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Memo

Number: M.53/Tim P4-OKTT/7/1999

To: Coordinating Minister of Politics and Security

From: Assistant Coordinating Minister I/Home Affairs

Subject: General Assessment if Option I loses

Attachments: None

Date: July 3, 1999

____________________________________________________________________________________

The report of the Politics and Security Team in Dili, hereby respectfully submitted, is as follows:

For the past more or less 23 years that East Timor has been integrated with Indonesia, East Timor has noticeably and quickly progressed especially in the physical/material aspects. The infrastructure truly developed in a surprisingly short time but this was not accompanied by the mental/spiritual development of the society.

The armed resistance of the Security Disturbing Movement continued throughout and there was a tendency for it to expand further. Its regeneration has taken place in a good way, so that there has been a growth of resistance groups that are better educated and more militant, that are able to carry out clandestine activities so that their terrorizing is fairly effective and can attract, create, and politicize public opinion, to establish an anti-integration society. Openly, the anti-integration society could create a tense life, to the point that there was a large exodus especially of those not native to East Timor.

The pro-integration group, spread fairly widely in all the districts, was meanwhile asleep and became the target of the anti-integration group. The TNI was cornered, even terrorized by the anti-integration group. The situation became chaotic, to the point that the government thought that there was no use in keeping East Timor, since it was constantly creating problems, and out of this emerged Option 2.

The birth of Option 2 startled and woke up the pro-integration group that felt as if it would be wiped up if East Timor was released from Indonesia. Since the awakening of the pro-integration group was able to reverse the situation to become dominant very quickly. Although the security situation is already under control, the outsiders have not, perhaps can not, yet come back, except later if Special Autonomy wins in the Consultation.

World opinion was already so influenced that the UN took the initiative to come to East Timor after the Tripartite agreement in New York agreed to hold a Consultation with the East Timorese people whether they accept or reject the Special Autonomy that was conceptualized by the UN. If they accept, the people of East Timor will remain integrated with the Indonesian nation, and if they don’t accept they will be released from Indonesia.

The United Nations Assessment [sic] Mission on East Timor (UNAMET) came to East Timor before the Central and the Provincial administrations were ready to receive them. UNAMET was welcomed with great fanfare by the anti-integration group because they consider UNAMET like a god coming to save them, while the provincial government was spellbound and didn’t make any sound, though the Central Government, with Presidential Decree no. 43, had already taken many steps to coordinate between Departments.

With the coming of UNAMET, the situation again became worrisome because the anti-integration group got a second wind, while the Indonesian government which was given responsibility to guarantee security for the Consultation instructed all sides (in this case, the instruction can only reach the TNI and the pro-integration groups) to do nothing that could be seen as intimidation. The fresh wind pushed the anti-integration group that committed acts of intimidation and then took shelter behind UNAMET.

[4.?] At the start when the Political and Security Team (as part of the Satgas P3TT) arrived, many sides

were optimistic that the Special Autonomy would become the people’s choice. But after the arrival of UNAMET, there were many contributing factors which encouraged the anti-integration to be inspired. It’s too skeptical if we say that UNAMET takes sides, but the fact that we are always left behind in responding to the maneuvers from the unfriendly sides, our initial optimism which seemed to be convincing has became less firm. This is because first our space for movement is so restricted and then our helplessness in counterbalancing the maneuvers of UNAMET, inside of which is supported by local personnel from the anti-integration group. The UNAMET is dominated by anti-integration groups and there is a tendency that its task is not merely to hold the popular consultation, but is more than that.

The task to win Special Autonomy for the people of East Timor is actually not too difficult because what is being fought for is a floating mass whose demand is very simple, that is, for the availability of food and medicine. Whoever can provide food and medical treatment, the people will follow them. Even the anti-integration group is waiting for this type of help but unfortunately we are always late while the anti-integration side can make use of the chance of UNAMET’s presence with its additional task, as if it is a savior.

In Dili at this point, there are 32 NGOs waiting ready to help "refugees". The limit between refugees and hungry people is not clear, even those hungry people can quickly be led to become refugees under the pressure of the anti-integration group. Many more funds will immediately flow from outside the country, all of this can change the constellation of forces. In such a constellation, the initial optimism which was so great will become doubtful especially if the promises from the central government are not yet fulfilled. The local government and the TNI can only watch other people give food to our people while the pro-integration people are not touched.

To respond to this kind of situation, it is true that there is still time, but time continues moving without any sign beneficial for winning the first option. Therefore, it will not be wrong if we predict the worst possibility, that Option 1 will not be accepted.

