|Subject: ETISC: Getting Away with Murder (Pt 4 of 4)
Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 18:32:30 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Part 4 of 4 Chronology of TNI sponsored Paramilitary and Militia crimes (continued) (This Chronology makes no claims to be complete)
20 April General Wiranto arrived in Dili accompanied by the Chief of Army Staff, General Subagyo, Army Assistant for Security, Major General Zaki Anwar, the Head of the Armed Forces Strategic Intelligence Agency Major General Kiki Syahnakri and the Police Chief General Roesmanhadi. Zaki Anwar is a former longtime intelligence officer in Timor and more recently chief of the army's intelligence agency, BIA. Following Xanana Gusmao's transfer from Cipinang Prison to his present place of detention, Anwar was a frequent visitor to his house. He is rumoured to be charge of the Operasi Sapu Jagad now causing death and havoc in Dili. Kiki Syahnakri was a military commander in Timor until he was withdrawn in 1995 after an incident in Liquiça when six alleged Falintil members were killed. This incident became an international issue, forcing the army to withdraw Syahnakri.
Mario Carrascalao says in Jakarta that he would stay in hiding because he believed the people targeting resistance leaders would not stop until he had been killed. "It's true ... I know these people," he said.
East Timorese radio journalists at the state-run Indonesian Republic Radio say they are too afraid to go to work after being threatened by the militias. Also residents now complain about the biased news they are seeing on the state-run TVRI network which, after the weekend chaos, showed only news about the militia parade and file footage of fishermen on the beach and smiling children.
21 April General Wiranto, Bishop Belo and Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of Baucau witness the signing of a reconciliation and "cease fire" agreement at the home of Bishop Belo by representatives of pro and anti-independence. Belo refused to sign it saying he had only been invited to witness it. The groups pledged to "stop hatred, intimidation, and terror and try to help create peace." They also pledged to help the government of Indonesia, the national Commission on Human Rights and the Roman Catholic church in promoting the respect of human rights and law in East Timor. Signing the document from the pro-Indonesian camp were Domingos Soares who heads the FPDK, and Joao Tavares, the commander of the militia force. The pro-Independence camp was represented by Leandro Isaac and Manuel Carrascalao, both CNRT leaders. It had already been signed in Jakarta by Xanana Gusmao. Also signing the document were Governor Abilio Soares, Colonel Tono Suratman, East Timor police chief Colonel Timbul Silaen and a member of the National Commission on Human Rights, Joko Sugianto.
Ending the day of peacemaking announcements and hugging between bitter enemies, General Wiranto said police had already begun to confiscate weapons. He invited journalists to view them at Dili's police headquarters where journalists report a staged event was held with guns paraded before the cameras while a few red-and-white head-dressed militiamen stood by. A senior militia commander announced that violence by his gangs would no longer be tolerated.
Meanwhile: The militias attacked Hera Polytechnic, 5 km outside Dili, where they capture six students. Two students were reportedly killed and thrown into the sea. Four other students were detained in Kapolda, the local police centre.
Five youths were killed when members of Besi Merah Putih attack the town of Bazar Tete, 30 kms southwest of Dili.
In Maliana student Antonio Basilio, 26, and farmer Armando Belako, 50, were stabbed to death in their homes and six pro-independence people kidnapped.
Bartholomew Borreau, a village chief of Maluskiik in the Ermera region and local CNRT leader, survived a torture session last Sunday only to be arrested again by members of TNI and BMP today and systematically beaten to death. "His skull was completely smashed" said Father Sancho Amaral, "it's all about intimidation. People are being taken away every day to be interrogated and beaten," Father Sancho said. 'They have to move around at night and no one can discuss anything in the open."
In Samalete Village in Ermera one person is killed by militias.
22 April Gun-wielding militias ignored East Timor's day-old cease-fire, threatened civilians and effectively sealed Dili at night. There was an operation of Besi Merah Putih and other groups around Comoro especially around the Convent of Salesian Fathers. All the pro-independence activists and outspoken leaders in Dili have gone into hiding.
