Dagboek, april-mei 2000, nieuw bezoek aan Oost Timor
De 'derde invasie'
weer hetzelfde liedje, oktober 1999
26 oktober tot 17 november 1999. De situatie na de volksraadpleging.
Dagboek, 14 augustus
tot 09 september 1999
Kort nieuws, 23 augustus 1999
Andere paginas over Oost Timor
Elite forces scouted island from April
UN investigation only a first step
Army defectors 'training militias to kill UN forces'
East Timor: Army's Plot and A Human Tragedy.
I would do same again, leader says 'Xanana' Gusmao
What caused the Ambon violence?
Blood on their hands
East Timor Retrospective
A Profile of Jose Ramos-Horta
Indonesia's special forces
Violence in E. Timor had parallel in 1969
E. Timor Failure Puts U.N. On Spot Interventionist
Ability in Doubt
Business interests are behind Indonesia's fight
to hold on to East Timor
US trained butchers of Timor
The East Timor Operation
The Covert Dirty War
The Covert Dirty War
By Dr Andrew McNaughtan
There is an orchestrated and engineered campaign
taking place in East Timor at present that is coming
from the top of ABRI / TNI. It aims to sabotage the
possibility of the East Timorese obtaining
independence through a free and fair vote under the
auspices of the United Nations.
This military campaign was initiated about October
last year but has obviously been speeded up since
Habibie's announcement on 27th January this year
that if the East Timorese population does not accept
autonomy, they will be allowed independence.
It seems photographic evidence became available late
last year that there was increased activity (such as
movements of trucks and personell) in a camp or
camps close to Atambua in West Timor
. This coincides with information from
a well placed friend that " On 24 to
26th October 1998 was the acceptance
of a large number of new recruits with
priority given to young ETese and
young people of NTT " - to initiate the
militias in East Timor itself. He said
further " The aim of all this is to cause
division among the people of ET"
. However " many registrations were
from the NTT youth because the ET
youth were not interested." He also
said that "besides the capacity of
ABRI, there are (plans for) 11,000
informal troops in East Timor".
It was at this time - on November 10th , 1998
(according to the source) - that 400 Kopassus Group
4 (real nasties) landed at the port of Kupang in West
Timor and headed east. These Kopassus intelligence
or Satgas Int - SGI - have been the operators and
handlers of the pre-existing paramilitary units in
Timor - Team Saka, Alpha etc. It would be an obvious
choice by the military to use existing systems and
mechanisms to implement the new militia policy.
Additionally a source in Kupang reported that there
were many hundreds of troops being covertly landed
and trucked towards East Timor at that time. He noted
they went east with weapons and came back without
them. This would imply a mechanism for the
stockpiling of many hundreds or thousands of
weapons in East Timor.
This process of secret training camps for local and
West Timorese militias being operated by Kopassus
in camps in West Timor but close to the East Timor
border is of course familiar - Operasi Komodo of 1975.
Again this is being done with the intention of
creating conflict and repression inside East Timor
that can be misrepresented to the outside world as
'civil war' between 'warring factions'.
If this was happening , why was it already being done
in October last year ? Probably because ABRI was
alarmed at the growing confidence and
outspokenness of the East Timorese population after
the fall of Suharto and onset of 'Reformasi' and
realised their control was being eroded. They felt
under pressure to be seen internationally to be
releasing their stranglehold on East Timor but were
afraid of the consequences of doing that - the likely
growing strength of demands for independence. So
they did what comes naturally - engaged in
They publicly organised a ætroop withdrawalÆ PR
exercise on the Dili docks (at the end of July) whilst
covertly arranging redeployments to maintain or
increase their numbers (which were already much
higher than they admitted publicly). This deception
however only worked for a while. The covert troop
landings and arrivals became public within some
weeks and the world knew they were keeping the
jackboot in place and engaging in a cover-up. Shortly
after this leaked ABRI documents became public -
showing their numbers in Etimor were much higher
than they had previously admitted . These
documents (verified by various agencies as genuine)
showed that ABRI had about 18,000 army and police
and with their already existing paramilitaries and
militia their total force was about 21,600.
In this era of æReformasiÆ they must have felt they
needed a more indirect way to keep the population
frightened. Their own actions were becoming too
publicly visible. They needed 'plausible deniability'
with their tactics of oppression. It is probably at that
point the militia campaign was conceptualised. This
program would have a number of advantages from
their perspective - it could create the perception of
'warring factions' of Timorese who are a 'deeply
divided people' etc., then ABRI could pretend to be at
arm's length seemingly trying to 'restore order'
between the factions. As the process developed it
could be used to argue that ABRI could not be
withdrawn from ET as they were now needed to Ækeep
the peaceÆ . Again the echo of 1975 (when ABRI
claimed they came in to 'restore order' between
'warring Timorese factions').