What is the assessment if Option 1 fails?

a. The anti-integration group will have a big party, like what happened when non-organic troops were withdrawn from Aceh last August 1998. While the Acehnese already felt victorious, people threw stones and cursed the TNI which was still undergoing a ceremony to return to its home base. This kind of thing can happen in East Timor on a more sadistic scale. Even though several agreement meetings have been held between the armed groups with the militant pro-integration groups, both at the Center and at the province, there is no guarantee that both sides will accept each other if Option 1 fails. Maybe the Indonesian government will be relieved of the heavy burden of bearing the set of problems of East Timor which has never been finished except losing face in the world. The pro-integration group is prepared to take a position similar to the anti-integration now. The Indonesian government in this case can not wash its hands if the pro-integration followers are massacred in the future. From the monitoring that has been going until now, it can be predicted that if Option 2 becomes the people’s choice, the pro-integration group will continue its resistance, but first they will secure their families in NTT. From this aspect itself, it can be assured that the Indonesian government will not be able to wash its hands of this matter.

b. How will the attitude of the anti-integration group be toward outsiders, especially TNI, POLRI, and all Indonesian civil servants and other outsiders. If Option 1 wins, TNI/POLRI non-organic, and non-native civil servants will have to leave East Timor in an honorable manner. If Option 2 becomes implemented, a horrifying thing will happen to the Indonesian civil servants. The most intense moment will be at the announcement of the result of the popular consultation. The pro-integration groups who are the most tense, without ignoring the Indonesian civil servants. Is it possible for the Indonesian civil servants to continue carrying out their tasks until the announcement of the results of the consultation? They will ask for a guarantee from the Indonesian government and the TNI for their safety, not merely promises but can also forsee an evacuation plan for those who are spread all over East Timor territory.

c. The attitude of the East Timor soldiers who were recruited from the supporters of integration can not be ignored. They are the heroes of integration. Will they join the main body of troops or maybe they don’t want to leave East Timor which will mean that they will choose to raise arms. They are sons of the soil who have children, wives, and relatives in East Timor. At least, they can send their children, wives and relatives to NTT [Nusa Tenggar province, meaning West Timor in particular].

d. It is certain that the society’s life will be disturbed. The economy will be paralyzed because the businessmen are generally outsiders even though at this time they are still active. But until when this will go on? Possibly they will flee to NTT several days before D-Day. There are some signs that the anti-integration groups have already drawn up a list of new ownership for the assets which will be left by the government and the outsiders. They of course unable or not yet able to operate the management of the society, they will not be able to run the hospital. Even though the anti-integration civil servants are many, they are generally incompetent. At the most, they will be controlled by the church meanwhile the others will be controlled by UNAMET or Australia and its volunteers.

Responding to the above matters we only have six weeks more to win Special Autonomy, but if it fails the period of six weeks is very short to draft a contingency plan for the pro-integration personnel and other assets. Therefore, the drafting of the contingency plan in response to Option Two has to be developed as early as possible. The government has to spare some funds to support this alternative plan. If at this point the government already faces difficulties in supporting the victory it can be said that if the government faces the unexpected possibility without this alternative plan, the integrity of the government in the eyes of the world will be degraded further, especially in the eyes of the Indonesian people in general.

Alternative possibilities which can be carried out are:

a. Maintain a commitment to win Special Autonomy. We have been left behind in the attempt to win the hearts of the people. Aid from foreign NGOs is waiting and it can be assured that political elements will be attached and it will be used by the anti-integration groups. Therefore, the commitment of the government has to be manifested by empowering the pro-integration group further. They really hope that there will be a new capacity to carry out the Operation Sympathy.

To create an alternative plan (contingency plan) in order to face the situation if Option 1 is not accepted.

Plan to expedite evacuation for Indonesian civil servants and outsiders (before the announcement of the result of the ballot) to NTT.

To prepare elements of the TNI (Army, Navy, Air Force) both the personnel and the equipment near the areas for evacuation.

Prepare the NTT territory to receive massive refugees including their security

Planning and securing the withdrawal route, if possible destroying vital facilities or objects.

According to the information, the anti-integration armed forces received a significant dropping of weapons and it is certain that they will not be surrendered even though there is a peace agreement. This indicates that if Option 1 is successfully fought for, the anti-integration groups will remain with another plan to fight for their interests.

Hereby, this report is presented to become a material for consideration to decide the follow up.

Assistant Coordinating Minister I/Home Affairs

H.R. Garnadi

 

 

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