A pistol-waving militiaman threatened a group of journalists and ordered them back to Dili as they accompanied a government human rights commission team investigating last week's massacre in the town of Liquiça.
Two local farmers, Antonio Borromeu and Carlito were killed by the Territorial Battalion in Hatolia in the Sare region.
In Manufahi-Same the pro-integration militia attacked civilians in the villages of Holarua, Letefoho, Babulo and Daesua, destroying houses and robbing the community of important materials. 100 persons sought refuge in the church.
23 April Confirmation that at least 30 people have been kidnapped and killed in Suai, 200 kms southwest of Dili. Allegations that bodies of the victims had been dumped into a lake and the nearby Salele River. Members of Battalion 744 of the Indonesian military, plus Mahidi and Laksaur Merah Putih militias have been accused of carrying out the killings. They were all operating from the Koramil military central command in Suai. Among those killed are Alvaro de Araujo, Amaro de Araujo, 32, Jose Aurelio, Emilio, Mateus Araujo, Daniel Amaro, Jorge dos Reis Celestino, Felix Marcal, 45, Sabino, 27, Blasido, 25, Coli, 22, and Abilio Maulear, 47. During the night at least 30 more young men were kidnapped. A military official in Dili and a hospital official in Suai say there have been no deaths in Suai. Domingos Gomes, 25, a former AusAid worker is one of the kidnapped.
President Clinton wrote to President Habibie this week outlining his concerns over East Timor and calling on him to do more to bring the militia to heel.
The Foundation for Legal and Human Rights in Dili (Yayasan HAK) said the issue of 'civil war' is nothing more than an artificial design to be used to support actions of violence, terror and intimidation, referring to TNI's justification of arming the militia groups on the grounds of self-defence.
Australian military intelligence told its government almost two months ago that TNI "in East Timor are clearly protecting, and in some instances operating with, pro-Jakarta militia in attacks in East Timor", Australian radio reported today. The leaked report, prepared by the Defence Intelligence Organization, titled Current Intelligence Briefing', and dated March 4 had also warned more violence was certain and would focus on the territory's capital Dili. "TNI could apprehend or easily control pro-Indonesia militants, but has chosen not to" said the report. Throughout March, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer consistently played down reports of TNI involvement in violence in East Timor.
24 April A Dili-based human rights worker said "the situation in Suai is very, very tense. About 1,300 refugees have been asked to leave the church because they fear an attack like in Liquiça or Dili. Bodies have washed up along the beach. Some are already smelly, but there are also fresh bodies there." The kidnappings have spread intense fear among the population.
Yayasan HAK has received reports that for the past few days there have been arrests and kidnappings in Baucau, Viqueque, Bobonaro and Los Palos. From Atambua (West Timor) to Dili there are 12 checkpoints: 10 of them are guarded by the militias and two by the military. HAK believes that the signing of the recent peace pact was a mere performance to deceive the international community.
Doubts about the Indonesian government's ability to control developments in East Timor were reinforced by Habibie when he conceded to a meeting of Australian editors in Jakarta this week that he was powerless to disarm the militias because "they get mad", so instead had appealed to all parties to "lay down their arms voluntarily". The President confided "I have no problem with the military because they are professional people; they understand. But the retired people are a problem."
Speaking from Macau, where he sought refuge two days ago after leaving his home in Jakarta, Mario Carrascalao said no one in the Government had offered help even though it was widely known he was in danger. Carrascalao said he had a tape on which paramilitary leader Eurico Guterres threatened to kill him. Guterres has been implicated in the attack on Carrascalao's brother's Dili home. Carrascalao said the threats by Mr Guterres had been made in the presence of senior military figures, including the Dili commander, Colonel Tono Suratman, and three generals soon before militia attacked the home of his brother, Manuel. "Once the authorities did not take any action, I concluded they were together, conspiring."
25 April TNI forced everyone in Tibar (between Dili and Liquiça) to take a blood oath with sheep's blood mixed with arak and a kind of Ecstasy and join Besi Merah Putih militia led by Leoneto Martins, district chief of Liquiça.