When Habibie made his announcement on January
27th that Timor could be released if the people did
not accept the autonomy package, the ABRI high
command must have choked. They had obviously not
been consulted and had their own agenda separate
from Habibie's. Reports from inside East Timor at the
time (January/February) indicated that ABRI were
making plans for a long term stay in ET - whilst the
international community was relieved that Habibie
was seemingly making plans to let ET go.
At this time the militia campaign would have been
stepped up - with the purpose of enforcing the
continued 'integration' of East Timor into Indonesia.
It was about then that the MAHIDI militia appeared
in the south west of ETimor in their campaign of
terror around Suai - leading to some killings and
thousands of terrified refugees. MAHIDI - in addition
to being the acronym for 'Live or Die by Integration'
also happens to be the name of Mahidin Simbolon -
Deputy Commander of Kodam 9, the Bali command
centre for operations in East Timor. Simbolon has a
Kopassus background and was military commander
of Timor previously. MAHIDI were operating with
the blatant support of ABRI (for example when
Mahidi and ABRI together attacked the village of
Gallitas) and had already been supplied with
On the north west coast Besih Merah Putih appeared.
This area of Timor is populated by Belu people
whose tribal group straddles the border with West
Timor (where the majority of the Belu people live).
From ABRI's point of view this would be a
strategically good place to commence operations. It
would be possible to control the northern (as well as
southern) access roads to Dili , bring in militias from
the training camps across the border and set them up
pretending they are the nucleus of a threatened civil
war if a vote on independence is allowed to go ahead.
The source of a potential mercenary militia would be
plentiful in West Timor with poverty, unemployment
and misinformation about East Timor. The West
Timorese presence in the BMP militia has been
consistently reported and would be a factor in their
willingness to attack victims inside a church and in a
priests house (something even pro-integration East
Timorese would be unlikely to do). Since then the
numbers would have been augmented by locals ,
some of whom are press-ganged by threat to families
etc.( as was shown in the film "License to Kill" and
the recent comments by Aniceto Guterres, the
Director of Yayasan Hak in Dili).
It appears that some of the guns
distributed may have disappeared 'up the mountains' and
this may explain the apparent reluctance of ABRI to
hand out more. Evidence is that within the militia
groups there are ABRI (probably Kopassus) personnel
in plain clothes. They probably have a supervising and
controlling role and may be directly responsible for
the killing. For instance survivors of the killings at
Manuel Carrascalao's house described known ABRI
members in balaclavas being involved in the killing
.The photo on the front page of 'The Australian' on
1/5/99 entitled 'Marching in step : how Indonesian
army still controls Timor militias' showed two 'militia
members' walking with ABRI - all with automatic
weapons. Interestingly the 'militia members' don't look
Timorese, are wearing shiny new army boots and
carry their automatic weapons with suspicious ease.
They are most likely Kopassus in plain clothes. It is
likely that the automatic weapons are given mainly to
the ABRI supervisors within the militias, as ABRI do
not fully 'trust' their militias.
Funding for this from Jakarta has been plentiful. It
was an open secret that 26 billion Rupiahs (about 5
million AUS $) were being made available for this
project in early February . There has no doubt been
much more since. However there are indications that
the money supply, to keep the killing and oppression
going, may be drying up - there are reports that recent
payments to the militias have been by counterfeit
notes which have no serial numbers
The IMF should be interested in this.
Habibie's motivation for letting East Timor go is
obviously not based on humanitarian concern - but
sound logic. The ET occupation is costing Indonesia
a lot of money it can no longer afford and is a
constant erosion of its international standing -
something it needs to bolster now more than before.
From Indonesia's viewpoint, letting East Timor go is
logical . And of course East Timor wants
overwhelmingly to be released.
But ABRI motivation to retain East Timor by force
seems very deep - at least amongst the military elite.
