplies every day from now on," says Cymeon Antoulas, head of the Red Cross Timor office. For these hungry and frightened people, that aid will be as welcome as the international troops soon to arrive.

This edition's table of contents
TIME Asia home


AsiaNow


   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
 Search

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.