26 April Fully armed TNI troops and militia of Tim Saka patrolled the streets of Baucau in trucks. They issued an announcement ordering all the inhabitants to hoist the red-and-white Indonesian flag and to wear red-and-white head and arm bands, to greet a rally to be held on Wednesday by the pro-integration forces.
A pro-integration group called Sakunar started entering government offices in Oecusse (an enclave of East Timor in West Timor) and forcing employees to join the Forum for Unity, Democracy and Justice. The militiamen compelled government employees to get down on their knees and kiss the feet of Simao Lopes, Sakunar's leader.
In Bobonaro, the militia cut off the ear of a 20 year old youth, forcing him to eat and swallow it whilst having a machete to his throat. Then more than twenty of them trampled on his back and front, after finishing they delivered him, nearly dead, to the military.
27 April Militias raided a farm 45 kms west of Dili belonging to Mario Carrascalao, destroying house furnishings and killing farm overseer Maumeo. There were unconfirmed reports that a second person had been killed.
At the emergency summit in Bali between Indonesian and Australian leaders on East Timor's future, President B.J. Habibie said he had agreed to sign a UN-brokered package of measures on East Timor that includes a section committing Jakarta to disarm rival political groups in the territory and ensure the neutrality of the Indonesian armed forces that will have primary responsibility for providing security in the run-up to the August Consultation. The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, said that he had no reason to doubt the sincerity of commitments made by the Indonesian leader.
28 April The Indonesian military and Besi Merah Putih declared an ultimatum that all villagers should move to Liquiça by April 30 or they would be killed. Initially, the army forced all males of 12 and older to leave their villages but then everyone, including newborn babies, women who had just given birth, pregnant women and even people who were very advanced in age, ill or paralysed were told to move. Officers also told residents that anyone who was known to be on an army blacklist needn't bother to move to Liquiça.
Recruits to a new militia group, Darah Integrasi (Blood of Integration), are inducted in a blood-drinking ceremony in Gleno, near Ermera. They prepare for an attack on people still remaining in villages in the district of Liquiça.
Bishop Belo says "the intervention of the secret service and of some elements of the Indonesian military command is visible" in the recent attacks carried out by militias. According to the bishop, these self-seeking groups interested in keeping the status quo have armed the Timorese, who are starved of power and money. He said about 100 people had been killed in recent militia strikes in Ainaro, Maliana, Zumalai, Liquiça and Dili.
Members of the Naga Merah (Red Dragon) militia, backed by Indonesian soldiers, are blocking humanitarian aid organisations delivering food and medicine to the 5000 to 6000 refugees in the Sare region. Many of the refugees have fled recent massacres in Liquiça. They are concentrated in a mountainous region along the border of Ermera and Maliana districts, about 50 kms southwest of Dili.
Joint Statement Of Humanitarian Organizations In East Timor (Kontras Committee for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, Yayasan HAK Foundation for Law, Human Rights and Justice, Caritas East Timor, Gertak Anti-Violence Women's Group, Fokupers Communication Forum for Women, DSMPTT Student Solidarity Council, GFFTL Women Students' Group, and Emergency Aid Post for Internal Refugees): The killings of unarmed civilians by militia groups have forced many East Timorese to flee their homes. Data gathered by Emergency Aid Post for Internal Refugees show that since November 1998 to March 31 1999, there have been a total of 18,091 internally displaced peoples (IDP's). These IDP's have become a target for killings by militia groups, as clearly demonstrated in the attacks of the Liquiça Church on April 6 and of the home of Manuel Carrascalao on April 17. In Viqueque, at least 500 people have left their homes to unknown locations to seek refuge. Similar situations can also be found in Bobonaro, Ermera and Suai. In Dili, there are at least 1200 internally displaced refugees. Psychologically, there is an atmosphere of fear leading to a paralysis in economic activities. In the countryside, farmers have stopped their agricultural activities because the militia has prohibited them from leaving restricted areas. In the first 3 months of 1999, Yayasan HAK has documented at least 40 dead, 22 wounded, 8 illegal detentions 2 women raped by militia. Indonesian officials are clearly involved in these incidents. Terror and intimidation are also directed towards civil servants. They have been forced to sign documents showing their allegiance to the Indonesian Republic otherwise they will lose their job. Threatened with dismissal, in some areas civil servants are being forced to become members of FPDK. Threats and terror are also directed towards humanitarian workers in East Timor. These organizations are not granted access to provide necessary medicine and food for internally displaced people, they have been targeted for attack, and their workers have received threats on their lives. Given its 23-year reputation in East Timor, we cannot trust that the Indonesian military can play a neutral role.
