Subject: AFP: Classifed docs show Australia new of 2nd massacre
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 11:21:34 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Agence France Presse November 18, 1998
Classified documents show Australia knew of second Timor massacre SYDNEY, Nov 18
Highly classified documents show senior Australian officials knew of a second East Timor massacre in 1991 despite denying any such slaughter took place, a report said Wednesday.
Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio has called for an international investigation into claims that a killing spree at Dili's Santa Cruz cemetery was followed days later by the murders of 150 people.
Former East Timor governor Mario Carrascalao told a Lisbon weekly, Expresso, that the number of victims of the bloodshed was much higher than the 30 dead admitted by Jakarta.
Carrascalao said dozens more were executed and secretly buried at two sites nearby.
Secret Austeo (Australian Eyes Only) documents show Canberra's then-ambassador to Jakarta, Philip Flood, was told by a senior Indonesian army officer that soldiers and intelligence agents killed at least 20 to 25 more people around the city following the cemetery purge, the Sydney Morning Herald said Wednesday, quoting documents it had received.
The papers show Flood was told by Lieutenant-Colonel Parbowo Subianto, the son-in-law of then president Suharto, that the armed forces initially lied to parliament about the Santa Cruz death toll and had destroyed many other bodies by burning and dynamiting.
A later ambassador, Allan Taylor, retrieved the information from embassy files and passed extracts to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in May 1994.
Within weeks the information had been circulated to then-foreign minister Gareth Evans, the Herald says.
It was around that time that London-based Australian journalist John Pilger released a television documentary alleging a second massacre in Dili and that Evans was covering it up for fear of rocking the diplomatic boat with Jakarta when billions of dollars of oil reserves were at stake in the Timor Sea. Writing in the Melbourne Age 10 days after the information was sent to his office, with a covering note from Taylor, Evans denied any knowledge of the second set of killings.
"As to Pilger's claim that a second massacre occured in November 1991, it continues to be the case that -- whether he likes it or not -- the balance of available evidence is against this."
The Department of Foreign Affairs refused to comment Wednesday. Evans' electorate office in Melbourne said he was not contactable. Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it following year in a move recognised by Australia but not the United Nations.