Subject: In response to the testimonies by Adan Damiri, Zacky Anwar Makarim
It was always likely that the Indonesian 'truth' commission would be an attempt to rewrite history, and this is precisely what we are seeing.
In response to the testimonies by Adan Damiri, Zacky Anwar Makarim and others:
As coordinator of the Australia-East Timor International Volunteer Program server group to the 1999 ballot, I would like to state that I personally saw TNI non-commissioned officers handing over weapons to miltiia members in Maliana on 26 August 1999. I also saw numerous militia members armed with standard TNI weapons (M16s, SS1s), not least at the many roadblocks between Maliana and Dili on 31 August 1999. I also saw militia members armed with conventional TNI weapons in and around Dili between 31 August and 4 September 1999.
Beyond this, I also saw TNI non-commissioned officers, including members identified as belonging to Kopassus, leading militias in and around Maliana, Bobonaro and Balibo on a number of occasions, including attacks in Memo and Malaina.
According to unofficial UNpol assessments in 2000, and reports from specific towns such as Suai, Maliana and others, the death toll in the lead up to and immediately after the 1999 ballot was very significantly in excess of 1,500 persons, with common if formally unverifiable estimates in excess of 3,000 persons killed.
Further, with 42 observers across East Timor at that time, I can reconfirm that the ballot process was free and fair other than where it was interfered with by members of the militias, TNI or Indonesian intelligence agents, including home burning, imposition of symbols of voting intention (flying Indonesian flags or having their homes burned) and the forced relation before the ballot of tens of thousands of IDPs and the forced relocation of more than 200,000 after the ballot.
The UN did employ a number of pro-independence East Timorese to work for it. However, given that the overwhelming majority of East Timorese showed themselves to be in favor of the ballot, and the pro-integrationists tried to disrupt the ballot, it was unsurprising that some East Timorese employees were pro-independence. The UN itself, however, was carefully and strictly neutral.
Associate Professor Damien Kingsbury Director, Masters of International and Community Development School of International and Political Studies Deakin University Ph: +61(0)439638834
From Charles Scheiner
To understand recent lies told by former Indonesian officials to the "Truth and Friendship Commission" in Jakarta, it might be helpful to revisit that period. The International Federation for East Timor Observer Project was the largest international observer delegation in Timor-Leste at that time. All project reports and press releases are available at: http://www.etan.org/ifet/ifetop.htm. The report most relevant to allegations of UN bias is the one issued four days after the popular consultation, before the results were announced.