Australia's former defence force chief, a general who commanded peacekeeping forces in Cambodia, warned that a peaceful plebiscite in East Timor could only be carried out with the deployment of UN peacekeepers. General John Sanderson said peacekeepers would be more effective in disarming militia groups threatening to disrupt the referendum.
Jakarta's ambassador-at-large for East Timor, Lopes da Cruz, defends the militias, saying they must remain armed to defend villagers against attacks by independence forces. Da Cruz said they would view a peacekeeping force as pro-independence ahead of the ballot.
Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of Baucau told a meeting of NGOs in Paris that members of the militias who attacked the priest's house in Liquiça seemed drugged and came back later to apologize.
Plainclothes police facilitated a meeting between militia commanders in Baucau while at least 40 militiamen waiting outside the meeting were carrying M16s, guns more powerful than those of the police.
In Dili the intelligence section head at 164 Military Provincial Command, Major Bambang Wisnumurthy, said the harassment of journalists, whose names were on the Red and White Iron militia's list, demonstrated the high level of dissatisfaction among pro-integrationists. Bambang said: "The main thing is that journalists carry out their work in accordance with the aspirations of both sides."
The military chief Colonel Tono Suratman said that militias "will be disarmed in the coming weeks."
29 April Jose Ramos-Horta calls for economic sanctions against Indonesia, the suspension of international aid and a naval taskforce to force it to disarm pro-Jakarta militias in East Timor. Ramos-Horta said TNI had defiantly refused to act against the militias despite international diplomatic pressure. "I am just asking that the Timorese be allowed to choose their own future without military goons pointing guns at their children; without machete-wielding hooligans terrorising a population and killing the unarmed," he said.
Joao Soares, a spokesman for the militia squads has warned that armed UN peacekeepers in East Timor would be at risk. "We will never accept any kind of peace force. Maybe some kind of team to assist us but don't try to come here with weapons or anything because we will not be responsible then".
Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama urged Indonesia to disarm pro-Jakarta militias and halt bloodshed in East Timor ahead of a UN-supervised Consultation on its future.
In Dili almost every evening there is gunfire and confrontation. The greater fear is the harassment against CNRT supporters and the students. The tactics are for targeted supporters to be phoned and told they will be "called on". Many students have fled, and many CNRT leaders have evacuated their families. Manuel Carrascalao with his daughter and seven other relatives has left East Timor. He said he feared for his family's safety and would only return when a UN police force was in place. Over the past two weeks paramilitary forces have systematically visited house to house in suburbs to the east of Dili. They force their way into people's homes and demand that the residents sign a petition for integration. Most sign for fear of their lives. The purpose of the terror is geared to create the illusion that people support integration.
Nuns report that the paramilitary are active in Baucau and Venilale carrying out the same house to house searching and enforcement that is occurring in Dili. Many people are reporting to clinics with severe burns resulting from injuries received when their houses are destroyed if they refuse to sign the petitions. Although there have been fewer killings, many people are missing, including those who are fleeing to the hills. There are many sheltering in Dili.
Major-General Tjahyono, a member of the armed forces faction in the Indonesian Parliament, gave an undertaking to Indonesian group Solidamor (Solidarity for Timor Leste Peace Settlement) that General Wiranto and the army would not take sides in the conflict between pro-integration and pro-independence forces in Timor. ' It is the army's intention to make peace between them because it is totally committed to peace,' he said. Another Member of Parliament Colonel Prayogo said one thing was certain and that was that the armed forces didn't want casualties.