They would seem to be driven very much by a desire
not to 'lose face' - especially having fought so long
and 'invested' so much there. This may ironically be
bolstered (in their minds) by the worsening
perception of ABRI in Indonesia They may feel that if
they are seen to let Timor go, it will become obvious
to one and all that they are not only reviled , but they
are ineffectual and beatable. At least if they are hated,
they want to be feared. Marzuki Darusman (head of
Komnas Ham and prominent Golkar leader) stated
recently " If East Timor was let go, it would discredit
the whole armed forces completely." He noted that
"Of course ABRI could stop the militias", if they
Financial interests of some ABRI officers and Suharto
cronies in East Timor (as outlined in the recent article
by George Aditjondro) have played a part in their
thinking . And the military would rationalise that the
terror campaign they have in place is necessary to
protect the integrity of the Indonesian state. However
this argument is flawed : to use a medical analogy -
failing to amputate a severely damaged and infected
body part may ultimately infect and kill the host body.
A bloody repression and total debacle in Timor (as
ABRI seem hell-bent on creating ) will simply further
poison the political environment internationally and in
Indonesia and add to the growing anger of the
Indonesian people as well as the Acehnese, West
Papuans and so on. The future of Indonesia generally
(if ABRI bastadry is allowed to continue unchecked
by the international community) will be grim indeed.
Unfortunately there are not yet any signs that ABRI
are thinking of behaving honestly, transparently or
with honour and integrity in East Timor (or
Indonesia). There has been significant international
pressure to get ABRI to restrain their ongoing dirty
war in Timor (and disarm the militias etc) but so far
with no effect on the ground. In fact the campaign has
become more widespread, blatant and pitiless - there
are now hundreds of victims and tens of thousands of
displaced people and internal refugees.
Presumptions that this process must be endorsed
from the top of the armed forces, are now verified.
General Adam Damiri (Commander of Kodam 9 in Bali)
was present in East Timor immediately before the
recent massacre in Liquica. A few weeks later Gen.
Zacki Anwar (former head of army intelligence BIA)
and Gen. Kiki Syahnakri were in Dili when the militias
were let loose on the defenseless population and
dozens were killed. They were, in effect, endorsing
and controlling the terror campaign. It may be
significant that when Manuel Carrascalao pleaded
with East Timor's military commander Tono Suratman
at that time to stop the fatal attack on his house,
Suratman replied it was 'beyond his control'. He was
almost certainly taking orders from his superiors
Anwar and Syahnakri.
On May 4th the Jakarta Post reported on a Cabinet
meeting in Jakarta that involved Wiranto and
Information Minister Yunus Yosfiah (an old Timor
hand). According to Wiranto, CNRT had lost its
roots in 10 of the province's 13 regencies. Wiranto
said pro-integration groups had received wide
support from the province's 800,000 residents,
describing pro-integration sympathizers as a "silent
majority". "Only in Viqueque, Baucau and Manatuto
does CNRT still exist," Yunus (Yosfiah) said". By now
it is clear that Wiranto is not simply 'turning a blind
eye' to events in Timor, he is being briefed about the
progress of the dirty war and noting how well the
process leader of the
military force that , according to the UN, is supposed
to maintain security in a neutral manner for a free vote
in East Timor!
Wiranto had supervised a æpeace accord Æ on April
21st in Dili that was supposed tostop militia violence.
However the violence was allowed to continue
completely unchecked and in fact all evidence is that
it escalated after this. In spite of the complete
discrepancy between the stated objectives of ABRI
and the clear evidence of worsening violence and
thuggery taking place, not one ABRI officer or soldier
has been disciplined or removed and not one militia
member has been arrested or even restrained in their
It seems that when Australia's Ambassador McCarthy
recently asked ABRI top brass about whether they
were planning to interfere with the UN process in East
Timor, they just rolled their eyes and smiled.
ABRI bastadry in East Timor at least equals and
probably exceeds Serb cruelty in Kosovo - yet the
world is almost ignoring it. Belgrade is bombed whilst
the world only whispers to Jakarta about a crime that
is at least commensurate. The unanswered and
continuing screams of pain from within East Timor are
an indictment of the world's selective conscience and
the hypocrisy of the international community - and
especially governments like ours in Australia. Whilst
Ruddock and Howard grandstand about receiving
Kosovar refugees they warn East Timorese trying to
flee their nearby hell that they won't be accepted here.
Unless the world wakes up soon and acts effectively
to stop the ongoing horror in East Timor, the people
there will be condemned to a continuing nightmare -
until they get to participate in a 'vote' that may be
simply a farce. But if the world thinks the problem of
East Timor may disappear after such a final injustice,
it may be badly mistaken.
The world must wake up now and act to put an end to
this outrage that violates the fundamental civilised alues of us all .