|Subject: SCMP: E. Timor paramilitary prince ready
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 08:31:07 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo:
South China Morning Post Saturday February 27 1999
*East Timor paramilitary prince ready for war
JENNY GRANT in Jakarta
Cansio Carvalho is an East Timorese prince. He is also a paramilitary boss.
As the son of the pro-integration king of Ainaro, Matheus Lopez Carvalho, Cansio, 30, grew up believing East Timor should be a part of Indonesia. Now he has taken up arms to prove the point.
"We are ready for war," said the commander of the 1,300-member Dead or Alive for Integration with Indonesia (Mahidi).
Cansio's arsenal in his mountain homeland includes three M-16s and 16 World War II-vintage G-3 rifles left when the Portuguese fled East Timor. He claims to have the support of 15,000 people in Ainaro, mostly through loyalty to his royal family.
Wearing jeans and a white T-shirt with a gold Playboy logo stretched across his muscular chest, Cansio looks comfortable in the plush Jakarta hotel where he has been based for the past month.
Critics say Cansio and his colleagues have come to Jakarta looking for guns, an allegation the warlord denies.
"I come to Jakarta to explain the real condition in East Timor so the President or military can make a decision," he said.
East Timor's feared paramilitaries have carried out murders and late-night abductions of anyone suspected of sympathising with the Fretilin guerilla forces.
Now the paramilitaries have come to town. And Indonesians are bending over backwards to meet them.
Cansio has met President Bacharuddin Habibie, senior leaders of the armed forces and parliamentarians.
The paramilitaries are also getting savvy about the media. They fax invitations to the international press to visit paramilitary installations in the East Timor highlands. But they have also warned they will kill Australian journalists and diplomats.
Militia groups such as Mahidi, Aitarak, Halilintar and Makikit are financed by prosperous East Timorese businessmen who favour integration with Indonesia.
"They are paramilitaries and we are a non-government organisation. But we are all pro-integration and they will protect us," said Basilio Dias Araujo, of the Unity Forum for Democracy and Justice, a new grouping of pro-integration figures.
While the paramilitaries project a civilised image in the city, nothing can escape the violent reality on the ground.
Ten people have been killed in clashes between the paramilitaries and pro- independence civilians in the past two weeks.