30 April Eurico Guterres admitted that he had ordered the April 17 attack on the house of a prominent resistance leader in Dili during a ceremony in Atabae, 70 kms west of Dili, where new Halilintar militia recruits pledged allegiance to Indonesia. The event was attended by the District Chief of Bobonara who affirmed support for the militias. Australian journalists left the ceremony after their interpreter was briefly detained and beaten up and had his life threatened by a group comprising militia men, the district military commander and an officer believed to be from Kopassus. They reportedly let him live because he was working for foreigners. "I should leave this country," he said. "Otherwise I will die, I think."
Members of the Makikit and Tim 59 militia groups arrested two traditional chiefs, Jermano Amaral, 40, of Dilor village, and Duarte, 42, of Ahite village, and two farmers, Jose Martins, 38, and Mau Kaik, 42. All four were handed over to the Indonesian elite force, Kopassus. Duarte and Mau Kaik were tortured and killed. In neighbouring Los Palos, a young man, Evaristo Lopes, 25, of Raça, was killed by local Kopassus operatives after enduring a week of torture. He had been handed over to Kopassus by the Makikit militia.
It has been reported that Major-General Damiri publicly held a meeting with paramilitaries at which he gave the signal for Operasi Sapu Jagad to start, resulting in many casualties. With this act Damiri is in open defiance of Habibie's decision to give the East Timorese the chance to determine their own political future. If some militias fail to get enough recruits, territorial soldiers disguise themselves as paramilitaries. The cost of this operation is enormous and analysts in Jakarta believe that the money is being supplied by a group of influential retired generals including Benny Moerdani and ex-vice president Try Sutrisno.
A few weeks ago a body was dug up from a salt lake near Baucau. The villagers think he was Jose Luis Pereira, a 21-year-old economics student from another town. No one is sure, because the young man's face had been cut off.
A report by the Roman Catholic Church's Peace and Justice Commission in Dili claims 18 people have been killed, 10 tortured and nine are missing as a result of militia violence in Suai. The violence occurred between April 9 and 24 it said. As well, 22 houses had been burnt. Laksaur Merah Putih has been blamed for the violence.
The Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific, Stanley Roth, said the US was helping to apply "vast pressure" on Jakarta to haul its military into line and clamp down on the militia responsible for ongoing murders in Timor. "It seems that what the Indonesian Government's stated policy directs is almost irrelevant," he said. Roth said there was strong evidence the Indonesian Army was allowing pro-Jakarta paramilitary groups to conduct their killing sprees with complete impunity, putting the autonomy Consultation at peril.
Nearly 100 supporters of integration met in Dili to form the East Timor United People's Front (FUPTO), a political body initiated by Lopes da Cruz. The ceremony was attended by Governor Abilio Soares, and by Colonel Tono Suratman and Colonel Timbul Silaen. Paramilitary groups responsible for recent violence in the territory are welcome to join the group, da Cruz said. He added that "although they may have committed errors, this Front aims to control them, to work for the good name of Indonesia". Leaders of the FPDK have criticized the new Front. "This is a group of opportunists who were asleep at the beginning. When our work is begun and things are going well these little heroes show up at the last minute and want to organize and order around the people who have been working", FPDK spokesman Herminio da Costa declared yesterday.
The European Union is "deeply concerned" about reports that pro-Jakarta militias in East Timor are planning to attack or eliminate independence supporters on May 1.
1 May The deadline set by militia group Darah Merah to cleanse Dili of independence supporters who remained in Dili after midnight passed without incident, but fears remained high.
The Indonesian military blocked all roads leading south and west of Ermera where thousands of refugees from weeks of militia violence in the coastal towns of Liquiça and Maubara have fled to seek the protection of the guerrillas, according to Catholic relief workers. A senior police officer said six people had been arrested in the coffee-growing town of Gleno, in the Ermera highlands, over the abduction and murder of 11 supporters of militias. The police commander said the six suspects were local youths and members of the CNRT and Falintil.
Three people were killed in Maubisse by militias.
Chairman of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Marzuki Darusman said "if East Timor was let go, it would discredit the whole armed forces completely." Darusman is also a chairman of the ruling Golkar party. "Of course TNI could stop the militias, so if the militias are against a UN presence, then TNI is against the UN" he added. TNI is fighting for political survival in this country," said Darusman, referring to the popular demand that the military be excluded from politics once and for all. "If East Timor was let go, it would open up a chain of reactions. Then you could easily shunt TNI aside from politics. It's countdown time for them," he said.
Every member of the CNRT has disappeared, feared murdered, in Oecusse, the enclave of East Timor on the north coast of West Timor. According to Indonesian newspaper Kompas the CNRT branch there was 'dissolved'. Colonel Tono Suratman claimed that no force had been used to bring about the dissolution of the CNRT.
In the eastern part of East Timor, militias, TNI and Kopassus have taken at least eight community leaders in the past 48 hours, murdering three so far. At 6.20pm today, members of the Makikit and Tim 59 militia groups grabbed four public servants and handed them over to TNI headquarters. All were tortured. One, Antonio Vicente, 52, public servant, is believed to have been killed already.
Bob Lowry, a former major in the Australian army, who wrote The Armed Forces of Indonesia and graduated from the Indonesian Army Command and Staff College in Bandung in the same year as General Wiranto said Indonesia's top army brass "are lying through their teeth the whole time" while they have been allowing thugs to butcher civilians in East Timor in recent weeks. Lowry suggested that people "judge Wiranto according to what he does, not what he says. The objective is clear", said Lowry, now a visiting fellow at the Australian Defence Studies Centre, "the army took East Timor in 1975, has held it by force and is not interested in relinquishing it. The army is determined to preserve East Timor as the 27th province of Indonesia. While President B.J. Habibie has decided to allow East Timor the option of independence, the armed forces has decided to subvert his Government's policy". He continued "there's no way in the world these militias could do what they are doing unless they were protected by TNI." Lowry said that if Wiranto did not approve of the actions of the armed forces, it would be simple for him to replace the recalcitrant officers. No Indonesian military leader could move entirely on his own, he needs to keep the support of his officers, but he could easily replace a regional commander. Lowry said it will be extremely difficult for voting to be even remotely free. "The aim is to separate the leadership of the pro-independence movement from the people. By repressing, terrorising and killing, they will make sure there is no leadership left to promote the cause." "The pro-Indonesia thugs have been complicit with the local administration in purging independence sympathisers from the civil service in East Timor. And they have been intimidating voters who might want to vote for independence." Said Lowry "You'll have these UN observers going in who don't speak a word of the local Tetum dialect, they could be standing next to a soldier intimidating the shit out of a voter and have no idea what's going on right under their noses".
2 May Falintil guerrilla commander Falur has denied responsibility for the deaths of eleven people whose decomposing bodies were exhumed by the Indonesian police in Gleno near Ermera. Falur said a 6,000-strong force of military personnel and militiamen had already gathered to attack his camp.
A major crackdown has been carried out by the Indonesian military against CNRT members and those accused of links with Falintil in the past few weeks. A report released by Yayasan HAK detailed the killings of nine people around Ermera and Gleno including a political activist and a human rights worker.
In Fatuberliu, militiamen attacked a group of young men returning from a mass in the mountains. Two young men were badly wounded and are now believed to have died.
In certain parts of the Dili groups of armed militia could be seen, mostly in recently set up posts. "I have one just about 30 metres from my home, with militias armed with machetes and one with a gun guarding it" Aniceto Guterres the director of Yayasan HAK said. Several gang members had been drinking heavily. Foreign journalists were intimidated by the militia and prevented from meeting with Guterres. The group's driver was kicked and threatened with death by the militiamen.
3 May Colonel Tono Suratman has called on the media to play a peaceful role in resolving the East Timor question. "The press should not contribute to confusion among Timorese", Suratman said.
The territory's only newspaper, Suara Timor Timur returned to the news stands after the leader of the Besi Merah Putih, Manuel de Sousa, had delivered a blunt warning that the paper should focus on his version of the truth in its news reporting and commentary. Dili residents said today's edition bore a markedly pro-Indonesia slant.
In Remexio Rajawali militia mounted an attack against the local population. They captured and tortured many unarmed civilians and took away to Aileu trucks full of people. Four people are being held at the military headquarters of Aileu where they have been subjected to intensive interrogation and torture such as being sliced with razor blades, punched and given electric shocks.
Foreign diplomats in Jakarta said the campaign of threats against foreign and local non-governmental organizations seemed to confirm a "clear change of strategy" by the groups favouring East Timor's integration into Indonesia. They have apparently abandoned high-profile actions to concentrate on persuading and intimidating "individuals linked to humanitarian organizations and the pro-independence movement".
General Wiranto announced militia groups have handed in their weapons and the outnumbered and overwhelmed pro-independence movement has switched sides or fled to the forests. According to him, security has improved to the point where the 27th province is relatively safe. Now the police and military are neutral, Wiranto said.
4 May A police source in Dili said today the only guns surrendered had been the twelve homemade wooden models received by Wiranto on April 21, the day the agreement was signed.
Dozens of pro-independence students defied threats of violence by militia in Dili as the first United Nations officials arrived. Chanting "no to autonomy", students at the University of East Timor staged the first anti-Indonesian demonstration in the city since hundreds of militia went on a rampage. The pro-autonomy militia were nowhere to be seen and soldiers on several trucks that drove past during the one-hour rally did not try to intervene.
5 May In New York, the Indonesian and Portuguese Foreign Ministers sign a UN-brokered agreement enabling the UN Secretary-General to hold a consultation of the people of East Timor. They are meant to accept an offer of autonomous integration, or if rejected Indonesia would withdraw. Indonesian armed forces are to be in charge of security for the Consultation. Indonesia gives assurances of neutrality.
An Australian newspaper has learned of a plan by Indonesia's armed forces commander, General Wiranto, to transfer soldiers under his command in East Timor to a territorial police force, meaning there is unlikely to be a reduction in the number of Indonesian security forces in East Timor during the Consultation.
7 May It is reported that there are political indocrination concentration camps outside the town of Liquiça and Hatolia. There are 10,000 people in the Liquiça camp. Some of the church killers are in control. The people are not given any food, must sing the Indonesian national anthem every day and wear red and white. Officials from international aid agencies have been threatened with death if they go to the camps. Colonel Tono Suratman said "I can't say anything about that .. it is the responsibility of the police."
11 May Allan Nairn an American journalist who was bashed during the Dili massacre, interviewed one of the commanders of East Timor's militias, Herminio da Costa. (Interview to be published 31 May). Da Costa said the Indonesian armed forces had made a secret "accord" with the militias authorizing them to assassinate members of local independence groups. He said the accord has been in effect since late January and that it authorized his men to "attack homes, interrogate and kill members of the CNRT and Fretilin," as long as the militias refrained from common crimes like "car theft and stealing food." Da Costa says that the accord was also worked out in Dili with the police chief, Col.Timbul Silaen. The militia leader described how his men had executed unarmed "enemies of the people" but said that these killings had been carried out with prior clearance from TNI. Da Costa has long served the army openly as an informant and collaborator and it guarantees his local business holdings. On May 5 Indonesia signed a UN deal in which the government pledged to stay neutral in the Timor vote and to enforce the law impartially. But da Costa said that as far as the militias knew, their accord with TNI "remains in force."
Da Costa says that the accord was also worked out in Dili with the police chief, Col.Timbul Silaen.
The killings and intimidation continue can the world sit by and do nothing?
All the information in this report has been compiled and cross-checked from reports from media and human rights organisations and eye witness accounts. These reports are all listed in full on the East Timor news group reg.easttimor on email.
ABRI - former name for the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia